Etude No. 2 PART 1 (Astor Piazzolla – Six Tango Etudes for Solo Flute or Violin)

hello to the tango appreciating community and welcome back to Drago’s tango ally this is your host Alejandro Drago and this is as promised the second video of the series dedicated to get solace six tango attitudes for flute or violate this video will be dedicated to this second attune and before we proceed to analyze and look look into it a little deeper I would like to point out that of the six cubes this is the one in which perhaps the recommendation by the author about trying to imitate the manner of phrasing and performance of the bandoneon while playing these attitudes applies the most there are two prominent features of this etude number one that make the bandoneon reference particularly relevant one is the ornamentations if you look at the music you will notice that the core of the attitude with the exception of the central part and some minor sections consists of long notes and most of the notes are part of some cue note figure or ornamentation figure how to play those and how to make them fit into the aural fabric of this attitude is one of the challenges and to that end we will discuss some harmonic analysis of this attitude in a moment the second important feature that as I said makes the bandoneon reference relevant is sound production itself so here in my opinion the violinist since we are aiming these videos chiefly to violinist not exclusively but chiefly needs to find a way to bridge between bandoneon styles and practices and violin styles and practices to obtain and ideal phrasing particularly in that part of the tooth that as I said consists of mostly long hold I’m sorry health notes separated by such as a flurry of ornamentation figures so in that regard I would like to give you a little bit of context I think that as far as sound production as far as we’re concerned with some production I think a very good reference would be tuned by pet solo that is not very well known it’s called love failure it’s from his Italian period so roughly the same time when he wrote oblivion and other things in that period I think that was in the early 70s when he was working in Rome and there is this fantastic recording it’s a two-minute piece for violin and with elements of imitation and cannon well more like antiphonal style but anyway and the treatment of the sound is so characteristic that I will place a link in in the reference section now in terms of the ornamentation in my own doctoral dissertation I elaborated quite a lot on how quetzales style of ornamentation is akin to Baroque ornamentation and specifically to the

Italian school and not in an exclusive manner but I felt that the way baroque Italian theoreticians described and classified and systematize what I mean Titian was quite applicable to the weight yet Sola would elaborate ornamentally on his own work however here I would like to live for you a couple of things one and this may be a little bit unexpected but you need to understand that that so it was a big admirer of BA and a big scholar or a student of the works of bar in fact he he played the entire world temperate levy on the mandolin in fact his in beginnings on the bandoneon we’re on Bach material so what I want to say is that it would be interesting to take a look at boxed chromatic fantasy for harpsichord and the string players would be very well served to look into a fantastic transcription of this piece made by zoltán kodály a great hungarian composer for solo viola I think that the chromatic fantasy and kodai’s transcription illustrate quite well some elements of the manner in which we should play the ornamentations in to number two by get solo so I will add links to all these materials in the reference section below the video so the ax toots the attitude is in a big a be a section and I felt that it was important to offer you some form of harmonic analysis I will go into some lengths in the analysis of section a because most of those harmonies are merely implied by the ornamentation not by the main notes you will see that in a minute and I will also go briefly through the middle section but there is something I need to get out of the way before I will be criticized by both jazz and pop music players and academic theoretic sand musicologist first of all this analysis is men not to be exhaustive that would be well exhausting to do first and second the difficulty of the task is not even the main reason I didn’t go into it but rather because I consider that in this ax toot the harmonic hearing of it being as it is an issue that doesn’t have a single double note it’s partially a matter of willing hearing of certain harmonies you somehow need to choose to hear certain harmonies harmonic outlines are at most strongly suggested never fully spelled out so that’s the main reason but there is another one and the next reason which will be more evident particularly in the central section is that some harmonies do not have a real functional role so they are not entirely functional harmonies they’re coloristic harmonies so there is quite a lot of harmonic planning okay so perhaps I could have undertaken I mean this is pretty heavy-duty theoretical stuff I could have undertaken neo Romanian analysis of it it would have been fascinating but I don’t really think it would have had any real practical consequences for the performer so I wanted to make those Cabot’s to express those carrots before going into the harmonic analysis of section a and Section the central section B so let’s proceed well here we are with the harmonic analysis I’ve been forced to do this in a different software than the one I wanted to do it on but hopefully this will deliver enough quality the piece starts with a naked C and it’s

