We’re sure your little citizens could identify a guitar or a piano from a line up… but what about a bandoneón? Our guess is that a bandoneón might even stump many adults! This instrument is an essential part of tango music, the most popular music of Argentina.
In a classic tango band, you will find a guitar, two violins, a flute, a piano, a double bass and at least two bandoneóns. Sometimes, you will also have a singer, but many times you will have just an instrumental tango band. A bandoneón is often mistaken for an accordion, which isn’t far off! They are both from the free-reed musical instrument family. A bandoneón is held between your hands and is played by pushing and pulling motions forcing air through its body. It has buttons that can be pressed to produce different sounds. A bandoneón’s tune is a major component of tango music.
In Buenos Aires, there is a neighborhood called La Boca, where it is said that Tango originated. When we traveled to Argentina, we strolled through the streets of Buenos Aires, on the search to see tango for ourselves. In the La Boca neighborhood, if you walk down the street you will hear music spilling out of cafes where people dance the night away and into the streets. The rhythm of tango music makes you sway. We loved it so much we made a shirt in honor of the neighborhood and all of it’s tango instruments!
Have a listen to our tango playlist and see for yourself! Can you and your little citizen point out the sweet sounds of the bandoneón?