Kaleidoscopic Symmetries: Time and Pitch Relations in Conlon Nancarrow's "Tango?"
A study is presented that examines how the lines of Conlon Nancarrow's "Tango?" relate closely rhythmically and how their rhythmic construction ties tightly to their "tonal relationship." The work's multiple concurrent tempi motivate the choice of certain duration spaces. Nancarrow considered tempo to be a primary dimension of musical composition. "Tango?" combines multiple tempi concurrently and articulates pulses within these tempi irregularly. The work's lines, in multiple concurrent tempi, work together to create kaleidoscopic parallel and palindromic structures and to reference quirky versions of tango and ragtime characteristics.