You and I travel to the beat of a different drum….
So sang Linda Ronstad in the 1970s.
And so, perhaps, might my tango teacher.
It’s caused me to reflect on how people listen to music.
So, I’ve loaded up my car and home stereos with wall to wall tango. And I notice how much happier I am when something with lyrics comes along, although I am fond of tango waltzes.
When there are no words I feel myself drift away to several other things, but words, even Spanish or Greek, make me alert. In tango of course words like corazon, suenos, recuerdo, solidad enable guesswork and the songs tend to be about my heart recalling the dreams of yesteryear and the memories of lost love.
It’s why, I realise, I prefer opera to instrumental music and can usually catch a word or two about passion, living for love or art and so on.
So, I’m back trying to listen to the music. But with a singer I am imagining the dance to the voice not the beat underneath.
It’s not that I don’t hear the rhythm, and thought (clearly erroneously) that I was getting much better at hearing it and at waiting (even attempting a small adorno) for my partner to pick up the beat and move me along (or backwards usually).
So – leave aside the melody and listen to the beat. OK I will.