The educated Tanguero

Essential Tango Knowledge

How to identify an unknown Tango


The Tango DJ, who has many thousands of songs on hundreds of CDs, does not necessarily have to know or hear them all. Sure, there are about 100-200 pieces, which are usually played and you recognize, sometimes colleagues or dancers also try to find out which title and singer belong to a certain piece. The Tango DJ is a natural contact for this. What to do if the piece is not known or can not be assigned?

As an example, I would like to quote the following piece of music:

This was recorded at the Belgrade Tango Encuentro in 2016. The video was posted as a link on the Yahoo Group for Tango DJs, with the request to identify the piece of music. I first saw the video and listened to the music. You can identify it as a late EDO or post-EDO, the flavor is romantic with some drama. Unfortunately it was not possible for me to assign it to an orchestra, presumably because it does not fit into the usual repertoire on milongas.

Right here the “show more” button would have helped. Sometimes, music information is hidden in many Youtube videos behind that button:


This shows:

Which solves the problem quickly and painlessly.

In more difficult cases (music not specified in Youtube) a very simple method may help. For tablets and mobile phones, there is an application that analyzes and identifies the music. I’m using the SoundHound app. Such apps have not been very helpful for Tango music so far, but this has changed significantly in recent years. Soundhound clearly shows the correct title when playing the above video:


This is convenient if you want to identify a title on milongas (whilst not dancing). A mobile phone is usually handy and thus the possibility to identify a piece without disturbing the DJ in his work.

Another possibility requires a basic knowledge of the Spanish language (Castellano), which any Tango enthusiast sooner or later absorbs anyway. You can simply listen to this and can not stop the clearly sung and repeated word Vuelve (“Come back”) in the chorus. A short search on the music notebook gives the following titles:


The final identification takes place here by briefly listening already at the second hit.
Of course you can also ask – it costs nothing, but can lead to frustration, especially if a good DJ does not know the title. If you are very desperate, you might want to ask the organizers or the dancers. Whether this is justified, I dare to doubt, so I do not provide a description of the search for the appropriate e-mail addresses (took me around 30 s).
But nevertheless, even they are Tango people and as such friendly and helpful.



-Richard (DJ Ricardo)




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