Afro Cuban Music Essay

869 words - 3 pages

Afro-Cuban Music

African music has had a major influence on Cuban culture beginning in the early 1550’s through slave trade. Thousands of slaves were brought to Spain in the 1400’s and eventually migrated to Cuba. Since these “Ladinos” were accustomed to Spanish culture and language, they easily were able to get by in Cuba and even escape slavery. As a result, Slave owners in Cuba brought more slaves directly from Africa. In 1526, a Royal Decree allowed slaves to buy their freedom, resulting in increased interaction and ethnic mixing among Cubans and Africans. All aspects of both cultures began to blend, especially among working class Cubans and Africans. Music became a common bond between the two groups
Dance is just as important and music in Afro-Cuban Culture. The music is made to be danced to, and most of the popular Cuban dances that exist today are of African decent. The most popular are the rumba, danzon, and son. Especially among the working class poor, dancing and music was simply a way to blow off steam and have a good time.
The rumba is a dance and music genre that originated in Cuba in the mid 1800s. It has often been compared with North American blues, as it was a vehicle of protest and expression among the working class poor of places of Cuban and African decent. The rumba is a combination of percussion and vocal ensemble, and was often a community event where many were encouraged to participate.
There are three kinds of rumba, all having a similar rhythm but varying tempos. The Yambu, a couples dance, has a moderate tempo and is danced side-by- side. It is commonly enjoyed by older people due to its slower tempo. A more modern version is the Guaguanco, also a couples dance, with a faster tempo. It contains a gesture called the vacunao (literally vaccination), in which the male dancer moves is pelvis towards the female. Couples dance very provocatively but often do not even touch. Last is the Columbia, danced a single male. It is the most difficult of all three rumbas, with a very fast tempo.
The instruments used in the rumba each play a key part and are essential in constructing the unique sound of the rumba. The claves, a pair of wooden sticks struck against one another, begin the rumba. They help keep the rhythm and often accelerate the pulse and vary the patterns of the rumba. They also set the tempo and the mood of the rumba. The Conga drums, also essential, are barrel shaped and have varying pitches. The most important conga is the quinto, or lead...

Find Another Essay On Afro-Cuban Music

Rock Roots Essay

588 words - 2 pages Rock Roots: Africa and Cuba- a synthesis between 2 traditions & 2 continents to form rock- rock is the unique tribute to the power of integration- upon closer inspection, rock appears to be a purely African additionto the western musical institution- Afro-Cuban + black music of Mississippi and Louisiana share common ancestry:in the early 19th C. the Haitan revolution sent the islands plantation owners packing.Many managed to escape with

Buena Vista Social Club Essay

972 words - 4 pages the Buena Vista Social Club ensemble followed Gonzalez’s step, as there was hardly another choice for them. As a result, Buena Vista is basically a commercial product aimed at foreign audience. The album provides fourteen songs of different genres, most of them originated from Afro-Cubans, including son, darzón, bolero and the so-called Latin Jazz. However, the CD should not be considered the representative of Cuban music as a whole. Buena Vista

Cuba: A Profile

1156 words - 5 pages the music and dance of the Spanish and African groups have blended together, and some aspects have kept their individual flavor. When the Spaniards came to colonize Cuba, they brought European art music. Afro-Cuban religious music has provided a way for Africans to retain traces of life in their ancestral home. Rich, vibrant, layered, and soulful, Cuban music has long acted as a standard-bearer for the sounds and rhythms emanating out of Latin

Celia Cruz Life

712 words - 3 pages Salsa is one of the most distinctive genres of the 1900s in the music industry; characterized by a very lively, powerful and danceable upbeat. Salsa is a fusion of many Latin musical genres that combines rhythms, instruments and musical elements primarily from the Cuban son based on a three-two beat with syncopation rhythmic pattern known as the clave and Afro-Cuban dance. The roots of salsa originated in Eastern Cuba, but by mid-century the

Influence of African Music in North American and Latin American Music

1722 words - 7 pages , today’s music across both North and Latin America would not be the same if it weren’t for its African influence. Works Cited Baraka, Amiri. “Afro-Christian Music and Religion.” Blues People. New York: Morrow Quill, 1963. Print. Centeno, Jean Carlos. African Influence in Latin Music. 2013. Web. 11 April 2014. Fure, Rogelio Martinez. “Tambor.” Essays on Cuban Music. University Press of America, 1991. Print. Nettl, Bruno and Gerard Behague. “Afro

