Chiquinha Gonzaga (born Francisca Edwiges Neves Gonzaga) was a Brazilian composer, pianist, and conductor, born October 17, 1847 and died February 28, 1935. 

Since Gonzaga was born in to a military family, she received an excellent education. In addition to learning how to read and write, she was taught piano, and fell in love with it at a young age. She wrote her first composition, a holiday piece, when she was only 11. 

After some failed relationships, Gonzago moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1876, and worked on composing and playing piano. Her tangos and waltzes were wildly successful, and she, along with her music, were and well-regarded and liked. 

Gaúcho is one of many tangos she wrote, and is a fun and bold little number. In the left hand you'll hear the common tango rhythm of dotted eighth and sixteenth, with a melody that climbs up chromatically, and finds its way down in a similar fashion. After is a more conservative section, with eighth note and two sixteenth note rhythms replacing the former rhythm in the left hand before returning to the cheeky and brazen beginning. It's a short work, but no doubt would be a crowd pleaser!

Here's a recording of this great work for you to enjoy!*

Chiquinha Gonzaga

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