BATARUMBA DOS

A special forum dedicated to the new great web-site by Laurent Lamy: a place where poeple can share knowledge about Cuban and Afro-Cuban percussion. Get into the forum to know more about it!

Postby Laurent Lamy » Wed Mar 28, 2001 5:10 pm

Indeed, as you can notice it, I continue on her(it) thrown(launched) by my site
(http://site.voila.fr/BATARUMBA). The first stage consisted in creating
A platform of exchanges on all who can concern the subject of the percussions
Cuban and afro-Cuban. This group allows me to go a little bit far. It(he)
Offer of the means which I have not on the site by getting(touching) several persons
At the same time, in here is some examples:
- information: goods(articles), information about your school, your methods, on your group...
- barter of files: of partitions and plans, search(research) for a piece, for one
Reference of disc or book(pound)...
- the good plans: new cd, good addresses, sites, places of concerts...
ECT. ECT. ECT...
I count on you and your enthusiasm because or, the group that I
Lance will not have a lot of luck(chance) to exist.
In very soon.
Laurent Lamy (moderator)


(Edited by Laurent Lamy at 12:25 pm on Mar. 28, 2001)
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Postby tatkovsky » Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:08 pm

i am trying to find the african origins of guaguanco. if anyone can give insight into which people lived in the region of cuba in which guaguanco is prevalent, i would appreciate it

thanks
tim
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Postby zaragemca » Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:11 pm

I was borned in a house in La Havana were Guaguanco was part of a weekly jamming,there are several neighborhood in Havana and Matanzas which are the foundation and later got to the whole country and the world.Gerry Zaragemca.



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Postby Berimbau » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:39 pm

Dear Tatkovsky,
I appologize in advance for this late response to your guaguanco inquiry, but I'm new to this forum. You asked what part of Africa does guanguanco come from? A simple enough question, and here is a simple answer. It doesn't come from Africa, Guaguanco comes from Cuba.
But is it really that simple? We know that guanguanco is in some way an African-derived art form. But if that is so, then which African culture(s) spawned it? My own ethnomusicological studies have focused on the cultural dimensions of the Kongo/Angolan Diaspora, particularly through cultural comparative work in the Caribbean, Brasil, and the Southern U.S. Although in my experience the strongest cultural influence evident in guaguanco came from the Bantu speaking peoples, I also know that the answer is still not that simple.
Along with the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade came a number of cultural impulses radiating out of both West and Central Africa societies, particularly those associated with various clans and polities. In these areas of Africa, a very strong relationship existed between music and religion, as well as between music and political hierarchy. On New World plantations these associations either disintegrated completely or were restructured to accomodate the sad realities of slave life in the barracones. With the tragic big bang of African slavery came serious dislocations, physically, politically, musically, and psychologically.
In Cuba a number of cultural traits originally associated with specific African cultures were at times preserved in the cabildos, ethnic organizations organized around a specific African ethnic identity or religious affiliation. Hence the Afro-Cuban social groups which became known on the island as Lucumi, Carabali, Congo, Arrara, and the Mandinga. It is quite telling that many of these Afro-Cuban designations have their origins not in terms for specifiic African ethnic groups but rather in African port names and linguistic groups. Often these terms were used by slavers to "market' their human goods to potential buyers. So, by the 19th century, which was the most intensive period for slave importation into Cuba, the sociocultural deck was already being reshuffled by the exploitative powers of slavery. In this repressive culture, any specific African cultural identity was being greatly threatened. Within this social framework, any number of African traits may have shifted and then coalesced to form a new more generic "Afro-Cuban" cultural identity.
During the late 19th century when slavery finally ended in Cuba, the new won freedom and greater mobility of its African population stimulated even further changes. Similar cultural revolutions also occured at this time in Brasil and the U.S. In these cultures, African-derived musics such as Samba and the Blues emerged under similar social pressures, although in each instance the new emergent form was marked by various admixtures of African and European musical traits, reflecting the different values of those societies. This was the era which most researchers pinpoint as the dawn of rumba, a time of increasing social change. Outmarriage between different African ethnic groups such as the Yoruba and Congo became increasingly commonplace in Cuba. Even today many famous old Cuban congueros will speak proudly and knowingly of their mixed African heritage.
On the cultural level, old African traits continued to form new constellations as they increasingly clustered together. In Mantanzas, the transculturative crucible of Cuban rumba, various Kongo/Angolan, Cameroon, Yoruba, and Spanish (let us not forget that important influence) traits came together to render a new syncretic artform, the guaguanco. Dance, drum, poetry, and improvisation came together in a stunning new pan-African aesthetic. Let us not forget that here both European influences and Africa impulses colluded to create the elegant guanguanco. Today one may hear, play, or dance guaguanco throughout Cuba, in New Jersey, Tokyo, Brasil, San Francisco, or Paris.
Yes one could deconstruct the entire rumba complex and focus exclusively on one element or another. What about the strong rhythmic influence of the Kongo-derived baile yuka, or that of the Spanish language lyrics, or as Ortiz did, point out the importance of the Ganga influences? But, at the end of the day, guaguanco is simply Afro-Cuban in all that that term implies. And from my own understanding, the term Afro-Cuban still speaks volumes.


