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Percussion Bootcamp: Latin Music

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

Exploring the rich cultural rhythms of Latin America

Latin music is music that originates from Latin America. What we know today as Latin music is the result of a complex historical and social process in the Americas many years ago, giving birth to culturally rich and vibrant style of music. It is a mix of Spanish, Portuguese, African, Caribbean, Indigenous American, classical music and even French influence. Latin American music includes genres such as Cumbria, Bachata, Bossa Nova, Merengue, Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Son and Tango. Today, you can hear the Latin in genres such as Latin pop and Reggaeton. Yes, we are talking Despacito and Taki Taki Rumba!

Source: https://pulse.berklee.edu

Latin music is characterized first and foremost by its rhythm, largely influenced by traditional African beats that were developed in the Caribbean. There are two main patterns that form the basis of Latin rhythm, son clave and rumba clave. Rhythm is in many ways the focus of Latin music, giving it the passion and movement that drive us all excited on our feet.


Some common percussive instruments used in modern latin music are bongo, conga, clave (wood block), cowbell (cencerro), timbales, shaker, guiro and cajon.





#OUCHBootcamp is a free masterclass OUCH Music Academy hosts every month to introduce musical knowledge outside of the students' primary instruments. For the month of May, we traveled (figuratively speaking) to Latin America!

We worked together in a percussion circle to form a latin-inspired rhythm, reading some rhythm notation that includes syncopation. Ensemble playing always starts with listening to one another and sitting tight with the metronome so everyone is on the same beat. The bootcamp also got everyone to showcase their take on what latin music is through solo percussion performances. The younger ones took the class to a whole new level- we did a latin music dance-off. Enjoy the video!



Till the next #OUCHBootcamp!

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