only natural to assume that the piece is going to be in C major or minor further there are pages that appear with which feature C major 7th and c9 and eventually C major seems to reassure us in that regard so it would seem logical to assume that this is a tonic right so that would be C major or C minor but later on we have clearly a temporary tonic in a minor so if we were to retrospectively interpret this as being in a minor we may as well assume that we started on the third minor degree of a minor actually should be major if that’s my mistake here now I believe we have very good reasons to assume that the piece or the main tonal center of the piece is actually e minor so I will be offering also a functional reading for a minor in which case this C would be a 6th step in E minor now my initial idea was to simply indicate the tonality and draw a line here because really any implication beyond the fact that this is C comes from the use of this cue notes here and here right so I don’t think we should put that much stake on detailed voice analysis here something is going around the pitch of C and the tonality of see what is it what we are out to find out right here clearly there is a suggestion of a minor if you filter out some non tonality notes and this lines just describes a chromatic connection between these two nodes then again it’s quite difficult and probably absolutely unnecessary to ascribe any tonal or functional reading to it more interestingly now we arrived at that this diminished chord again this can be read functionally in a number of ways perhaps the easiest one would be to consider it diminished chord seventh chords of the seventh step in E minor just inverted third inversion again this is not fundamental the interesting part of it is this extra B natural here that at a certain ambiguity and hints to a dominant function as it’s more clear from here again this is somehow the wishful reading of this section since there is no particular emphasis on this g-sharp we can interpret this ‘flag as a g-sharp right perhaps the most important thing of this analysis is not so much to establish a functional relationship for every aspect of every every element of the fabric but rather to sense how there are cycles of two bars that have roughly some sort of tunnel connection in some sort of tunnel progression that will eventually lead to a minor so if we were to hear this so far reduced to harmonies I did an electronic version this is the song we get

we can observe again in the next four bars what seems to be a simple cadential modulation to a minor so you remember that on the fourth bar we ended on some sort of B major D major 7th or D sharp diminished seven core all of which hint to a double dominant to a minor so it’s only logical that you have after that a function like this one let’s see yes that again starts as a diminished chord but clarifies later on as a dominant chord to a minor and eventually we’ll land on the a minor zone also with some interesting additions such as this F down here something that is very characteristic of some styles of jazz harmonization and was certainly very characteristic of yet so low that whoops married like a separate analysis now please note again here that I simply annotated a line for this chromatic sequence and how to play it will be another discussion please also know that between the B and the G sharp here so the harmonically meaningful notes there is like a feeling of chromatic notes on the violin this could be played and in my opinion should be played almost as a quasi glissando unlike these which have distinct articulation marks so there are specific tango manners of playing that we will go over that so finally we are in this one too finally we are on the a minor zone which strikes as a tonic of sorts and the ending passage is not a chromatic one but rather an arpeggio with some added notes however we will soon see that not only a minor is not our final destination but also that this added F Jian had an important role to play okay I noticed that we didn’t hear the previous four bars in the audio version so let’s hear them now notice the a minor first inversion chord with the added F that F actually receives a certain development here by moving it to F sharp which we can see here well of course once I remove and we have a half diminished chord that more neatly ties into the E minor tonality we have this semi chromatic sequence here which nevertheless we find this specific diminished chord here and this is a good moment to point out something the choice of a minor as central tonality it is a little bit of a paradox in the case of the flute version because the lowest note of the flute or most flutes at least the standard flute is this C and that prevented get solo from using this B natural okay I hope you can see it clearly as the dominant tone – II and we will see that well for example here when it would have been much more logical to lead this line down to a B and then resolve into E minor right I should have added minor

