Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Rathbun

Second Advisor

Matthew Fries

Third Advisor

Michael Duffy IV


Jazz composition, Tango, Jazz, Astor Piazzolla, Pablo Ziegler

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The history of jazz music is not very long in comparison to the history of music in general – from the end of the 19th century until present. This period, however, is very dense in terms of musical influences and became especially denser recently because of globalization.

Several researchers explored the jazz influences in the music of Astor Piazzolla, whom renovated traditional tango. While Piazzolla is considered a tango composer, some jazz bands use Piazzolla’s music as jazz standards and create compositions with traditional elements of jazz, such as improvisation. There are also composers influenced by tango music who write new compositions combining tango and jazz.

This paper investigates how tango interacts with jazz and reflects on the topic of stylistic borders. It provides a detailed musical analysis of several jazz-tango pieces, including two versions of “Violentango” and “Counterpoint” by Astor Piazzolla performed in traditional and jazz interpretation, Pablo Ziegler’s original composition from a Grammy-awarded album Jazz Tango, and my original jazz-tango suite Tango at the Fingertips completed as a part of this research.

Included in

Composition Commons