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 Music Surveys
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Subject: the weekend milongas
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Golden Age music: 1930s-1960s
Modern music: Anything after that, including nuevo, alternative, traditional covers & live music

Survey of Friday / Saturday milonga
musical preferences

Rank your evening preferences. Or what you think is best for the community. Suggest alternatives.
participants: 16
50% Modern. 50% Golden Age.

Live music good.
Different mixes on different nights, reliably

75% Golden Age. 25% Modern.

Live music ok.
Different mixes on different nights, as surprise

100% Golden Age.

DJ only.

Suggestions for surveys
participants: 0

Should there be a training program for weekend DJ's?
participants: 12
Yes, but not for experienced DJ's


Yes, for experienced DJ's too.


If so, which training component is most important?
participants: 10

Potential DJ's attend a series of open session with experienced DJ's, so that everyone can discuss their shared goals.
Team DJ-ing

In a peer-relationship, in a tutor-newbie relationship, or in a complimentary skills relationship.
Some kind of exam

A body of work that needs to be studied, and an exam that is evaluated by the rest of the group.

Speak freely
Some Points

Your polling computer types, not a reliable indication of how the general tango population feels about the music. Also phrasing the question like 25/75 or 50/50 is a way to control the outcome of this discussion. It's more complicated . The TC has referenced pattern language as a development tool . Good pattern language is in harmony with the culture it describes. To ignore or minimize the input from the younger dancers and many of the older dancers who love ALL tango danceable music is to ignore the community your trying to serve. To truly understand the issues surrounding music you need to take a fresh look at the participants. The music has changed in the last two years as have the expectations and knowledge of the dancers. I would suggest polling the dancers for a month as they enter the TC and see what the consensus really is. It would take a second to ask a few questions and provide valuable information.

Dedicated nights
As for dedicated nights we already have this. Fusion tango being relegated to Tuesday. If the polling/patterens dictate it then this should be changed to a weekend night. If there are die hard traditional music lovers who won't attend the TC if alternative music is played then to accommodate them it seems it would be appropriate to schedule traditional music DJ's like Ric, Jeff, Jim and Greg one night a week, say Friday and fusion DJ's Demetrius, Andrew etc on Saturday.

DJ Training:
In my opinion the Dj is an artist and as such shouldn't be interfered with provided the DJ is doing a reasonable job of providing entertaining and danceable music. Personally I would love to learn more about golden age tango music, so if someone is up for starting a class on the subject I would love it.

In many other dance venues the DJ is a spark that brings together the dancers and would be a big part of the solution towards creating a vibrant tango community. So my vote is to expand the role of the DJ, to do this we need to look at what other DJ outside tango are doing.


March 31, 2006 11:00 AM   denisg
Broadening the survey

So, we're going to put together a volunteer crew, doing one-hour shifts, probably university students. At the milongas, they'll sit at a table for an hour (in the front or back) with a laptop (we have wireless), and sign people up for this tool, and take the online surveys on the spot.

We have a machine at the TC (we can get more) so people can log in regularly, if they don't have a good connection at home.

It's important to get people on this webtool -- because democracy doesn't come ask you questions, you have to tell it what you think. And you can change your mind, based on new information. So it's important to have a way to do that. E-mail doesn't make democracy either: it just gets archived, forgotten, overused, etc. And paper & meeting processes are so time-consuming that they are an even greater barrier-to-entry than computers.

So, we'll take Denis' suggestion (others have mentioned it too) and move this survey into the real world. Sign up to help here

April 1, 2006 3:41 PM   greg
Note on the surveys

You can add options to any poll. If you don't like the poll question, you can start another.

April 8, 2006 8:40 PM   greg
DJ: The Pragmatist and Artist

I do not DJ. However, I have a strong musical background and music is one of the main things that brought me to tango. My feelings on this are that if the music is put together in tandas that are interesting (not repetitive or boring, nor all in the same key -- really this stinks and your ear notices it, even if you don't "know" intellectually that that is what makes it so yucky) I am happy to dance to any period or genre. That is golden age, nuevo, alternative, or some kind of mash up of a classic song remixed and rerecorded.

I second Dennis' comment about DJ being a performative art. I don't think one can teach what is the essence of a good DJ performance. The logistics of timing, working the equipment, and the other tools to enhance a DJ's performance are skills one needs initial guidance with. Aristically I like the idea of someone team - DJing with a more experienced DJ to learn how to read the flow of the room, etc. and other non-tangibles as they arise. Again, this is all in the moment and preparation is helpful but not the same as doing it. If possible, I'd like to see an effort to get some kind of rotation going where people can volunteer to try to do a couple of hours here and there as they prepare with an experienced DJ.

There are practical elements here to be mastered and at the same time there needs to be room for artistic growth so we can DANCE to GOOD MUSIC played by INSPIRED artist DJs.

Live music would be a great addition. I'm sorry I can't contribute more to making this happen at the moment, but would like to as my schedule calms down.

Further, I think classes are great but I've learned the most about my own musical taste as well as the big picture of musical vocabulary and library through just listening. Suggestions are a great starting point, but in order to learn more about a certain kind of music or orchestra just listen to everything you can. There really is no other way to do it in my opinion.

April 13, 2006 3:08 PM   Erica
Friday and Saturday Milongas

Since the majority clearly prefer %50 traditional and %50 alternative, I hope that we will be able to dance to this new mix on Fridays and Saturdays. Any Dj who would like to increase their supply of alternative music please let me know.

April 19, 2006 1:05 PM   andrewm

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