Latin Rhythms

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Rhythms included in Afro Latin Drum Machine (iPad - iPhone)

Latin Rhythms

Latin rhythms include the music of all Latin American countries and cross all varieties: from the simple northern music of Mexico and the United States to the sophisticated habanera of Cuba, from the symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos to the simple sounds of the quena. Latin music is very diverse, the only similarity being the use of Latin languages, predominantly Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. Even so, Latin rhythms have been influenced by other places, especially by Afro music.

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Included in Afro Latin Drum Machine

Cha Cha

Singable and danceable genre. Part of the danzón, specifically the so-called new rhythm, already under the influence of son, promoted by Orestes and Israel López, members of the Arcaño y sus Maravillas orchestra. It was created by Enrique Jorrín in the late 1940s. Jorrín himself says of the genre: "I built some danzones in which the musicians of the orchestra made small choirs. The public liked it and I took that line. In the Constancia danzón I interspersed some well-known montunos and the participation of the public in the choirs led me to make more danzones of this style. I asked the orchestra to sing in unison. With the unison three things were achieved: that the lyrics were heard more clearly, more powerfully, and the quality of the voices of the musicians who were not really singers was concealed. In 1948 I changed the style of a Mexican song from Guty de Cárdenas: Never. The first part I did in its original style and the second part I gave a different rhythmic sense to the melody. I liked it so much that I decided to make the last parts independent from the danzón, that is, the third trio or montuno. Then pieces such as La engañadora 1951), which have an introduction, a repeated part A, B and A, ending with a coda in the form of a rumba. Almost at the beginning of composing, I watched the steps of the danzón-mambo dancers. I noticed the difficulty of the majority k in the syncopated rhythms, because the steps of the dancers are produced to setback, that is to say in the second and fourth quaver of the measure (2/4). The misadventure dancers and the syncopated melodies make it extremely difficult to place the steps with respect to the music. I started to make melodies that could be danced to without the need for the accompaniment, trying to make as few syncopations as possible. With this, the accent that occurs in the fourth quaver (2/4) -in the mambo- moved towards the first half -in the Cha-cha-cha-chá-. With melodies that can almost be danced to on their own and the balance that emerges between melodies in time and setback is that the Cha-chaçhá." It is influenced by this genre by Madrid's chotis.


Singable and danceable genre. Its origin is in the confluence of the Hispanic and the African, but embodied in something purely Cuban. During the nineteenth century it was linked to the bufo theatre, from where it later moved to the ballrooms. "Throughout the current century, guaracha loses its previous structure of copla and chorus, with the emergence of the form of a singing section and another chanted section; it loses alternation and is assimilated to the forms of the binary song. Rhythmically, it presents a series of combinations (6 X 8, with 2 X 4). His text is generally picaresque, mocking, satirical. It reflects the atmosphere of the time and collects popular types of issues or humorous events.


The music and dance of the Cuban Carnival was always very popular in Cuba, and has exerted an important influence on other genres of Cuban music, such as the Conga de Salón and the rhythm Mozambique.

Rumba Española

Rumba Flamenca originated from the mixture of flamenco with Cuban rumba, in Spain it became known in theatres and variety shows, where it would be adopted by flamenco performers. The rhythm of the rumba is binary, close to the tumbao of the Cuban rumba, but accompanied by guaracha. It is characterized by the sound distribution of the habanera cell, where the accents in parts 1 and 3 of the beat correspond to the bass register, while the palms accompany accentuating the 2 and 4. The counterpoint produced by this simple rhythmic structure gives rise to one of the most suggestive rhythmic accompaniments of flamenco.


Cumbia is a musical genre and folk dance from the Colombian Caribbean region and reflects the country's cultural richness. This musical genre expanded to the rest of Latin America in the 1940s following different commercial adaptations. The scholars recognize its "tri-ethnic" character, that is, it is the product of the fusion of three cultures: African, indigenous and white.

The black culture endowed the rhythmic structure and the percussion. This contribution comes from the cumbé of the island of Bioko, in Equatorial Guinea, the Bantu dance and rhythm of the black slaves; in fact, it was one of the musical forms that emerged from the collective work. The indigenous culture mainly contributed the aerophones instruments, that is to say, the different flutes. Finally, the white one provided the songs, the choreographic variations and the typical costumes of the dance.


