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Rumba Clave – 3001 – E

12 November, 2017 826 30 No Comments


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.


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