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Lesson 120: An Analysis of My Composition Blue Tango

Blue Tango

The lead sheet can be found here. You can listen to it here.

The Changes of Blue Tango

Blue Tango is an AABA tune with the following changes:
Bm		| C#/F		| Gmaj7		|		|
Gm7		| Gm6		| Bm		| F#7		|

Bm		| C#/F		| Gmaj7		|		|
Gm7		| Gm6		| Bm		|		|

Fmaj7		| Fmaj7#11	| Em7		|		|
Gm7		| Gm6		| Fmaj7#11/A	|		|

Bm		| C#/F		| Gmaj7		|		|
Gm7		| Gm6		| Bm		| F#7		|

The Melody of Blue Tango - Motif and Motivic Saturation

The melody of Blue Tango is made up of the simple motif b - c# - d. This motivic idea is then sequenced in bar 5, sequenced again in bar 6, retrograded in the 2nd voice in bar 6, inverted in bar 18, retrograded again in bar 22 and really played around with in the coda - bars 37- 42...

Actually, most of the so-called motivic saturation techniques are used:

  • repetition
  • rhythmic displacement
  • rhythmic transformation - diminution, augmentation
  • sequence
  • intervallic transformation
  • embellishment
  • truncation vs. extension/ elaboration
  • inversion
  • retrograde
  • rotation or shuffling

A Modal Analysis of Blue Tango

Blue Tango is going through a series of modes. This phenomenon can be referred to as short-term modality.
B minor		| F# harm. minor| G Lydian	|		|
G Dorian	|	   	| B minor	| B harm. minor	|

B minor		| F# harm. minor| G Lydian	|		|
G Dorian	|	   	| B minor	|		|

F Lydian	|		| C major	|		|
G Dorian	|		| A minor	|		|

B minor		| F# harm. minor| G Lydian	|		|
G Dorian	|	   	| B minor	| B harm. minor	|

The Key Areas of Blue Tango

You can also think of moving between several minor keys.
B minor		| F# harm. minor| B minor	|		|
D minor		|	   	| B minor	|		|

B minor		| F# harm. minor| B minor	|		|
D minor		|	   	| B minor	|		|

A minor		| 		| 		|		|
D minor		| 		| A minor	|		|

B minor		| F# harm. minor| B minor	|		|
D minor		|	   	| B minor	|		|

2014 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.