Juan Chattah

Kristin Wendland


Nation/Culture.   Argentina is located in southern South America. Its borders include Uruguay, Brazil, and Bolivia to the north, Chile to the west and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It is a nation comprised of 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, its capital and largest city. With a population of over 41 million people, Argentina’s diverse citizens come from both indigenous tribes, most notably the Mapuche, Kolla, Toba, Guarani, Wichi, Diaguita, Mocovi, and Huarpe, and European immigrants, most notably from Spain and Italy but also from northern and eastern European. The country’s name derives from argentum ("silver"), since the first Spanish conquerors came to the Rio de la Plata region in search of “silver mountains.”

The official language of Argentina is Spanish, but with unique inflections that differentiates it from Spanish spoken in Spain (such as the use of ‘vos’ rather than the tu for second person singular in informal/colloquial exchanges).



Folk. Traditional genres of folkloric music are rooted in a blend that merges indigenous musics with the influence of Spanish and immigrant Central European Styles. Often these realize as music/dance forms: chacarera, chamamé, gato, ranchera, samba (distinct from the Brazilian samba), and vals. Folk music can be heard during outdoor horse events known as jineteada or jineteada y doma in the country (pampas) and include musical forms such as cifras, estilos, milongas, and rancheras; additionally, folk traditions are at the center of the various peñas and at festivals like in Cosquín (in the province of Córdoba).

Tango. Tango, the urban music of Buenos Aires, may be heard in concert venues around the city such as Torquato Tasso, and in traditional milongas (tango social dances) in clubs such as El Beso and Salon Canning. The annual Tango Festival in August features concerts of prominent contemporary musicians, seminars devoted to the history of tango, and the Mundial (Tango Dance World cup). For more information visit:

Rock. Rock in Argentina started developing in the 1960’s. Creating an identity of its own, using various musical genres derived from rock and roll and combining them with genuine styles, and using a language other than English, Argentinean rock rapidly became the most commercially successful outside its borders. Its pioneers were Sandro, Luis Alberto Spinetta , Los Abuelos de la Nada, Litto Nebbia, Norberto ‘Pappo’ Napolitano. Later, other popular soloists and bands appear: Charly García, Alejandro Lerner, Virus, Soda Stereo, Los Enanitos Verdes, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, among many others.

Cuarteto (from Córdoba). Popular from the 1940’s, this music/dance style was named after Cuarteto Leo. It incorporates the ‘tunga-tunga’ accompaniment style which resembles tropical genres (such as guarachas and merengue). Popular performers of cuarteto include: Carlitos "La Mona" Jiménez, Damián Córdoba, La Banda de Carlitos, Ulises Bueno, Cachumba, Chebere.


Notable Musicians. Argentina is commonly considered the capital of the Tango. Yet its fascinating history, spectacular geography, and cosmopolitan culture, all contribute to forwarding musical multiculturalism into the 21st century, filled with evolving musical traditions and innovations beyond the archetypical notion of Tango music. In numerous genres, from Folkloric to Electroacoustic, from Concert music to Popular styles, Argentina has produced numerous world-renowned composers, performers, and conductors.

Concert Music Composers.

Alejandro Iglesias Rossi

Alberto Ginastera

Carlos Guastavino

Alberto Lysy

Concert Music Performers/Conductors.

Marta Argerich

Luis Ascot

Daniel Baremboim


Mercedes Sosa

Eduardo Falu

Popular - Cuarteto.

Mona Gimenez

Popular - Rock.

Soda Estereo (Gustavo Cerati),

Charly Garcia,

Fito Paez

Enanitos Verdes - Virus


Astor Piazzolla

Horacio Salgán

Leopoldo Federico

Aníbal Troilo

Carlos Gardel

Film Music.

Lalo Schiffrin

Gustavo Santaolalla


Isabel Aretz

Carlos Vega

Moreno Chá

Ana Lucia Frega


Music in Higher Education. The university system is composed of: 47 National Universities, 46 Private Universities, 7 State Institutes, and 12 Private Institutes. Yet, the Conservatory system is extremely popular and provides a platform for young musicians to access higher learning (within music) at a very early age. The following is a list of the main conservatories and other institutions dedicated to the studies of music:


Public Conservatories in Buenos Aires and surrounding areas.

