What is an “orquestra típica”?

Posted on November 19, 2009

Orquestra típica, or simply a típica, is a Latin-American term for a band which plays popular music.

In Argentina, a típica is a tango orchestra that comprises a string section (with violins, viola, and cello), a bandoneón section (with 3 or more bandoneons), and a rhythm section (with piano, and double bass).

There was a time when large tango orchestras could be found in every venue of Buenos Aires. The powerful, unmistakable sound of the orquesta típica was the force that propelled tango through its golden age and provided its iconic sound. Unfortunately, as social, political, and economic forces fragmented and transformed the tango culture of Argentina, the grand orchestras of the ’40s and ’50s gradually gave way to quartets, trios, and duos — when not replaced by recorded music altogether.

But even during periods of decline the music, dance, and culture were sustained and cultivated in Argentina and in communities all over the world, by dedicated “tangueros” who share a passion for this great tradition. Thanks to their efforts, in recent decades tango has awakened from dormancy and slowly regained the vitality and innovation of its earlier days.

Today we can say that tango is alive, but is still missing the omnipresence of the great voice to proclaim “Soy el Tango”— the voice of the tango orchestra.

In the United States, Hector Del Curto’s “Eternal Tango Orchestra” is a rare find among tango ensembles. Hector himself is a bandoneonist who performed in the orquestra of the great Osvaldo Pugliese before coming to live in New York.

Osvaldo Pugliese Orquestra:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Hector Del Curto’s “Eternal Tango Orchestra”:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
Filed Under: News
Comments Off on What is an “orquestra típica”?

Comments are closed.