Nowadays the term “milonga” is just as likely to refer to a form of Argentinian/Uruguayan music–a musical predecessor of tango–as it is to a party or even a nightclub where people meet so they can dance tango. Originally the music consisted of songs performed by Argentinian and Uruguayan “gauchos” who fused Spanish habanera and Afro-Uruguayan candombe. Singers would improvise lyrics–often off-color lyrics–and accompany themselves with instrumentation as simple as a single guitar. As the genre caught on with immigrants from Europe and Africa and developed into tango, milonga ensembles grew into orchestras, and dance parties became tango extravaganzas. Let Libertango teaches more about the difference between milonga and tango.
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