The clave is a rhythmic pattern used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music. It is present in a variety of genres such as Abakuá music, rumba, conga, son, mambo, salsa, songo, timba and Afro-Cuban jazz. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms.
Practice playing the clave with the Latin Percussion White Wood Clave: http://amzn.to/1X5AzJd
The clave pattern originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions, where it serves essentially the same function as it does in Cuba. In ethnomusicology, clave is also known as a key pattern, guide pattern, phrasing referent, timeline, or asymmetrical timeline. The clave pattern is also found in the African diaspora musics of Haitian Vodou drumming, Afro-Brazilian music and Afro-Uruguayan music (candombe). The clave pattern is used in North American popular music as a rhythmic motif or ostinato, or simply a form of rhythmic decoration.
The hand percussion instrument known as claves, consist of a pair of short (about 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in), thick dowels. Traditionally they are made of wood, typically rosewood, ebony or grenadilla. In modern times they are also made of fibreglass or plastics.
When struck they produce a bright clicking noise. Claves are sometimes hollow and carved in the middle to amplify the sound.
Learn the son and rumba clave beats and rhythms in this video lesson.
Latin Percussion Instructor: Edgardo Cambon
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