Clave Essay

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Styles of music found in the Americas and the Caribbean are often referred to as African-derived. Salsa is no exception. What is particularly African about the music: clave, a rhythmic concept found in a variety of Latin-American styles. Similarities in sound and function to African bell patterns provide evidence towards a theory of clave's origins and an evolutionary link between African music and salsa. The beat at the heart of Latin music is the clave, a rhythm brought with the African diaspora from the Yoruba, Congo and other West African peoples to the Spanish-colonized Caribbean. The word can mean “key,” “the foundation of a matter,” “the heart of the matter.” Claves are one of the most basic instruments that can be found in almost all cultures. However, the two wooden sticks or dowels, struck together, are mostly attributed to Cuba and its music. The rhythmic Rumba Claves and Son Claves are the backbone of Latin American music today, including Salsa and Mambo. Salsa is a Latin musical style that incorporates a variety of influences. Originating in Cuba and Puerto Rico and emerging from the musical climate of New York City in the 1950s, it has found popularity throughout the Americas and the other Caribbean islands, as well as in Europe and Japan. Salsa has its roots in Cuban popular and folkloric music and is enhanced by jazz textures. The name salsa, literally meaning "sauce," has been in use since the late 1960s. Salsa is often thought of as Latin essence as the word "soul" has been a description for black American essence (Baron 1977 : 217). Since the introduction of African slaves into Cuba during the 16th and 17th centuries, much of Cuban and Latin American music was influenced by the African rhythms and songs that slaves brought with them. The claves were originally thought to have been created by these slaves as they worked in the shipyards of

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