Clave (rhythm)

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This article is about the rhythmic pattern. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_0

For the musical instrument used to play it, see Claves. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_1

Clave (rhythm)_table_infobox_0

Music of CubaClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_0_0
General topicsClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_1_0
GenresClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_2_0
Specific formsClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_3_0
Religious musicClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_4_0 Clave (rhythm)_cell_0_4_1
Traditional musicClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_5_0 Clave (rhythm)_cell_0_5_1
Media and performanceClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_6_0
Music awardsClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_7_0 Beny Moré AwardClave (rhythm)_cell_0_7_1
Nationalistic and patriotic songsClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_8_0
National anthemClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_9_0 La BayamesaClave (rhythm)_cell_0_9_1
Regional musicClave (rhythm)_header_cell_0_10_0

The clave (/ˈklɑːveɪ, kleɪv/; Spanish: [ˈklaβe) is a rhythmic pattern used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_2

It is present in a variety of genres such as Abakuá music, rumba, conga, son, mambo, salsa, songo, timba and Afro-Cuban jazz. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_3

The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_4

The clave pattern originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions, where it serves essentially the same function as it does in Cuba. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_5

In ethnomusicology, clave is also known as a key pattern, guide pattern, phrasing referent, timeline, or asymmetrical timeline. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_6

The clave pattern is also found in the African diaspora music of Haitian Vodou drumming, Afro-Brazilian music, African-American music, Louisiana Voodoo drumming, and Afro-Uruguayan music (candombe). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_7

The clave pattern (or hambone, as it is known in the United States) is used in North American popular music as a rhythmic motif or simply a form of rhythmic decoration. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_8

The historical roots of the clave are linked to transnational musical exchanges within the African diaspora. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_9

For instance, influences of the African “bomba” rhythm are reflected in the clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_10

In addition to this, the emphasis and role of the drum within the rhythmic patterns speaks further to these diasporic roots. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_11

The clave is the foundation of reggae, reggaeton, and dancehall. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_12

In this sense, it is the “heartbeat” that underlies the essence of these genres. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_13

The rhythms and vibrations are universalized in that they demonstrate a shared cultural experience and knowledge of these roots. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_14

Ultimately, this embodies the diasporic transnational exchange. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_15

In considering the clave as this basis of cultural understanding, relation, and exchange, this speaks to the transnational influence and interconnectedness of various communities. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_16

This musical fusion is essentially what constitutes the flow and foundational “heartbeat” of a variety of genres. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_17

Etymology Clave (rhythm)_section_0

Clave is a Spanish word meaning 'code,' 'key,' as in key to a mystery or puzzle, or 'keystone,' the wedge-shaped stone in the center of an arch that ties the other stones together. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_18

Clave is also the name of the patterns played on claves; two hardwood sticks used in Afro-Cuban music ensembles. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_19

The key to Afro-Cuban rhythm Clave (rhythm)_section_1

Just as a keystone holds an arch in place, the clave pattern holds the rhythm together in Afro-Cuban music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_20

The two main clave patterns used in Afro-Cuban music are known in North America as son clave and the rumba clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_21

Both are used as bell patterns across much of Africa. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_22

Son and rumba clave can be played in either a triple-pulse ( 8 or 8) or duple-pulse ( 4, 4 or 2) structure. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_23

The contemporary Cuban practice is to write the duple-pulse clave in a single measure of 4. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_24

It is also written in a single measure in ethnomusicological writings about African music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_25

Although they subdivide the beats differently, the 8 and 4 versions of each clave share the same pulse names. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_26

The correlation between the triple-pulse and duple-pulse forms of clave, as well as other patterns, is an important dynamic of sub-Saharan-based rhythm. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_27

Every triple-pulse pattern has its duple-pulse correlative. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_28

Son clave has strokes on 1, 1a, 2&, 3&, 4. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_29

4: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_30

8: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_31

Rumba clave has strokes on 1, 1a, 2a, 3&, 4. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_32