Conservatorio Nacional "López Buchardo," Av. Córdoba 2445 (1120) Buenos Aires

Tel.: 961-9943/4736/0161

Conservatorio Municipal "Manuel de Falla" ->Sarmiento 1551 piso 6º tel:371-5898/374-1251

Conservatorio Provincial "Juan José Castro" La Lucila ->Maipú 4162. La Lucila Tel: 4799-6896

Conservatorio Provincial de San Martín, Tucumán 2153. San Martín. Tel: 4752-8322

Conservatorio Provincial de Música de Bandfield "Julián Aguirre," Hipólito Irigoyrn

7672- (1828) Bandfield. Tel: 4242-0635

Conservatorio Provincial de Morón, San Martín 336. Morón. Tel:4629-3173

Conservatorio Provincial "Gilardo Gilardi" de La Plata, Calle 49 nº342.

La Plata- Instituto Vocacional de Arte, Garay 1684. Tel: 4304-4943

Instituto Municipal de Música de Avellaneda, Sarmiento 99. Tel: 4201-8843

Escuela de Música Popular de Avellaneda, Italia 36. Tel: 4222-6781

Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, Viamonte 1164.

Escuela Municipal de Bellas Artes, Rivadavia y Sarmiento (1878) Quilmes. Tel: 4253-0700

Concervatorio de Morón, San Marin 370 (1708) Morón. Tel: 4629-3173


Conservatories in states other than Buenos Aires.

Consevatorio Provincial de Música, Lavalle 375 (4600) Jujuy

Instituto Superior de Arte de la Provincia de Formosa, 9 de julio y España (3600) Formosa

Escuela Superior de Música, Roca 43 - (8300) Neuquen. Tel: (0943)433200

Instituto Superior de Música, " Lilia P. Elizondo" Roque Saenz Peña 276 (3500) Resistencia Chaco

Conservatorio Provincial de Música, "I:T:Garzón" Figueroa Alcorta 265 (5000) Córdoba

Instituto Nacional de Arte de General Roca, 9 de julio 1043, (8832) General Roca -Río Negro

Departamento de Música de la U.N.S.J. Ignacio de la Roza 235 (5400) San Juan

Instituto Superior de Música de la UNL. San Jerónimo 1750 (3000) Santa Fé

Escuela de Música de Rosario, Berutti 2191 (2000) Rosario -Santa Fé Tel: 4824912

Escuela de Música de la Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Sarmiento 607 (5500) Mendoza

Tel: (061) 4257285

Escuela Provincial de Música, Danza y Teatro, Italia 61 (3100) Paraná -Entre Rios

Escuela de Artes Musicales de la Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Chacabuco 243 (4000) Tucumán

Escuela Superior de Música de la Provincia de Salta, Zuviría 180 -(4400) Salta Tel: 4210084

Escuela de Música de San Luis, Colón 508- (5700) San Luis

Conservatorio de Música de Santa Cruz, (9400) Río Gallegos-Santa Cruz

Escuela de Música de Concepción del Uruguay, 9 de Julio 282-(3260) Concepción del Uruguay-Entre Rios

Escuela Superior de Música, 28 de julio 19- (9100) Trelew-Chubut

Escuela de Música, Universidad Adventista del Plata, Puigary-Entre Rios

Escuela de Música Municipal, Julio A. Roca 549 Pto. Madryn-Chubut Tel: (0965) 71233-1147

Escuela Superior de Música de Trelew, Gales 270 (y Mitre) Tel: (0965)36057

Conservatorio Provincial, San Martin 1049. San Miguel de Tucumán Tel: 4215864

Liceo Municipal de Santa Fé, San Martin 2076. Tel: (042)39696

Escuela de Música Villa Lib. Gral. San Martin Edison 420 - (3103) Entre Rios

Instituto Superior de Formación y Capacitacion Musical, Catamarca 853- (3400) Corrientes

Tel: 63975

Conservatorio de Catamarca, San Martin 555- (4700) Catamarca

Conservatorio Municipal de Olavarría, San Martin 2876- (7400) Olavarría-Buenos Aires

Conservatorio Provincial de Música, 25 de Mayo y San Luis- (7600) Mar del Plata Tel. 31668

Conservatorio de Junin, Rivadavia 16- (6000) Junin

Conservatorio Provincial de Chivilcoy, Av.Soarez 61-(6620) Chivilcoy Tel. 22455

Conservatorio de Música de Bahia Blanca, Belgrano 446-(8000) Bahia Blanca. Tel.27290

Instituto de Música Municipal de Vicente López, Ricardo Gutierrez 1060- (1638) Vicente López Tel. 791-5537

Instituto Superior del profesorado provincial nº6, Libertad 617 (4200) Santiago del Estero

Tel: 242-0635

Conservatorio de Música, San Martin 175 (4427) Cafayate- Salta

Escuela de Música, Av.Belgrano 350 (4200) Sgo del Estero


Private Institutes and Academies in Buenos Aires and surrounding areas.

