Rule, Rule, Rule Sonda

“Rule Sonda,” is a Puerto Rican bomba — music in which drumming and dancing are very closely connected, and in which the dancers generally usually lead the drummers rather than the other way around. Puerto Rican communities with strong ties to Africa developed both bomba,  with its energizing drumming and dancing call and response, and plena, which features vocalists who sing satirical songs about current events of the day. Bomba was born first, in the 17th and 18th centuries, giving enslaved Africans a medium to express both their struggles and triumphs through song. Plena arose in the early 20th century as “the newspaper of the people,” using musical narrative to give people a voice.

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