4: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_33

8: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_34

Both clave patterns are used in rumba. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_35

What we now call son clave (also known as Havana clave) used to be the key pattern played in Havana-style yambú and guaguancó. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_36

Some Havana-based rumba groups still use son clave for yambú. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_37

The musical genre known as son probably adopted the clave pattern from rumba when it migrated from eastern Cuba to Havana at the beginning of the 20th century. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_38

Clave theory Clave (rhythm)_section_2

There are three main branches of what could be called clave theory. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_39

Cuban popular music Clave (rhythm)_section_3

First is the set of concepts and related terminology, which were created and developed in Cuban popular music from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_40

In Popular Cuban Music, Emilio Grenet defines in general terms how the duple-pulse clave pattern guides all members of the music ensemble. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_41

An important Cuban contribution to this branch of music theory is the concept of the clave as a musical period, which has two rhythmically opposing halves. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_42

The first half is antecedent and moving, and the second half is consequent and grounded. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_43

Ethnomusicological studies of African rhythm Clave (rhythm)_section_4

The second branch comes from the ethnomusicological studies of sub-Saharan African rhythm. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_44

In 1959, Arthur Morris Jones published his landmark work Studies in African Music, in which he identified the triple-pulse clave as the guide pattern for many pieces of music from ethnic groups across Africa. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_45

An important contribution of ethnomusicology to clave theory is the understanding that the clave matrix is generated by cross-rhythm. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_46

The 3–2/2–3 clave concept and terminology Clave (rhythm)_section_5

The third branch comes from the United States. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_47

An important North American contribution to clave theory is the worldwide propagation of the 3–2/2–3 concept and terminology, which arose from the fusion of Cuban rhythms with jazz in New York City. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_48

Only in the last couple of decades have the three branches of clave theory begun to reconcile their shared and conflicting concepts. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_49

Thanks to the popularity of Cuban-based music and the vast amount of educational material available on the subject, many musicians today have a basic understanding of clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_50

Contemporary books that deal with clave, share a certain fundamental understanding of what clave means. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_51

Mathematical analysis Clave (rhythm)_section_6

In addition to these three branches of theory, clave has in recent years been thoroughly analyzed mathematically. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_52

The structure of clave can be understood in terms of cross-rhythmic ratios, above all, three-against-two (3:2). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_53

Godfried Toussaint, a Research Professor of Computer Science, has published a book and several papers on the mathematical analysis of clave and related African bell patterns. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_54

Toussaint uses geometry and the Euclidean algorithm as a means of exploring the significance of clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_55

Types Clave (rhythm)_section_7

Son clave Clave (rhythm)_section_8

The most common clave pattern used in Cuban popular music is called the son clave, named after the Cuban musical genre of the same name. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_56

Clave is the basic period, composed of two rhythmically opposed cells, one antecedent and the other consequent. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_57

Clave was initially written in two measures of 4 in Cuban music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_58

When written this way, each cell or clave half is represented within a single measure. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_59

Three-side / two-side Clave (rhythm)_section_9

The antecedent half has three strokes and is called the three-side of the clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_60

The consequent half (second measure above) of clave has two strokes and is called the two-side. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_61

Tresillo Clave (rhythm)_section_10

In Cuban popular music, the first three strokes of son clave are also known collectively as tresillo, a Spanish word meaning triplet i.e. three equal beats in the same time as two main beats. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_62

However, in the vernacular of Cuban popular music, the term refers to the figure shown here. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_63

Rumba clave Clave (rhythm)_section_11

The other main clave pattern is the rumba clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_64

Rumba clave is the key pattern used in Cuban rumba. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_65

The use of the triple-pulse form of the rumba clave in Cuba can be traced back to the iron bell (ekón) part in abakuá music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_66

The form of rumba known as columbia is culturally and musically connected with abakuá which is an Afro Cuban cabildo that descends from the Kalabari of Cameroon. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_67

Columbia also uses this pattern. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_68

Sometimes 8 rumba clave is clapped in the accompaniment of Cuban batá drums. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_69

