Bongo Drums And Latin Culture


Bongo drums, generally only called bongos, are the most recognizable of percussion instruments. Due to the pervasive recognition of Latin music (thank you, “Dancing With the Stars”), the sounds of these small drums are familiar to persons all over the world. Bongos, as the name signifies, constantly come in connected sets of 2. One drum is somewhat bigger than the other; the bigger is the “hembra” (the Spanish word for “female), while the small is the “macho” (the Spanish word for “male”). Bongo drums are capable of the lot of flexibility and their music is normally upbeat and fast.

Like other drums of the Americas, like the steel drum, bongo drums were initially brought to South America from Africa via the Atlantic slave trade. The African countries of Nigeria and Cameroon had fraternal companies that used a trio of drums called “bonko.” When the Africans were brought to the Americas, vestiges of these companies and their traditions came with them. The Abakua is a society of Afro-Cuban males that evolved from those fraternal companies. It continued to employ the bonko drums, but the instruments eventually spread beyond the fraternity. It is believed that this was the origin of the bongo in South America. The Abakua nonetheless exists in contemporary Cuba and it nonetheless utilizes bonkos that, if joined together in pairs, quite carefully resemble bongo drums.

The bodies of bongo drums are made from lumber, metal or composite contents connected with a thick part of lumber. The head is traditionally of animal skin, but as with alternative contemporary drums, artificial contents are popular in contemporary occasions. Originally, in the late 19th century, the heads of bongo drums were tacked on and tuned with a heat source. But since the 1940s, metal tuning lugs have been selected to enable for simpler tuning.

The sound of the bongo drums is high-pitched and as stated, the tempo is usually rapidly. When played, the drums ought to be held between your player’s knees; the bigger drum ought to be found on the side of the player’s dominant hand, that is commonly the appropriate 1. The drum heads are struck with both the fingers, palms, and occasionally sticks and brushes, although these last are modern innovations. The sound of the bongo drum is muted by placing element of 1 hand found on the drum head while striking with all the different hand.

Some quite distinguished dance designs of Latin America, including the mambo, salsa and conga, use the music of the bongo drum. The instrument’s capability for distinct percussion is imperative to these designs, which showcase distinct and frequently fast rhythms. In truth, the music of the bongos is frequently selected as a solo instrument in these music, a strategy that highlights the value of the song’s rhythm.

On a side note, although bongo drums are considered instruments of Latin America, drums resembling bongos is found in Morocco, Egypt and some Middle Eastern nations. These drums have rawhide heads like their American counterparts, but the bodies are of the ceramic nature. Such drums could additionally be heard in some conventional Spanish music, like flamenco, possibly due to the Moorish influence because country.

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