The combination of these instruments provide the multiple and unique rhythms influenced by the Cuban son (song) and music of Africa. The key to salsa instrumentation is the beat, so percussion instruments are diverse and often numerous. Danzon marks a shift to African influence, and features heavy reliance on congas. Salsa music, like many forms of Latin music, is defined foremost by the percussion. One sees the strongest elements of salsa music's African influence in the types of drums musicians play. This is a potbellied jar that is especially used for storing oil or milk during transport. The combination of these instruments provide the multiple and unique rhythms influenced by the Cuban son (song) and music of Africa. Tito Puente worked for a time in the Afro-Cubans before starting up his own successful band. In the 1950s, the bands in Havana were influenced by the American Swing bands and tended to have several musicians in the group and sometimes had about 13 members. Mambo, a term which refers to a Haitian voudou priestess, marks a bridge between salsa and jazz-style big bands. The deeper sound is produced by striking the center of the drum with the hand while a short and muted sound is produced when the edge of the drum is struck with the palm. The instruments used in salsa music vary depending upon the specific genre and the geographic influence, but the basic salsa setup demands a brass section, piano and a rhythm section. It helps guide other rhythmic instruments. They also often needed a music director for their performances. The mostly-African instruments gave more life and soul to Cuban Son, providing the distinct rhythmic sound that’s very unique in Salsa. The cowbell is also called the cencerro. Claves, a pair of short sticks made of special hardwood like ebony, are eight inches in length and one inch in diameter. From these elements musicians create a singular sound representing a fusion of African and Spanish traditions. It rises above all the other instruments and the particular sound that not only carries the music’s rhythm, but also guides the dancers’ steps and conducts the melody. Parallel notches are carved on one side of the gourd. Salsa ensembles may often have two to three times as many percussionists as any other instrument. In all original Son bands, the Botijuela, sometimes called “bunga,” was used as a bass instrument. To see how salsa musicians coordinate their brass sections with the rhythm-happy percussion section, it is best to visit the place that inspired the original forms. From these elements musicians create a singular sound representing a fusion of … Places such as Venezuela, Peru, Panama, Chile, Mexico and Colombia have adapted salsa, sometimes adding extra percussion and speeding up the core rhythm, and other times varying the beat to give space for vocals and soloists. The sound the sticks made when struck together is metallic and very distinct. Rhythm is very important to Salsa and Latin-based music, with the claves, congas, double bass and piano the most essential. So let’s get on with the background information on most of Salsa’s traditional instruments. The musician holds these in the knees and played with the hands. Like the other instruments such as the claves and the bongos, the tumbadora is very vital to Latin rhythms, as it produces the Afro-Cuban rhythms that are very much a part of Salsa music. The güiro can likewise produce long and short sounds depending on how the notches are scraped up and down. It is a vital part of the Latin rhythmic styles, including Rumba and Conga and an instrument that is absolutely necessary for all Cuban rhythms. The timbales, which are a derivation of the timpani, consists of a high-sounding series of instruments, including the chachacha bell, the salsa bell, the wood block and the cymbals. The cowbell is indispensable in congas and rumbas but not in boleros. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. It is played along with the claves. To know Salsa music is to know its instruments, so you can learn to distinguish the different sounds and follow the beats better, particularly the claves. At the heart of Salsa music is percussion and it’s the reason why a typical Salsa band has a few musicians playing the congas, timbales, cowbells, bongos, maracas, claves, marimba and vibraphone. The sizes of these shallow drums are very distinct. Other salsa instruments include the vibraphone, marimba, bass, guitar, violin, piano, accordion, and flute, and a brass section of trombone, trumpet, and saxophone. Cuba's early prototype of salsa music is son, which incorporates a call-and-response structure between the vocalist and chorus. Of course the other instruments combine to add the spicy flavor to the sound. Habanera is Havana-inspired song and dance. Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. It somewhat resembles the modern beat box or cajón. Differences Between American & Latin Music, Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved. To use it as a musical instrument, a hole is carved on the side of the vessel near the base of the neck. Salsa Dance Styles – New York Style or On2, The Rich History Behind the Thanksgiving Celebration, The Potential and Benefits of Languages Localization in India. Salsa has lit up the globe. A ratchet sound is produced by rubbing a stick or metal rod along the notches, which produces different sounds depending on the materials used to scrape the notches. It is also very essential in playing conga rhythms that is why the tumbadora is also referred to as conga drum. The diameter of the larger drum is 14 inches and located at the left while the right drum is 13 inches in diameter. It is often played by the singer, just like the maracas. There are no upcoming events at this time. Like the rest of the instruments, the timbales are very important to Latin American music.
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