The 4 form of rumba clave is used in yambú, guaguancó and popular music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_70

There is some debate as to how the 4 rumba clave should be notated for guaguancó and yambú. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_71

In actual practice, the third stroke on the three-side and the first stroke on the two-side often fall in rhythmic positions that do not fit neatly into music notation. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_72

Triple-pulse strokes can be substituted for duple-pulse strokes. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_73

Also, the clave strokes are sometimes displaced in such a way that they don't fall within either a triple-pulse or duple-pulse "grid". Clave (rhythm)_sentence_74

Therefore, many variations are possible. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_75

The first regular use of the rumba clave in Cuban popular music began with the mozambique, created by Pello el Afrikan in the early 1960s. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_76

When used in popular music (such as songo, timba or Latin jazz) rumba clave can be perceived in either a 3–2 or 2–3 sequence. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_77

Standard bell pattern Clave (rhythm)_section_12

The seven-stroke standard bell pattern contains the strokes of both clave patterns. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_78

Some North American musicians call this pattern clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_79

Other North American musicians refer to the triple-pulse form as the 8 bell because they write the pattern in two measures of 8. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_80

Like clave, the standard pattern is expressed in both triple and duple-pulse. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_81

The standard pattern has strokes on: 1, 1a, 2& 2a, 3&, 4, 4a. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_82

8: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_83

4: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_84

The ethnomusicologist A.M. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_85 Jones observes that what we call son clave, rumba clave, and the standard pattern are the most commonly used key patterns (also called bell patterns, timeline patterns and guide patterns) in Sub-Saharan African music traditions and he considers all three to be basically the same pattern. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_86

Clearly, they are all expressions of the same rhythmic principles. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_87

The three key patterns are found within a large geographic belt extending from Mali in northwest Africa to Mozambique in southeast Africa. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_88

"68 clave" as used by North American musicians Clave (rhythm)_section_13

In Afro-Cuban folkloric genres the triple-pulse ( 8 or 8) rumba clave is the archetypal form of the guide pattern. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_89

Even when the drums are playing in duple-pulse ( 4), as in guaguancó, the clave is often played with displaced strokes that are closer to triple-pulse than duple-pulse. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_90

John Santos states: "The proper feel of this [rumba clave] rhythm, is closer to triple [pulse].” Clave (rhythm)_sentence_91

Conversely, in salsa and Latin jazz, especially as played in North America, 4 is the basic framework and 8 is considered something of a novelty and in some cases, an enigma. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_92

The cross-rhythmic structure (multiple beat schemes) is frequently misunderstood to be metrically ambiguous. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_93

North American musicians often refer to Afro-Cuban 8 rhythm as a feel, a term usually reserved for those aspects of musical nuance not practically suited for analysis. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_94

As used by North American musicians, " 8 clave" can refer to one of three types of triple-pulse key patterns. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_95

Triple-pulse standard pattern Clave (rhythm)_section_14

When one hears triple-pulse rhythms in Latin jazz the percussion is most often replicating the Afro-Cuban rhythm bembé. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_96

The standard bell is the key pattern used in bembé and so with compositions based on triple-pulse rhythms, it is the seven-stroke bell, rather than the five-stroke clave that is the most familiar to jazz musicians. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_97

Consequently, some North American musicians refer to the triple-pulse standard pattern as " 8 clave". Clave (rhythm)_sentence_98

Triple-pulse rumba clave Clave (rhythm)_section_15

Some refer to the triple-pulse form of rumba clave as " 8 clave". Clave (rhythm)_sentence_99

When rumba clave is written in 8 the four underlying main beats are counted: 1, 2, 1, 2. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_100

The main exceptions are: the form of rumba known as Columbia, and some performances of abakuá by rumba groups, where the 8 rumba clave pattern is played on claves. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_101

Triple-pulse son clave Clave (rhythm)_section_16

Triple-pulse son clave is the least common form of clave used in Cuban music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_102

It is, however, found across an enormously vast area of sub-Saharan Africa. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_103