Escuela de Música de Buenos Aires, Ciudad de la Paz 1831 Tel: 4782-4007

Academia de música "Ricardo Pellican," J.B.Alberdi 1406 Tel: 431-2471

Academia Bach Juan S. M.Sastre 3148 Tel: 501-7249

Asociación Musical Pueyrredón, Carlos A. López 2459. Tel: 571-1043

Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Música Contemporánea (CEAMC), Sta. Fe 1769 4º Piso.

Tel: 812-8865

Collegium Musicum de Bs.As. Libertad 1630. Tel: 815-0447/5192/5892

Conservatorio Surif, Díaz Colodrero 265. Tel: 521-6445

Conservatorio Amanda y Elsa Bolia, Independencia 2085

Conservatorio D'Andrea, Pte. Perón 1919.Tel: 953-0494

Conservatorio Dima, J. Alvarez 2332. Tel: 832-1508

Conservatorio Ed. Albistur, Thames 2293. Tel: 774-7448

Conservatorio Elena Spisso, Estados Unidos 521. Tel: 362-9647

Conservatorio Fracassi, Arcos 1535. Tel: 783-8029

Conservatorio Galvani Fundador Rotta, Hipólito Irigoyen 489. Tel: 362-7810

Conservatorio Ibero Americano y Rossini, Lavalle 1710. Tel: 371-5980

Antiguo Conservatorio Musical Beethoven, Sta. Fe 1736 Telfax: 811-3971

Conservatorio Thibaud-Piazzini SRL, Sánchez de Bustamante 72. Tel: 861-3629

Conservatorio Weber, Primera Junta 2326. Tel: 631-1536

Conservatorio Julián Aguirre, Lomas de Zamora

Escuela de Música Rubén Ferrero, Viel 1272 Tel: 92-0788

Escuela de Jazz Alejandro Moro Marta Bellomo, Pje Emilio Zola 5185 Tel: 774-8902/553-0234

Instituto Lucchelli Bonadeo, Gral. Venancio Flores 185. Tel: 903-8845

Instituto Tecnológico de Música Contemporánea (ITMC), Av. San Isidro 4142. Tel: 702-2585

La casa de La escalera, Mariano Acosta 315 Tel: 671-2981


Universities with strong Music Departments.

Universidad Nacional de Cuyo.

Universidad Nacional de La Plata

Facultad de Artes y Ciencias Musicales de la Universidad Católica Argentina

Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

Universidad de Mar del Plata

Universidad de Bahía Blanca

Universidad Nacional de Rosario


CD Recommendations.

Rough Guide to the Music of Argentina

Tango & Folkore Music of Argentina - Epsa World Music

Nostalgias Argentinas: Piano Music of Argentina

Todos! / 100% Rock Nacional


Recommendations for Viewing.

Cafe de los Maestros (Miguel Kohan)

Documentary about the last of the great tango maestros from the Golden Age.

Si sos brujo (Caroline Neal)

Documentary about the formation of the Orquesta escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce.


Recommended Websites.

Most comprehensive tango website for musicians, poets, singers, audio files, and sheet music.

Comprehensive directory of music schools and conservatories (complementing the ones listed here).

Most comprehensive and updated site about cuarteto.


Recommendations for Reading.

Cuarteto Music and Dancing from Argentina: In Search of the Tunga-Tunga in Cordoba (Jane Lynn Florine)

Tango!: The Dance, the Song, the Story (Simon Collier, Artemis Cooper and Ken Haas)

The Rioplatnense Guitar: The Early Guitar and It's Context in Argentina and Uruguay (Richard Pinnell)

El Tango y Sus Circunstancias: 1880-1920 (Fernando O. Assuncao)

The Film Music of Alberto Ginastera: An Introduction to the Sources and Their Significance (Deborah Schwartz-Kates)