Clavier Companion - July/August 2017 - 68
New Music Reviews
be played in a "sultry" manner, and the tango's character is emphasized by
frequent internal chromatic lines, the use of rubato, and some unexpected
The form of Teeny Tango is easy to distinguish. The tango, a couples
dance that originated in Montevideo, Uruguay, and Buenos Aires,
Argentina, usually contains two sections of equal length, fourteen to
twenty measures each. In Garrop's tango, the first section consists of two
phrases (fourteen bars) that end on a half cadence; the second section
is a variation of the first two phrases but leads to a perfect authentic
cadence. The tango's top voice carries a traditional-sounding diatonic
melody and is supported by a clear harmonic bass.
Susan Geffen is a Managing
Editor of Clavier Companion.
She is active as an educator,
editor, adjudicator, presenter, and
critic. She recently served on the
press jury for the 2016 Cliburn
Ernest Kramer is Professor of
Music at Northwest Missouri
State University. He teaches piano, harpsichord, advanced theory, and composition. His piano
compositions have been published by Hal Leonard and Alfred
Teeny Tango also contains two prominent rhythmic motives. The first is
in the bass, a traditional tango rhythm pattern of dotted quarter, eighth,
quarter, and quarter. The second is a syncopated motive that appears no
fewer than fifteen times in the soprano: eighth, quarter, eighth, and quarter.
Three other notable features are at work in this piece. First, the tango
contains several polyrhythms, the most difficult one being triplet quarters
against eighth notes. Secondly, the internal melodic lines are chromatic.
Thirdly, Garrop frequently employs parallel chords reminiscent of Debussy;
she seems to especially enjoy using the fully diminished seventh chord in
highly chromatic parallel passages.
Teeny Tango is best suited for the moderately advanced performer.
Although most chords span an octave or less and are easily playable,
the chromaticism, internal cross-rhythms, and hand crossings require
In this day of experimental and often cacophonous music, Garrop's Teeny
Tango is a refreshing change. The piece is tuneful and highly approachable.
This miniature is sure to delight both audiences and performers. (Theodore
To watch a video of Stacy Garrop discussing her creative process, visit
this page of our digital edition at claviercompanion.com.
Artina McCain, D.M.A., is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Memphis. She enjoys an
active career as a solo and chamber performer, educator, and lecturer. For more information, visit
Suzanne Schons teaches piano
at the University of St. Thomas
in St. Paul, MN, and at the
K&S Conservatory of Music in
Woodbury, MN. She is a frequent
especially on the topic of the brain
and learning for music teachers.
Carolyn True has been a member
of the Trinity University music faculty since 1990. She is active as a
soloist and chamber musician and
is a prize winner in national and international competitions. Dr. True
holds a D.M.A. from the Eastman
School of Music, an M.M. from the
University of Maryland-College
Park, and a B.M. from the University of Central Missouri.