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In the early twentieth century tango functioned as an important cultural artifact in defense of the integration of the newly arrived European immigrants into the nation. Until it achieved its hegemony in the late 1930s, tango shared popularity with the so-called “canción criolla” (creole song), which commercially competed with great success until the mid-1930s. This type of music was the traditional music of the gaucho, who while physically disappearing from the countryside, was symbolically reinstated as the core of Argentine nationality by the “criollista” movement, promoted by the Argentine elite. At that time tango continuously mix, in a very complex way, something that today (but not necessarily in the 20s and 30s) we would define as urban music and campera music, the latter being the popular song of the city of Buenos Aires and in the province of the same name. The city and the province were at the time culturally (and from an identitarian point of view), much more related than what they are today. The article proposes a different approach than certain popular versions of the final triumph of tango, whichproposes a kind of linear evolution that goes from the canción criolla to the tango between 1910 and 1930.


tango, música criolla, porteño identity


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