Saludos,


Berimbau
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Postby zaragemca » Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:54 pm

First brother Berimbau,I have to apologize for not reviewing this writing early,I agree with a lot of the information,just want to clarify some of it..Congo,Angolan,Mandinga,Yoruba, Carabali,and Arara,(are the names of tribes),and Lucumi and Cameroom are not names of tribes,specially Cameroom since that is the name which was given to that portion of land after their independency.Guaguanco isn't base on Yoruba's pattern,but on Arara-Bantu-Carabali...Dr.Zaragemca



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Postby davidpenalosa » Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:55 pm

Here's my take:
Rumba is an original Afro-Cuban hybrid, an amalgamation of several different transplanted African drum systems. Rumba has come to be the best example of the Cuban rhythmic sensibility, influencing both folkloric and popular Cuban music.

Rumba is poly-metric; it has both duple and triple subdivisions of the beat (4/4 and 6/8). Yambú and guaguancó have a primary meter of 4/4 and a secondary meter of 6/8. Columbia has a primary meter of 6/8 and a secondary meter of 4/4.

Yambú and guaguancó dances are derived from Bantu (Congolese) fertility dances, most likely yuka. The exact origins cannot be determined since the artform was developed in a clandestine manner during the time of slavery. The Cuban conga drum evolved from the Congolese hand drum.

Columbia has strong cultural and musical ties to the abacua; a male secret society of the Efik people. The abacua lead drum bonkó is the musical ancsestor of the quinto (rumba lead drum).

The two most important ethnic groups in the evolution of rumba were the Bantu and the Efik.

-David
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Postby zaragemca » Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:22 pm

Greeting to David,I could agree in many of the subject you are exposing but disagree in the origin,it is known for the people which were in Cuba and are ancestors of this percussionists,that this patterns were developed during the 'Cabildos' celebration,weekends jamming,and the Carnivals,were this people would come out with differents percussion riffs to compete with each other,(many of them witnessed by myself for years).The second subject is that the Arara-Ewe patterns also were mixed in the Rumba with the Bantu and Carabali riffs,something which I have showed many times in my Advanced Percussion Instruction,( so the Araras were also important in the development of this patterns).The third subject,(just for the record), those terms of primary and secundary, subdivision and the time signature,(4/4,and 6/8),were incorporated by the western- musicians in order to understand the sophistication of this structures, which we never have to use,( not when I was growing up in Cuba).Dr. Zaragemca



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Postby davidpenalosa » Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:15 pm

Dr. Zaragemca:
"...the Arara-Ewe patterns also were mixed in the Rumba with the Bantu and Carabali riffs,something which I have showed many times in my Advanced Percussion Instruction,( so the Araras were also important in the development of this patterns)."

Hi Dr.
I'm skeptical of the above statement. Can you identify one example of Arara influence in rumba that can be observed? Thanks.

-David
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Postby zaragemca » Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:39 pm

I don't teach percussion over the internet,( and I had said before why),and I asked you a question in relation of who did teach you and where and you didn't answer that question neither.Dr. Zaragemca



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Postby davidpenalosa » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:33 pm

Dear Dr.
No one is asking you to "teach over the internet". You presume too much. It was you who made the statement: "..so the Araras were also important in the development of this patterns". There is no evidence of this. If you are going to put forth theories in a forum like this, you better be able to back them up. Nobody cares how great you may think you are, or any self-important titles you may have given yourself. Your credibility in an Internet forum is gauged strictly by the soundness of your ideas. I backed up my statements regarding the use of the batá drums in salsa and Latin jazz and disproved one of your assertions concerning the batá and Irakere. I am not afraid of being proved wrong or learning something new. However, I definitely cannot take your statements at face value, as your credibility is already suspect. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I think you cannot back up your statement with any facts. The reason I asked you for just one example of Arara influence in rumba is because I don’t think you can provide even one example. I have heard Arara songs sung to rumba, but I would not consider that to be an example of Arara contributing to the development of the rumba patterns.

Concerning my batá teachers, I have benefited from many teachers, the most important being the North American Markus Gordon and the Cuban Regino Jimenez.

