The Bandoneon: sound of Tango

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 99,764 granted in 2020
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/04/2020 - 25/10/2023
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Uruguay


Being implemented by the Cienarte Foundation in cooperation with the Interministerial Commission for the Support of Tango and Candombe, this thirty-month project is aimed at safeguarding the traditional sound of tango produced by the bandoneon, its emblematic instrument. The bandoneon is an essential part of tango (a binational nomination between Argentina and Uruguay, inscribed on the Representative List of the 2003 Convention in 2009) and is now considered as one of the fundamental signs of Rio de la Plata identity. Nowadays, however, there are only a handful of bandoneonists, mostly over sixty years of age, and there are only three luthiers dedicated to tuning and maintaining the bandoneon in Uruguay. To address this situation, this project has the following objectives: to create an inventory of bandoneons, players and luthiers; to establish a decentralized bandoneon school offering free classes for young people in four regions in the country; to develop an updated bandoneon teaching method; to generate lutherie opportunities for young people; to increase awareness of the instrument in elementary schools; and to carry out an evaluation of the bandoneon and players. A Bandoneon Fest is also being established. As a result, the people of Uruguay are becoming more aware of the relevance of this instrument as living heritage. Knowledge about the bandoneon is being transmitted to new generations of musicians and the training of luthiers capable of restoring, tuning and manufacturing new instruments help address the lack of bandoneons. Finally, the value of the bandoneonists as bearers and performers of this key tradition of living heritage shallbe socially recognized.

News and activities:

01/01/2022 - 01/12/2023 – Practical handbook on periodic reporting with a self-learning tool on the Overall results framework for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage 01/10/2022 - 01/10/2023 – Strengthening capacities at the national and local levels for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in the United Republic of Tanzania and contributing to sustainable development