Different Styles of Latin Music

784 words - 3 pages because of the traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms; some say that it is from New York, New York because of all the traveling Latin musicians do. A Latin musician summed up their general feelings when asked about the thought of salsa by replying: “I’m a musician, not a cook.” (Tito Puente) There are musicians from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and South America going to New York to perform. Bringing their own native rhythms and musical forms with them, but as


1050 words - 4 pages Teja 3Yanet TejaMr. WixomENG 101-571425 September 20141028 words.Salsa.Salsa is a popular form of social dance that originated in New York with strong influences from Latin America, particularly Cuba and Puerto Rico. The movements of salsa have its origins in Cuban and incorporated elements of Swing dancing and Hustle, as well as elements of Afro Cuban and Afro Caribbean dances such as Guaguanco and Pa changa. There is some controversy

John Birk's Life and Accomplishments

1384 words - 6 pages the Afro-Cuban band of Alberto Socarras and Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans. He later returned to Teddy Hill’s band. Dizzy Gillespie joined Cab Calloway’s band in 1939. The band was one of the most highest-paid black bands in New York City during the time period. Gillespie developed an interest for jazz-fusion and Afro-Cuban music during his partnership with the band. He became friends with Mario Bauzi who was a part of Cab Calloway’s band. In 1940

The Rumba Dance

3242 words - 13 pages traditional and contemporary complexes of both music and dance. In the nineteenth century, Rumba was danced predominantly by low-class black Cubans. A strong black presence had already diffused into the island, yet, as ex-slaves, Afro-Cubans were excluded from society and denied Cuban identity. In a dissertation, Robin Moore confirms the contradictions amid that time period in Cuba: Representatives of the Cuban middle classes tended to view

Music is Socially Meaningful

2398 words - 10 pages Cubans. However, this genre of music actually originated in New York City, influenced by both cultures. The nature of this genre was established in the early 1930’s, in New York within the communities of Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants. What are the major Cuban contributions to this genre? Overall, the rhythms of the music are formulated from the Afro-Cubans traditions. Cuban impacts the genre from many aspects including race, rhythm

Gates’ and Wilson’s Theories on African Diaspora Musics

1576 words - 6 pages in American musics is Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Though his much deeper and more analytical approach to African musics is divergent from Wilson’s, both scholars acknowledge African diaspora musics and examine them in different ways based on different criteria. Cuba is considered one of the places where African music has been most fully preserved. Within this island nation there exist many secular and religious genres of Afro-Cuban music. These

Similar Essays

Latin Jazz Essay

703 words - 3 pages Latin Jazz      Last Sunday I went to jazz bar in Manhattan and I listened “Latin Jazz?E Latin jazz is “a fusion of African and indigenous rhythms from the entire Latin American Diaspora with the language of jazz?E It was first known as coop, but you are now familiar with it as afro-Cuban. When talking about afro-Cuban jazz, it is difficult to not mention certain turning points in history that made this music possible

Viva Raperos: How Music Can Interact With Politics

2223 words - 9 pages , musical culture. This period of Cuban musical history saw the influence of European religion, largely Catholicism, begin to become very strong within Cuba. One composer in particular began to blend traditional Afro-Cuban music with music of the Church. Esteban Salas y Castro was a world renowned Baroque era composer who wrote and taught music for the Church most of his life. Salas began to teach at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba in 1764

King Of Latin Jazz, Tito Puente

747 words - 3 pages Tito Puente is known internationally for his contribution to Latin Music as a bandleader, composer, arranger and percussionist, and has even been given the nickname "El Rey" or the "King of Latin Jazz". He was considered a great composer of Afro-Cuban Jazz. Puente published more that 400 compositions, made contributions to over 100 recorded albums, and won four grammy awards in his career. Tito Puente Latin Jazz is a style of music that

Analyse The Contribution Made To The Different Cuban Musical Genres By The Various Ethnic Groups Which Have Populated Cuba

1615 words - 6 pages vocals. Congo also encompasses the greatest diversity of peoples brought to Cuba during the years of slavery.The word rumba was used originally in Cuban music as a synonym for fiesta. To "make a rumba" was to throw a party. Many ethnic groups of the complex that nurtured Afro-Cuban music called their parties tumbas. For this purpose other expressions were adopted too, such as: bembé, macumbas, mambos and, of course, rumbas.In 1886 Cuba