Book Review: Understanding Musicality: “Al Compás del Corazón”: Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango Book 5

Published December 21st 2018
Author: Chris

Title: Understanding Musicality: “Al Compás del Corazón”: Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango Book 5

Author: Oliver Kent

Pages: 72

Published: November 2018

ISBN: 1729452388

Link to Amazon

With books in the series on how to get dances and ways to improve your leading and/or following technique in Argentine Tango, it was only a matter of time before author Oliver Kent turned his attentions to the musicality side of things.

Musicality is a very individual aspect of dancing tango so as the reader I was interested to see how the author would tackle the subject. Kent’s previous book was heavily exercise based with a number of illustrations to guide the reader through each exercise. This book is based on the same principal of exercises which aim to help develop the ear to hear the rhythms in the music. In order to facilitate the exercises the author has provided links to web based media for pieces of music.

Over the 72 pages of the book the author uses his conversational style of writing to explain how to find the a beat – the “Compás”. Throughout Oliver Kent explains how to pick out the beat in a variety of music with different tempos including tango music and songs from the pop band Steps! He also discusses structure in the music and the common uses of instrumentation before finishing with how dancers use music.

As with this author’s previous books, this one is easy to read and the topics covered are well explained and accessible. I was pleased to see that there is still the quotes, from a number of sources throughout the book, plus the the useful summary at the end of each chapter has been joined with trouble shooting sections.

This is a short book but makes a good foundation stone for Oliver Kent to create a sub series, within his Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango series, on musicality and is definitely one to have on your book shelf. It certainly makes the reader look forward to read further books on melody, phrasing, etc and may save you some money on musicality workshops.

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