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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS IN MUSIC, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY School of Music. APRIL 2011 © Copyright by SARAH L. COSANO, 2011


Argentine tango, which originated around 1890, has spanned just over a century in its development and evolution. During this time, tango music has been integrated into many genres. Despite this popularity, there is only a small body of research that discusses performance technique, history, and musical lineage. This thesis is a supplement to The Tango Fake Book, a book of lead sheets published by Mark Wyman in 2006. Five tango works from the text were chosen, each representing a different period of tango history. These works are: “El Choclo” (“The Ear of Corn”), “La Cumparsita” (“The Little Parade”), “Por una Cabeza” (“For a Head”), “Sur” (“South”), and “Balada para un Loco” (“Ballad for a Crazy Person”). The reader is provided with historical and social background, a brief composer biography, information that differentiates the piece from other tango works, and recommended recordings. Each chapter then concludes with a comparison of Mark Wyman’s lead sheet to a transcription of a tango musician, demonstrating how these elements translate into performance.

Chair: Greg Yasinitsky

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