History of the conga drum
How big is the conga drum
Conga drums are often made from wood or fiberglass and have a drum head with screws for tuning. The head is tensioned by the heat of a fire since the membrane is tacked onto the shell of the drum. It is known as the solo drum and the lead singer of the three-part conga drum setup. In Cuba the word makuta indicates a festive gathering. There appears, however, an extensive article by Ortiz in the third volume of the work aforementioned under the title "The Conga" where it is evident that here the author is referring to Cuban tumbadoras. During tuning it is suggested to "let the drum speak" and to conform tuning reasonably closely to the natural resonance pitch that the cavity of the drum interior presents. In the s the conga drum gained much attention when Latin music became popular across the U. Bass tone: Played with the full palm on the head, producing a low muted sound. The makuta drums, also brought to Cuba by Congo or Bantu people, are yet another forebear of the conga drums. Terminology Conga set with four sizes of drums In English, "conga" can refer to drums of a number of sizes. The ricardo is the smallest conga and has the highest pitch, followed by the requinto, quinto, conga, the tumba; and the supertumba is the largest size conga drum and it also has the lowest pitch. However he also indicates later that "the conga was born in Havana in times of Spanish rule" Ortiz, F. When conga drums are being used as purely a percussion instrument they do not require tuning to a specific note.
The mid-sized drum is called mula but also segundo and dos y dos. Thence came the complicated tensioning system with its metal head rim, hooked screws and tensioning lugs, ensuring that the instrument did not gradually slip out of tune during extended periods of performance.
The modern heads are secured with special rings that are used to adjust tension as needed. By the early s different bands and orchestras in Cuba incorported the conga into its instrumentation.
The Tumbadora or Tumba is the low pitched and largest drum of the congas. This offered job opportunities to many living in western Cuba, who moved eastward principally during the time of the sugar harvest.
Basics The conga drum is a tall and narrow drum, that has a single head and is generally placed on tripod drum stand to hold it vertically. The son, a traditional music genre of rural eastern Cuba, had reached Havana during the s and there taken on new forms of interpretation.
African conga drums
This practice, however, survives only in the village of Quiebra Hacha in the province of Havana. In the '30s American music was beginning to be strongly influenced by Latin music and that certainly continues to this day. This staff or makuta is used at certain moments in the ceremony to strike the ground in a rhythmic accompaniment to a song or dance. Conga player backs South African singer Simphiwe Dana In the United States , Desi Arnez was among the first mainstream artists to introduce the conga-type drum to a larger audience though the medium of television. To play, the musician remains seated with the drum between the legs and resting on the ground. Congas or Conga Drums works just fine! The biggest drum bears the name caja, although is it also called llamador "caller". Panderos are also used in Dominican folk music, like congos, salve, and palos. The term also refers to a kind of ritual staff to which is attached a spherical receptacle containing magical elements or objects. Typical congas stand approximately 75 cm from the bottom of the shell to the head.
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