Sydneytango milongas
Welcome, Guest User  Click to Login 
Re: Lack of musicality

It's a long thread to wade through from the beginning. And Craig I agree with your - probably contentious - point  whether it matters to have good musicality or not as long as you're enjoying yourself. If you're dancing by yourself, not at all. But if you're dancing with a partner, and want to get the most out of the experience, then I agree musicality is very important.

I will willingly lurch around the floor with anyone, but if it's too much of a struggle, it's about as satisfying as having one person steering and the other doing the accelerator and brakes ... and I won't go back in a hurry. This usually has nothing to do with beginner, intermediate or advanced levels.  It almost always has to do with musicality.

What is musicality for dancers?

I think:

1.  ability to hear or otherwise sense the rhythm in a piece of music.

2.  ability to dance with the rhythm, or to intentionally dance *around* the rhythm, as long as the rhythm underlies the movement.

3.  ability to distinguish moods in the music and adjust one's movements accordingly

4.  ability (and this may be the hardest to achieve, and is where the connection comes in) to sense your partner's interpretation of the music, and respond accordingly.

From this it is clear that in this context

   - "Tone Deafness" - or difficult in distinguishing relative musical PITCH, is probably totally irrelevant. This explains why Yoshi can dance even though he claims to be tone deaf.

   - The ability ability to read and write music is irrelevant. Plenty of non-musicians are very musical.

   - The ability to instantly distinguish Troilo from Biagi, or even the names of the songs, is irrelevant. You are not just dancing to a song, but to an interpretation of that song.

   - Having been to Buenos Aeries is irrelevant.


But - how will I know if I have good musicality or not? Will people tell me? Probably not. It's difficult.


   - If the connection is good and the dancing feels effortless, you probably have good musicality?

   - if people want to dance with you again and again, you probably have good musicality? It won't be because of what you're wearing.

   - if dancing feels like a martial art, then one or other, or both may need to develop their musicality?

   - if you get bored dancing the same thing again and again, you may need to improve your musicality?


If I think I may NOT have good musicality, or I want to improve my musicality, what do I do?

The ability to play music, or to sing, certainly helps, because these abilities depend on, and develop, "musicality"

I think it musicality CAN be learnt, and yes you need to immerse yourself in the music, your head needs to be awash with it.

What is great is that you can practice your musicality away from the dancefloor; listen to the music, imagine yourself dancing to it. Learn to recognise the difference between vals and tango and milonga rhythms, even though there is tremendous variation between them ... listen and feel the difference between the chug,chug,chug or the melancholic blues of the bandoneon, the swaying of the string section, the wistfulness of the piano, the spiralling tones of the violins and violas.  And you don't even have to know the names of the instruments! You just need to hear the differences and feel the moods. There is no right or wrong, really, as long as what you are dancing is responding to the music. Perhaps Yoshi, THAT is what  you meant?


I just found this link. It's great, read it a couple of times. There's a lot to learn from it, even if you have no intention of playing a horn :-)

- Lurch


Facebook logo on sidebar
Viva Magazine sidebar
Opinion poll
Should milongas allow table reservations?

Register to the site for free, and subscribe to the weekly newsletter