Mambo originally developed from danzon, but with African roots. He eliminated the parts of the traditional danzón and incorporated (onomatopoeic sounds) shouts to it. He used a very Cuban percussion (on time), contrasting with a counterpoint of saxophones in unison (syncopated). It had its roots, first, in the new rhythm imposed by the Arcaño y sus Maravillas orchestra, which served as a stylistic framework for Orestes López to compose his danzón Mambo (1938), where syncopated motifs extracted from the son join improvised variations in the flute; then in the arrangements for jazz orchestra, making the mambo syncopated mode independent of the structure of the danzón, made by Bebo Valdés and René Hernández, in the mid-1940s. Dámaso estructura del danzón, by Bebo Valdés and René Hernández, a. Dámaso Pérez Prado takes all these elements, experiments, and from there systematically emerges, the mambos that inaugurated the genre worldwide. Rico mambo, in 1951, was the first to become popular. He's got jazz influences. In the mambo, the brass section achieves extraordinary things with the melody, harmony and rhythm, supported by the saxophones, while the Cuban percussion provides the necessary base.
It presents among its characteristics, syncopated rhythm and the elimination of the singer, returning to the instrumental interpretation (syncopation is the displacement of the rhythmic accent from the high tempo to the low tempo of the bar). Its difference is that it has a time of silence in each measure, which corresponds to a pause in the movement of those who practice this dance. The progressive relationship between musicians and dancers made it possible for percussion to gradually take on an increasingly predominant role.
He and Benny Moré made it popular with the rest of the world. Over time, the mambo has developed three different rhythms: the single, double and triple mambo. The latter gave way to the cha-cha-cha that we know today.


Singable genre, situated, like the criolla, with which it bears a resemblance, in the field of Cuban song. It refers, in its themes, to rural issues, in a bucolic, idyllic way. Use versified and six-by-eight stanzas. The first part is written in minor mode and the second part in major mode. It always concludes on the dominant tone of the tone in which it is composed. There is a modality also called guajira, but that consists, when fused with the son, in the guajirason.


Singable and danceable genre completely different from its Spanish counterpart, of which it only keeps the generic nomenclature. It arose in the final third of the last century in the traditional trova of Santiago de Cuba. José Pepe Sánchez is considered one of its earliest followers; the master, a pioneer in the definition of the stylistic characters of the genre. There were frequent boleros that, like the one entitled Tristezas, by Pepe Sánchez himself, comprised two musical periods of sixteen measures, separated by an instrumental passage, played on the high strings of the guitar, which they called a parade. Those boleros could be structured in a major or minor way and sometimes alternating both modalities. The bolero is, without a doubt, the first great vocal synthesis of Cuban music, which, when it crosses borders, registers universal permanence.

In the traditional bolero, the fusion of Hispanic and Afro-Cuban factors is total, which appear equally in the accompanying line of the guitar and in the melody, where the sonoro-percutive accent of the Cuban cinquillo is imposed on the words of the literary text, within the 2 X 4 compass (the Spanish bolero used the 3 X 4 compass). Already in the second decade of the present century the traditional bolero is evolving. Qualified composers, pianists, alternate the figuration of the cinquillo, sending it to the accompanying left hand on the piano, making melodic and harmonic ornamental figurations. Little by little, the composers began to play the music of verses by well-known poets. This is the case in Aquellos ojos verdes, lyrics by Adolfo Utrera, music by Nilo Menéndez, a bolero that quickly achieves the most complete universal success. Already in this composition the verses impose their prosodic rhythm, with which the cinquillo loses its traditional hegemony.

The bolero continues to develop, enrich and evolve, but even when it is played by different instrumental groups, it never loses its character, since the percussionist instruments of the son adapt and provide the necessary framework for its fullest expression. Thus, we can affirm that it is entirely up to our country to determine the evolution of the bolero and not to other countries, as it has sometimes wanted to be believed. However, it must be recognized that the international triumph of bolero determined the incorporation of the genre into the creation of very significant composers. This is the case of the brilliant Mexican creator Agustín Lara, who gave it his very personal melodicopoietic seal. In Puerto Rico also very valuable composers, like Rafael Hernández, cultivated it in profusion. The bolero has had successful variants: the bolero-moruno, the bolero-mambo and the bolero-beguine, very cultivated by Mexican and Cuban composers. The strength of the bolero is indestructible; thus, very recently, during a true invasion of beat music, the modality of percussion was heard inverting the accents; that is, highlighting the weak, but always implicit, present, alive times, the rhythmic sensuality of the Cuban bolero.

