Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Antoni Piza

Committee Members

Benjamin Lapidus

Sylvia Kahan

Omar García Brunelli

Subject Categories

Music Performance | Music Practice


Astor Piazzolla, Cinco Piezas, Roberto Aussel, performance practice. argentinian guitar, nuevo tango


Astor Piazzolla found his voice as a composer in tango music. Starting in the 1950s, he extended the horizons of the popular genre by using the influences of classical music and jazz primarily. The performance practice is one of the strongest aspects that connects his music with traditional tango. The “unwritten” concepts particular to tango are unfamiliar for musicians outside of this tradition. This dissertation explains in detail these concepts and their application to Piazzolla’s only work for solo guitar: Cinco piezas para guitarra. Besides proving the context of Piazzolla’s life and production, Chapter 1 reviews the use of tango performance practice concepts in Piazzolla’s accented and lyrical passages. The tension between performance and notation and the influence of the guitarists in his groups are addressed in this chapter as well. Chapter 2 provides the context in which Cinco piezas was written and establishes a consistent chronology for the composition, premiere and publication. Furthermore, it points out the similarities between Cinco piezas and Walton’s Five Bagatelles. Chapter 3 compares the published score of Cinco piezas with the copy of manuscript made by Roberto Aussel. Chapter 4 addresses the “unwritten” performance practice concepts in the context of the accented and lyrical passages. Appendixes present transcripts of interviews with Ernesto Bitetti, Laura Escalada Piazzolla and Oscar López Ruiz, as well as scans and translations of the three letters sent by Astor Piazzolla to Ernesto Bitetti.