Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Antoni Pizà

Committee Members

Thomas McKinley

Peter Manuel

Tania Leon

Subject Categories

Music Performance | Music Practice


tango, new tango, Astor Piazzolla, Tango-Études, flute, performance practice, Buenos Aires


This dissertation aims to give performers deeper insight into the style of the Tango-Études pour flûte seule and tango music in general as they seek to learn and apply tango performance conventions to the Tango-Études and other tango works. Significant research elements of this dissertation include a complete analysis of phrasing, tonality, and formal structure and how these relate to performance in each of the six Tango-Études and an examination of Piazzolla’s compositional use of descending chromatic chords and implied descending lines; my reductions of this voice leading as it appears in the Tango-Études are exclusive to this dissertation. This dissertation is divided into five chapters and an appendix. Chapter one presents background information about Piazzolla and his serious works and a review of literature pertaining to this dissertation. Chapter two examines the history of tango with a focus on its settings and the flute’s role in it. Chapter three provides analysis of fraseo, rhythm, form, rubato, ornamentation, and improvisation and how musicians might implement these parameters in their performances. Chapter four offers formal and stylistic analysis of each Tango-Étude and gives interpretative suggestions based on analysis of form, harmony, phrase-structures, motives, thematic development, and implied textures. The appendix comprises a series of interviews with tango musicians who worked alongside Piazzolla. This dissertation opens new avenues of scholarship in the analysis, performance, and style of the music of Astor Piazzolla, and I hope that subsequent research will address his chamber works.