Conga de Santiago

Danceable and singable genre. It serves as music for the carnival troupes. It originated in the festivities of the black slaves. In the early days of the republic, it became an element of political propaganda, used by the candidates in the pre-election period to move the popular masses after their rhythm and songs, in which their triumph was advocated. His instruments include drums of different types, barrels and single drum, bass drum, cowbells, frying pans and other metal objects.
Then it was danced in a freer way. According to Durán "it has two bars, in the first of which the accentuated notes of the rhythm coincide exactly with the strong and weak beats of the beat, while in the second the strong beat coincides with the third note of the rhythmic scheme, but the weak beat is delayed by a sixteenth note in relation to the last note of the scheme. The melodic phrases are short, each one being a two- or four-bar generalmette. The number of bars of the whole piece f1uctia between 28 and 36. Sometimes the conga takes the ternary form (A-B-A), sometimes the binary form, and sometimes it only consists of a theme that is repeated as many times as the text requires. This Cuban genre has been taken to the dance halls by orchestras with elaborate instrumentation, assimilated by stylized dance forms, and used, in addition, in numerous cinematographic films.


El Pilón was created in the 1960s by Pacho Alonso, a notable Cuban musician who had his own group named Los Bocucos, composing such well-known pieces as "El upa, upa" and "Rico Pilón".
This dance was performed as if it were piling coffee beans, and at the sound of the sticks in the paila a foot would drop backwards, and the performance would resume again.

In it there is not a blow, but several rhythmic elements put into play, in which the piano imitates the sound of the Eastern Organ, in the paila the blow is struck -a blow that the timbalero of the Chepín-Chovén orchestra had been making since the 1940s- Esmérido Ferrer (El Chino Pichón)- as if he were piling the coffee, as if he were piling up the coffee, as long as he had been in the paila. The first work that was recorded with the rhythm pylon was "Baila José Ramón", 1964, by Bonne; later, the same author appeared "A cualquiera se le muere un tío", "Yo no quiero piedra en mi camino" and "El bajo cun cun", but it was Pacho Alonso who put the rhythm in the media with Rico pylon, so some have said that it was he who "created" this kind of dancing cuban music.


Rhythm introduced by the composer and double bassist Juan Formell since the foundation of Los Van Van Van. He used the drum set with a standing saucer, the bell and the bass drum. This was a novelty in the format of the charangas, because the drums were mainly used in jazz bands. Formell designed the rhythmic line, but José Luis Quintana (Changuito) made some contributions: he abandoned the drums and used the timpani, the standing tom tom tom, the bass drum, the bell and the air saucer; with it the percussive set was extended.
The rhythmic design of the songo is different from the rest of the Cuban groups'from the late 1970s. Formell says: "We didn't sell it as something new, or too original, because I think all the rhythms are the result of various mixes. We put a songo on it. Then we even got to forgetting what it was called.... However, especially abroad, the songo has been recognized as a genre. When versions of our issues have been published, this classification has been included next to the title" There are magazines that have published how songo is played and what its characteristics are [...], record an album with the English house Island Record that we baptize with that name. And with him the world began to spread [...]. We know that from the sound point of view we are different from the rest of the orchestras known as salseras. We have a very definite timbre that has matured and evolved over time but is unmistakable."


Bomba is a Puerto Rican genre that emerged in the early 18th century as a consequence of the African slaves who brought to Puerto Rico to work in the sugar mills. For Africans in Puerto Rico, these dances were the main entertainment, meeting on Saturday nights, special holidays, harvest closings and Sundays. The bomba dance is a union of singing, dancing and rhythm. It can also be said that it is a conversation between the dancer and the drummer, as the dancer in his movements tries to imitate the ringing and sounds of the drum and in turn the drum is responding to the dancer with his touches. The names of these rhythms and dances are of African origin, there is the guembe, lero, holande, yuba, marinada, cunya and calinda.
Two or three barrels or drums are used to play the pump. They were built from the barrels where they kept the rum and a goatskin was placed on the top of the barrel. The cua or clave, which is a pair of sticks that mark a constant rhythmic pattern, is also used and played in the second barrel. The cua can also be played on a small barrel of wine or a thick bamboo. The barrel bulliator does the basic rhythm of the pump, the subidor or cousin does the solos or chimes. Also used as an accompaniment to the pump is a large maraca made of fig tree and contains seeds inside. At present the pump is cultivated in the towns of Ponce, Loiza, Santurce, Mayagüez, Guayama.