Mambo Essay

1194 Words5 Pages
Mambo music is up tempo and mainly instrumental that has many different distinctions and definitions. It is a big-band dance music genre featuring antiphonal sectional arrangements for contrasting brass instruments. Typical instruments involved in a mambo song are the conga, cajon, bongo, timbales, claves, upright bass, piano, trombones, trumpets, and saxophone. Mambo has its origins in American big band style of music mashed together with Cuban ideas of the montuno and danzon. The montuno involves a rhythmic backbeat infused with often-improvised solos. These solos became the focus of the mambo, and the most important part of the song. Danzon is widely considered the official style of music in Cuba. The danzon style of music was heavily influenced by the French-Haitian contradance, which was imported to Cuba from Haiti. Originally, danzon orchestras consisted of e typical orchestra instruments. Later, danzon bands were downsized to smaller charangas, that eventually would add congo drums to their ensemble. In 1938, Orestes Lopez and Cacharo Lopez, considered the “inventors of mambo,” wrote the song Mambo, which was a danzon, but also included rhythms from African folk music. This afro-cubanism mash up would be different from the typical danzon and so, the mambo was born. Mambo included very little vocal sections, if any, but was primarily instrumental dance music. Mambo found its way to prominence after Perez Prado created a dance for this new genre. In 1943, he introduced his new dance at the La Tropicana night club in Havana, Cuba. After spreading his new genre of mambo to Mexico and New York City it had become a very popular, and by the mid 1950’s it had reached its height in New York City. Mambo was then played at the famous, Palladium Ballroom, where famous mambo dancers of the day such as Augie and Margo Rodriguez and Louie Maquina showcased

More about Mambo Essay

Open Document