Sign Up



Tango is one of the most authentic and genuine musical expressions of the River Plate region and is central to Uruguay’s own musical tradition.

Tango is one of the most authentic and genuine cultural expressions in the River Plate region. Born of the fusion between original African musical traditions and European and Creole instruments and rhythm, Tango is a testament to the rich cultural history of our region.

Tango has its roots in both Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Tangible examples of this are the song “La Morocha” written in Buenos Aires by the Uruguayan song writer, Enrique Saborido or “Mi Noche Triste” composed in Montevideo by Argentine Pascual Contursi in 1916.

In 2009, Tango was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Originally a genre that emerged from the outskirts of Montevideo and Buenos Aires at the end of 19th century, Tango has come a long way into what it is today. Nowadays, Tango is danced all over the world as well as in international competitions.

When we refer to Tango, we’re also making reference to the dance and the sound, in addition to the musical genre as a whole. At its core, Tango is an urban musical expression and a unique development in the musical tradition of the River Plate.

  • The DanceAbrir o Cerrar

    Tango started out as a popular dance accompanied by a distinct musical background. After time, the music itself as well as the lyrical content came to the fore without overshadowing the original choreography of the dance which is characterized by a tight hold between the couple dancing and sensual and complex steps. 

  • The LyricsAbrir o Cerrar

    With the development of the orquestra, Tango continued to develop from its popular dance origins to a more lyrically defined genre capturing notable poetic sentiments. Comical, dramatic, humorous and prosy elements were and are very common to this genre, particularly in Tangos from the 1940’s era. The songs tend to focus on romantic relationships, rural peasantry, life in the city, society, satire and even philosophy. A large part of the vocabulary heard in Tango illustrates the diversity of different traditional cultural influences. What once started as a musical tradition with its roots in the working class slowly began to appeal to more and more audiences of all social strata and social class.

  • The MusicAbrir o Cerrar

    In the beginning, Tango was traditionally played with only a flute, guitar and violin. As time passed, the sextet became the dominant structure, otherwise known as the typical orquestra. The sextet would include but was not limited to: a pianist, two bandoneóns, two violins and a double bass. The large accordion also known as the bandoneón did not become the principal sound in Tango until the late 20th century, despite being the emblematic sound synonymous with the genre as it is today.

  • Neither Uruguayan nor Argentinean: RioplatenseAbrir o Cerrar

    An authentic product of the cultural mixings of the region, Tango was born in the second half of the 19th century,  only a few decades after both countries were part of the same viceroyalty. Immigrants were constantly arriving and outnumbered those born in the region. In 2009, the mystic musical genre was presented to UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage on behalf of both countries making it truly a product from both sides of the river delta.

  • Sensual and UrbanAbrir o Cerrar

    Tango is primarily an urban musical expression known around the world for its sensual dance elements. Tango began to spread internationally accompanied by its artists as they travelled far and wide. Different variations of Tango began to develop in foreign countries like Finland whose city of Seinajöki continues to be the third capital of Tango outside of Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

  • “La Cumparsita”: from Uruguay to the worldAbrir o Cerrar

    This particular Tango was debuted on a corner in Montevideo by the artist Gerardo Mattos Rodriguez and has since become an iconic piece used in countless movies and covered by different artists from all over the world. However, Uruguay has around 17,000 Tango songs in its registry - produced by hundreds of poets, musicians and dancers who have written, created and interpreted the musical tradition of both sides of the River Plate – many of which have travelled the world.