The Perfect Embrace

by virgoh Of course, this is nothing new to tango dancers, but understanding the mechanisms is interesting: A caress feels best when it is delivered with a small amount of force and a speed of about 1 inch per second. Stroke slower, and it feels like an unwelcome crawling bug; faster, and it feels perfunctory rather than loving. Perform your caress not on the glabrous skin of the palm or sole, but on the hairy skin of the limbs where the caress sensing fibers are found. [Read More]


by Paul Graham Raven The advances in DSP and processing power since I started ripping my cds to store all my music on a computer drive are enormous. Sometimes having an estimate of the BPM of a tango song can be useful, e.g. when searching for “slow” milongas, sorting by BPM would be useful. But tapping each song individually to store in tags – no way it’s worth the effort. [Read More]

Audio Restoration from Multiple Copies

I was pondering the usefulness of noise removal based on several copies of a recording, possibly from different physical copies. A Google search reveals that such a technique is already patented: The present invention provides a method for reducing noise using a plurality of recording copies. The present invention produces a master file with lower noise than the available recording copies, and avoids the problems of losing musical content caused by prior art pop and click removers. [Read More]

Letras de Non-Tango

Maybe you remember my Letras de Tango post a while back, showing the most used words in tango lyrics. The possibility of doing something similar for other genres/pop music was raised in the comments. And the guys over at just did exactly that. So head over and have a look at their graphics for Blues, Country, Electronic, Folk, Goth, Hip-Hop, Indie, Metal, Rap, Rock and Soul. They also did some interesting distance charts, showing graphically how similar the lyrics of different genres are. [Read More]

Tango Recordings Through the Year

When were the different tangos recorded? From the 9233 unique recordings identified with exact recording date in the database we can see that not surprisingly there is low activity during summer, more specifically during January and February, it then picks up with peaks in June, September and December. Splitting the numbers over the decades makes a slightly more confusing picture. If you want to check out the recordings for one specific date, there is now a nifty feature over at tango. [Read More]

Letras de tango

We all know that tango is about lost love, broken hearts, right? Well – now we can check it out. Hans at Amsterdam tango club put all the 13,000 lyrics they got in their online database in a single html file, which made it rather easy to do some statistics. I wrote a small script, counting the occurrences of each word, and the figure above is a representation of the results, but leaving the very shortest words like y, o, el, lo etc out. [Read More]

Performance Insights

As I was uploading a couple of new videos at youtube, I noticed the ‘Attention’ ranking of my videos in the ‘Insights’ section. The video with most attention (showed by a red bar like in the illustration top centre) is a video showing Jorge Dispari and María ‘La Turca’ del Carmen at Confitería Ideal. At the time of writing, this video has been viewed 11 852 times. Youtube describes the calculation of the video ‘hot spots’ like this: ”The ups-and-downs of viewership at each moment in your video, compared to videos of similar length. [Read More]

The Golden Age Visualized

Golden Age of Tango When was the Golden Age of tango, exactly? It is fairly common to say 1935-1955 mas o menos, but while I was playing around with the data at, I thought it would be fun to make a plot to **see when the Golden Age was. And here it is. ** These are the number of unique recordings in the database, so if a recording is issued on several cds, it is only counted once. [Read More]

From 'Band Union' to bandoneón?

by Rüdis Fotos What is the origin of the word bandoneón? Two competing theories exist. They both agree that the instrument is somehow named after the assumed inventor, Heinrich Band. The name ‘Band Union’ was used by Heinrich Band and partners, and it got mispronounced and reinterpreted in Argentina as bandoneón. The name was invented by Band or others based on the naming of other instruments such as the accordion, Band + ion was transformed into bandonion, which in turn became bandoneón in Argentina. [Read More]

On circulation

by pdcawley Ms Hedgehog is researching the dynamics of flow in the ronda, comparing with traffic and pondering about the importance of song length. While song length can probably have some influence, I believe other factors are much more significant. And it is kind of hard to perform real experiments, even though she deserves credit for the attempt. According to Jorge Dispari, the flow on the dance floors of Buenos Aires used to be much better than today. [Read More]