here but anyway well on the violin that wouldn’t be a problem but that would force us to add notes that are not in the music which is not a good thing I guess so here we have a clear resolution into E mine or I should say minor here well the pin C is not working very well but you know what I mean it’s a mine and since this is just simply movement of the bass without change of the function I didn’t see the need to analyze this as a have diminished 7th chord and what not as for the eternality of this for last part it is so to correct this there it is fairly clear from this pitch collection so let’s move as for the section after this establishment of the e minor I decided not to analyze it because it is essentially a parallel motion of either diminished chords or depending on what added tones you get you may hear a minor ninth seventh chord in like third inversion this has a rather coloristic effect in other words whatever tonal tensions are generated by this main chords added notes and melodic tones they are somehow encapsulated within each of those zones and they don’t really relate functionally to each other let’s just briefly hear the electronic version of the sound file reduced to chords the moving notes within and then he goes from the e-flat to B and the repeat happens from the beginning until we hit the second ending well let’s assume we repeat it and now we jump to the second repeat we have this essentially a minor chord with a sixth which force is a C sharp half diminished 7th chord in first inversion but since the e is at the root there is a strong feeling of tonality there also it starts moving away by the addition bumps by the addition of the C sharp and the F sharp as for this passage here well this is one of the examples of what I was dubbing as the Willing hearing to the point that I just mark it with a question mark I am willing to hear that chord as a minor chord but is it really I mean the only diatonic steps here are these three and it ends on that G natural so that would indicate some sort of connection with E minor still I don’t insist on that analysis I take it just as an example of how ambiguous this can be sometimes so let’s hear that those two bars so here we go with what seems to be different versions of if sharp minor with a major seven in with minor seven again another indication of the co eristic nature of a harmony here harmony in the case of this chord is mostly in third I’m sorry from the pitch collection of this

passage right and here we enter something very interesting let me see if I can move my own image to here I’m sorry as we approach the central section which is going to be in G sharp minor we definitely need some tonal clarity this chord here seems to be like strange inversion of c-sharp minor chord which definitely in G sharp minor would be fourth step so from the sub-dominant group leading logically to a dominant and then to atonic right but then again the bass is an on-court note or if you want to think of it as minors seizure of minor chord with a ninth and the ninth on the bass then again I wanna insist on trying to narrow down the court to a to a very specific functional structure because to be honest it doesn’t have it beyond being a sort of sub dominant color before this which collection now this code here this code doesn’t exist I wrote it and I wrote it because it’s the only reasonable and functional harmony that can be accompanied these notes in order to make sense of the central section of what follows in terms of tonality internal Center let’s hear this section well I am back to my standard software hopefully it will hold now don’t see if I can get it fixed for the next part of this video because I really feel that I need to split this video into too long so I will finish the analysis part here as promised and I will touch briefly upon the central section which you should be about to see on your screen basically you have some major tonal center centers here that you see indicated in blue little squares or cartouche if you’re a fan of Egyptology like the royal names so G minor sharp minor I’m sorry it goes through a particularly Qin su f sharp minor it essentially repeats and extends that sequence to settle for a be mine or tonic briefly shifting to C sharp minor but coming back to B minor there are enrichments and variations of the main chords but I thought they’re really important aspect was to indicate the main ton of centers now if we move to the next slide which should be now on your screen after a little coma we have the twister mount the sad final section of the central section I didn’t put it there but we are still in B minor and as the section progresses a hormone has become less and less functional so I had to use a different color to write them in there is some suggestion of functionality for some of the harmonies but other than evident tonic dominant relationships tonality seems to be crumbling and drifting away here in fact the last two bars don’t even use courts in the strict sense those are five four pitch sets that do not contain thirds so you cannot define them as chords so tonality and functional tonality seems to be fading away as you approach the end of the exception which leads to the reacts position which is essentially identical

with the exception of one bar in which the tonality is defined differently in the ornamentation note you should be seeing it right now otherwise and other than that and the coda the sections a and atrium are identical in the coda we have a combination of fourth with chromatic runs and probably you will be seeing it now this funny thing of the last node being AC natural when obviously you should have be natural to give a proper dominant tonic effect and underscore properly the tonic nature of that latest e at the end of the work but alas the flow the flute doesn’t have it so we can rationalize suggesting that gets all I wanted to introduce an ambiguity there I think just the flow didn’t have that no so with this I will leave the analysis part and the first video as is and tomorrow hopefully with full use of my software I will pick the violin and show to you some important concepts as far as sound production is concerned in the performance of this attitude you have a great day suitable you