Rumba–not to be confused with “rhumba,” which was a term Americans used to describe Cuban music in the ’30s–began in the mid-1800s as a form of gathering and dance music performed by African-descended laborers, and was quickly banned by European slave owners. According to Latin Music USA’s rumba pages, “Rumba was originally performed on everyday objects to avoid the ban on African instruments. A wine barrel was played like a drum, a wooden crate was tapped on with spoons, and the shipyard’s hardwood dowels were struck together (and became an instrument: claves).” Speaking of the instrument known as the claves, the Cuban rumba’s primary key rhythm is the 3-2 or 2-3 rumba clave, as introduced above, though original Afro-Cuban rumba is highly polyrhythmic (and extraordinarily enjoyable). About the rumba | There are three main kinds of rumba: Guaguancó | Columbia | Yambu
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