In downtown Buenos Aires, the World Tango Museum is the sanctuary of a history that continues to exist.
The World Tango Museum, dependent on the National Tango Academy, is located above Café Tortoni
, and may be accessed both through a private gate on Rivadavia Street and through the Academy.Something New to Be Said
This is a new museum (it was inaugurated in December, 2003) but it is about one of the most traditional themes in Buenos Aires
: tango. Its existence, as well as that of the National Tango Academy, corresponds to modern times in which tango has ceased to be a marginal kind of music or even the most popular music (as it used to be in the 1940s, for example) in order to occupy its right position among the most fascinating phenomena in the XX century.
History, Little by Little
The museum show is distributed according to a chronological criterium. With modules ranging for fifteen-year periods, visitors may follow the development of this musical style ever since prehistorical times (when we could not speak about “tango” yet) up to its most recent mutations.
In between, we found everything that constituted the glory of tango: its emergence, the new guard, the different generations from De Caro, Gardel and Contursi, through Discépolo, Pugliese, Goyeneche, Mores, Piazzolla and avant-garde until this date.
Tango Is Still Alive
The information is bounteous and clear, and it may even guide laymen in this subject around this world that has succeeded in building its own tradition.
But there is no doubt that the most interesting attraction is represented by the objects displayed in the glass cabinets: real tango relics. Everything from a hat once worn by Gardel, through several handwritten scores, Agustín Bardi’s piano, original records, typewriters, and everything once related to those glories that still sound. We even found a CD collection with the newest versions of this music.
More than a Show
But tango is much more than music and the museum also shows a series of paintings, sculptures and other art pieces inspired in tango and its characters. A passion still burning.
At the Tango Glories Olimpo Hall, we found a series of blow-up copies that pay tribute to the celebrities who have made this music shine. This very hall, equipped with chairs and a stage, is the environment for various shows and activities.
A movie about Gardel is shown in the background.
History Out There
It cannot be denied that institutions like this World Tango Museum are quite significant to give way to acknowledgement and to preserve the memory of tango. But, as expressed by the museum philosophy, this is an incomplete memory. Tango still sounds.
Therefore, both the museum and the academy are carrying out permanent tasks and open up to the new life of this traditional musical style.