Argentina Music

Argentina Music

Population. – The results of the census carried out in 1970, from which the figures shown in the table are taken, allow us to highlight the following most significant characteristics of the current Argentine population: 1) a low annual increase rate (15.4 ‰ in the period 1960-70) especially if compared with that of most Latin American countries and tending to decrease (1914-47, 20.4 ‰; 1947-60, 17.2 ‰); 2) a considerable concentration of the population in industrialized urban areas, preferably in the Greater Buenos Aires area (0.1% of the total area of ​​the country with about 36% of the population), a consequence of internal migration movements coming from low socio-economic development; 3) existence of large areas of the Argentine territory, especially rural ones or that have undergone regional economic crises, which expel the population, neutralizing their natural increase, recording negative intercensual balances. The birth rate, also in sharp decline, was 20.9 ‰ in 1970 (1960, 22.7 ‰); the mortality rate was 8.4 ‰ (infant mortality 59.6 ‰ in 1968). According to an estimate made in mid-1973, Argentina’s population had risen to 24,800,000. The Argentine cities, not provincial capitals, with a population exceeding 50,000 residents, were, in 1970, the following: Concordia (72,136), Comodoro Rivadavia (72,906), Río Cuarto (88,852), Guaymallén (112,081), Godoy Cruz (112.481), Bahía Blanca (182.158), Mar del Plata (302.282), Rosario (750.455).

Music. – Around the 1930s, the first major reaction to the nationalistic tradition took place. JC Paz (Buenos Aires 1901-1972), with the foundation of the Grupo Renovación (1929) and then of the Agrupación Nueva Música (1944), became a supporter of twelve-tone and serial techniques for a renewal of Argentine classical music. His artistic experience has been a positive and stimulating example for the new generations. In the 1940s, R. García Morillo (b.Buenos Aires 1911), teacher of composition, orchestration and history of music at the Buenos Aires Conservatory since 1929, composed the 3 Pinturas de Paul Klee (1944), in full autonomy from the still dominant nationalist orientation. Others of the same generation then moved along this line of renewal, such as R. Caamaño (b. Buenos Aires 1923) and R. Arizaga (b. Buenos Aires 1926). For Argentina 1999, please check

Caamaño, already active as a successful pianist in the major cities of Latin America and the United States, first adhered to a neo-classical style (2 Quartets, 1945 and 1946), and later made use of serial techniques. He composed instrumental music (American Variations, 1954) and sacred music (Magnificat, for choir and orchestra, 1954). Arizaga is affected in his compositions by the Parisian formation (1954), having studied with O. Messiaen, N. Boulanger and G. Martenot.

In AE Ginastera (see App. IV, 11, p. 174) it is possible to grasp a rich and significant stylistic evolution, which proceeds from a nationalist orientation in the Thirties-Forties (the ballet Penanbí, from 1937; the Danzas Argentinas, from 1937; especially the ballet Estancia, of 1941, performed in Buenos Aires in 1952) to a phase of neo-expressionism, in which he made extensive use of twelve-tone techniques and micro and polytonal, non-serial and atonal procedures. With the composition of the theatrical works of the sixties he particularly referred to the motifs of surrealism.

In the seventies, the Argentine avant-garde emerged thanks to a new generation of composers who are not easily assimilated to each other, such as Argentina Tauriello (b. Buenos Aires 1931), Argentina Lanza (b. Rosario, Santa Fe, 1929) and Argentina Krieger (b. Buenos Aires 1940), pupils of Ginastera, and G. Gandini (b. Buenos Aires 1936).

Tauriello adopted several of the most advanced techniques, from electronic means to random procedures (Musica III, for piano and orchestra, 1966). Lanza, a teacher for several years at the Center for Electronic Music of Columbia University in New York and since 1971 professor of Electronic Music at McGill University in Montreal, has composed music for orchestra and chamber, as well as a good production for electronic music. Gandini made particular use of microtonalism and random forms (Fantasie Impromptu, for piano and orchestra, 1971). Krieger, already established as a pianist and conductor, expresses himself in a serial style and with random techniques. He was one of the founders of the Musica Viva Group.

As regards the seventies and eighties, the activity of two young composers, such as O. Bazan (Parca) and E. Bertola (Trópicos), should be remembered, whose work must be inscribed in the more general framework of renewal, and of actual breaking of the ancient relationship of colonial dependence, which Latin American music as a whole has been accomplishing in recent years.

Argentina Music