-David
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Postby JohnnyConga » Fri Jun 03, 2005 6:21 pm

Ok here is an xample of how people can think there information is correct, but incorrect information can create "confusion in learning"....before you say anything please do your homework, your past history is what it was,not what it is . WE ALL have history, individually, but "truth and integrity" is where it's at. So before you talk on a topic here, I hope you know what your talking about or it can be embarrasing........peace..."JC" Johnny Conga....ps nobody is here to impune anyone, unless they set themselves up to be....
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Postby zaragemca » Sat Jun 04, 2005 12:42 am

The only way I could demostrate it is by playing the root and to compare it with the rumba,that is an advanced teaching,( which people which have NEVER BEEN IN AN ARARA-EWE Cabildo,when they were playing they rituals),could not know about it...So I'm not really especting that, to be known by you....David, you said that Bataleros were teaching you,how could you be talking about,(there is not POPE in the Yorubas Religion),of course there is not Pope,becouse this religion have nothing to do with Popes,..it show that you don't even know how the people with authority in this religion are called.It is a joke that a batalero be talking about Popes.Anybody which could have any doubt in relation to what I said could come by,(as many people including from Africa have done),I talk better with my hands. Dr. Zaragemca



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Postby davidpenalosa » Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:14 am

Dr. Zaragemca :
>>The only way I could demostrate it is by playing the root and to compare it with the rumba,

me:
That would be ideal, but alas, we can only TALK about music here in cyber-space. Actually, I noticed that people also post attachments. Theorically one could post a chart, but I haven't done that. If you named the part, like "apriti", in such and such a toque, I think a lot of people would be able to make a comparison.

Dr. Zaragemca :
>>that is an advanced teaching,( which people which have NEVER BEEN IN AN ARARA-EWE Cabildo,when they were playing they rituals),could not know about it...So I'm not really especting that, to be known by you

me:
A person does not nessesarily need to attend an Arara Cabildo to know something of the music. I’ve been exposed a bit to Arara drumming, dance and song. I’ve played some the music and I’m certainly not the only North American to have done so. I was introduced to Ewe drumming from Africa in 1977 and still play that music from time to time. Again, I’m not the only North American to play the music. Not by a long shot.

In the case of the Congolese and abacuá influences in rumba, one can cite dance steps, instruments, lead drum parts and general rhythmic motifs. I was asking you to name an Arara toque or single Arara part that is in some way, a descendant of rumba.

Dr. Zaragemca :
>>....David, you said that Bataleros were teaching you,how could you be talking about,(there is not POPE in the Yorubas Religion),of course there is not Pope,becouse this religion have nothing to do with Popes,..it show that you don't even know how the people with authority in this religion are called.It is a joke that a batalero be talking about Popes.

Me:
You are absolutely correct. It was a joke. I was using levity. Humor can be a difficult thing to communicate on-line. Maybe I should learn how to use those face icons to help convey my meaning.

Dr. Zaragemca :
>>Anybody which could have any doubt in relation to what I said could come by,(as many people including from Africa have done),I talk better with my hands. Dr. Zaragemca

me:
fair enough.

-David

:D
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Postby Isaac » Sat Jun 04, 2005 4:39 am

I thought I'd chime in with a suggestion. I'm also a member
of the Bongogroup on yahoo. Some of us started making
pc recordings of our solos and patterns and uploading for
mutual sharing and criticism. A modest mic and some freeware recording programs would allow for someone like Dr. Zaragemca and David or any of us to demonstrate and get feedback.
I concur with the Dr, that it's difficult to convey the nuances of "feel" of a given rhythm on the web or even in written notation. The right brain /analytic side
of the computer is not how this music was invented or transmitted in the first place. Hearing and listening is the best for me personally, but everyone has their own learning style. What came naturally to us as babies when we learned our respective native languages? In fact music
and sounds came even before the words to all of us.

Just to add a bit more about the earlier part of the
question on the creation of rumba in cuba. I had the
priveledge of attending some lectures by Cuban ethnomusicologist in
Havana - Rogelio Martinez-Fure.
After giving many examples - visual and audio of the different
African groups in Cuba, and the early history of the rumba cycle, he went on to go back even further in time to Spain. Being in Europe doesn't make it typically
"European" like France, Germany, England, etc.
He emphasized one very often overlooked aspect of the
blending of African and Spanish elements. It didn't just
begin in Cuba with slavery, but had already begun long
before under the moorish (north african) conquest of
Spain. The Arabs controlled spain for the first half of their reign
and were violently replaced by their north african rivals during
the latter half of their tenure in Spain. In other words
Africa colonized Spain long before Spain colonized Africa
and the Carribean.
This singing styles of the Gypsies (Gitana) that had crossed from India to North Africa and across Europe & the mediterranean also ended up in Spain. The increasing growth
of Islam in West Africa also influenced vocal traditions there.
Ships also came to Cuba from Mozambique and east Africa. (They also play the
Cajon in in Mozambique) They may have also had a small role to play at the docks in Havana. . . and possibly in bring rumba back to Africa
and also to the Swahili coast? It's hard to tell. This is
a thread I'm exploring. The blending was always going on - and in fact is continuing even now
albeit technology/hip-hop based.
But alas, the period that brought us the rumba was
a special one for this creation, that we want to preserve and study
and play.

respectfully,

Isaac Gutwilik
percussionist / rep. JCR Percussion Co
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Postby davidpenalosa » Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:05 am

Isaac:
>>Some of us started making pc recordings of our solos and patterns and uploading for mutual sharing and criticism.

me:
This is an activity I have not yet taken advantage of. I need to get up to speed . ??? I'm impressed that people are opening themselves up for critiques.

-David
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