Por Una Cabeza is a popular tango that originally appeared as a song, written in 1935 by composer Carlos Gardel, with lyrics by Alfredo Le Pera. The title is translated as “by a head,” which is a Spanish horse-racing phrase referring to a horse that only narrowly wins a race by the length of its head. Notably, the tango has appeared in a number of films, including Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.
Christopher Selby’s arrangement of this charming tune for string orchestra will be an instant hit with conductors and players alike. It begins with a simple and flirtatious theme in G major that is repeatedly interrupted by a strong and passionate theme in the parallel minor. Its immediately likable melody and straightforward construction make it the perfect intermediate selection for exploring a number of musical and technical elements, including dynamic contrast, major and minor tonalities, arco and pizzicato technique, varied articulation, and musical form.
Included in each set of full score and parts:
- 1 Conductor’s Score
- 8 Violin I
- 8 Violin II
- 5 Viola
- 5 Cello
- 5 Bass