In this exercise, Ignacio Berroa explains the Clave and its application.
When we talk about AfroCuban music, Clave is the first thing of order. Clave is a Cuban instrument made from two pieces of wood, with African roots. The first Clave that I want to demonstrate is the Rumba Clave, which was brought to Cuba by the African slaves. This pattern, at the beginning, was a 12/8 or what people call a 6/8 pattern. Later, when the African communities went to the urban scenes and started mixing with the Spaniards, this went to 4/4. In order for the Africans to be accepted in the urban areas, they moved the Clave from 12/8 to 4/4. That’s why, most of of the time, when you hear people improvising, especially in percussion instruments, you can see how they go from 12/8 or 6/8 to 4/4 or 2/4, and they mix both time signatures. The Rumba Clave goes like this. One, two, three, four.