Enrique Rodriguez and the Missing Bing

(Warning: my music education is pretty much nada, so please forgive my usage of such technical terms as, well, "bing", for instance.)

Enrique Rodriguez
King of the Missing Bing


Melina and Detlef dancing to "Llorar por una mujer"


Scenario - You and your partner are dancing to the lovely "Llorar por una mujer" and you can hear the smooth phrasing build to the traditional end and listen for the end "bing" that signals "this is the end of the song" so you can end your dance smoothly on the beat. Except the bing doesn't come. The song just ends.....

No "bing". Sort of like hearing someone sing "Happy Birthday" except at the end, the last line just goes, "Happy birthday to."

Welcome to the tangos of Enrique Rodriguez, King of the Missing Bing.

Rodriguez gets quite a bit of play at milongas, locally anyway, and his pieces have a nice balance between strong rhythm and silky melody that make dancers pretty happy. (Except for the endings.) I should clarify that not all of this tangos drop the last bing, and neither do his vals or milonga selections.

It's also not just a scholarly interest at work here - I want to dance well to Rodriguez and, because of this particular characteristic, his tandas are a little easier to pick out now. I may not get the first song, but once I hear the ending - I'll have an idea of what I'm in for in the next 2-3 songs.

So I listened to his arrangements and watched dancers on Youtube to see how they cope with the missing "bing" - some dancers are ready, some are caught midstep (like I almost always am). However, if you get familiar with the sound of Enrique Rodriguez' arrangements it can really help interpretation of the music on the dance floor.

Once I was familiar with a few selections, I gave "Danza Maligna" a listen. It not only incorporates Rodriguez's signature missing beat at the end, but uses breaks and pauses much the way Biagi does in a few of his tangos. Very exciting stuff!


Danza Maligna
Music by: Fernando Randle
Lyrics by: Claudio Frollo

Lyrics (Castellano) can be found HERE.

Further Reading:

5 comments:

Stephen Shortnacy said...

I love Ney's expression in this video when he realizes too late the last beat is missing. =D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6YMpeJGg6U

Mark Word said...

My sense of ending the song on the 7th is a way of having a "signature" of that particular orchestra. Only the greats can get away with that. Better dancers also distinguish themselves by knowing the endings. This is not salsa where the DJ cuts off the end. If I am paying attention, I "play" the last beat in silence and do not take a step. I know Detlef (in the first video) from Germany. I think his partner, Melina, expected the return to the dominant and took him off balance. Actually, sloppy or bad landings are pretty common with many great dancers. Long as they are not pilots, we'll be fine.

Stephen Shortnacy said...

Hey Mark, I don't think Melina is to blame for that ending. Detlef surged his upper torso for that last beat. I am guessing he realized a bit too late that the song was missing the last beat and tried to hold position mid-step. Melina simply followed his original intention and was not giving enough time to react to his new "flight plan". ;-)

jantango said...

It is common to take a step to close the feet after the end of a tango or vals--so that dancers are standing in balance. Milongueros do it all the time in BsAs. Dancing one silent beat may be considered a disaster in an exhibition or performance, but it is perfectly acceptable during social dancing.

Margo Romero said...

That's Carlitos... from Chile... =)

Un gran abrazo!!!

(Followed your advice and all was well, wanted to write you about it but I've been crazy busy).

Thank you!

M.