The first published example (1920) of this pattern identified it as a hand-clap part accompanying a song from Mozambique. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_104

Cross-rhythm and the correct metric structure Clave (rhythm)_section_17

Because 8 clave-based music is generated from cross-rhythm, it is possible to count or feel the 8 clave in several different ways. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_105

The ethnomusicologist Arthur Morris Jones correctly identified the importance of this key pattern, but he mistook its accents as indicators of meter rather than the counter-metric phenomena they are. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_106

Similarly, while Anthony King identified the triple-pulse "son clave" as the ‘standard pattern’ in its simplest and most basic form, he did not correctly identify its metric structure. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_107

King represented the pattern in a polymetric 8 time signature. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_108

It wasn't until African musicologists like C.K. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_109

Ladzekpo entered into the discussion in the 1970s and 80s that the metric structure of sub-Saharan rhythm was unambiguously defined. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_110

The writings of Victor Kofi Agawu and David Locke must also be mentioned in this regard. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_111

In the diagram below 8 (son) clave is shown on top and a beat cycle is shown below it. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_112

Any or all of these structures may be the emphasis at a given point in a piece of music using the " 8 clave". Clave (rhythm)_sentence_113

The example on the left ( 8) represents the correct count and ground of the " 8 clave". Clave (rhythm)_sentence_114

The four dotted quarter-notes across the two bottom measures are the main beats. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_115

All clave patterns are built upon four main beats. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_116

The bottom measures on the other two examples ( 2 and 4) show cross-beats. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_117

Observing the dancer's steps almost always reveals the main beats of the music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_118

Because the main beats are usually emphasized in the steps and not the music, it is often difficult for an "outsider" to feel the proper metric structure without seeing the dance component. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_119

Kubik states: "To understand the emotional structure of any music in Africa, one has to look at the dancers as well and see how they relate to the instrumental background" (2010: 78). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_120

3–2/2–3 clave concept and terminology Clave (rhythm)_section_18

In Cuban popular music, a chord progression can begin on either side of the clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_121

When the progression begins on the three-side, the song or song section is said to be in 3–2 clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_122

When the chord progression begins on the two-side, it is in 2–3 claves. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_123

In North America, salsa and Latin jazz charts commonly represent clave in two measures of cut-time ( 2); this is most likely the influence of jazz conventions. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_124

When clave is written in two measures (right), changing from one clave sequence to the other is a matter of reversing the order of the measures. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_125

Chord progression begins on the three-side (3–2) Clave (rhythm)_section_19

A guajeo is a typical Cuban ostinato melody, most often consisting of arpeggiated chords in syncopated patterns. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_126

Guajeos are a seamless blend of European harmonic and African rhythmic structures. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_127

Most guajeos have a binary structure that expresses clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_128

Clave motif Clave (rhythm)_section_20

Kevin Moore states: "There are two common ways that the three-side is expressed in Cuban popular music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_129

The first to come into regular use, which David Peñalosa calls 'clave motif,' is based on the decorated version of the three-side of the clave rhythm." Clave (rhythm)_sentence_130

The following guajeo example is based on a clave motif. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_131

The three-side (first measure) consists of the tresillo variant known as cinquillo. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_132

Since this chord progression begins on the three-side, the song or song section is said to be in 3–2 clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_133

Offbeat/onbeat motif Clave (rhythm)_section_21

Moore: "By the 1940s [there was] a trend toward the use of what Peñalosa calls the 'offbeat/onbeat motif.' Clave (rhythm)_sentence_134

Today, the offbeat/onbeat motif method is much more common." Clave (rhythm)_sentence_135

With this type of guajeo motif, the three-side of clave is expressed with all offbeats. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_136

The following I–IV–V–IV progression is in a 3–2 clave sequence. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_137

It begins with an offbeat pick-up on the pulse immediately before beat 1. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_138

With some guajeos, offbeats at the end of the two-side, or beats at the end of the three-side serve as pick-ups leading into the next measure (when clave is written in two measures). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_139

Chord progression begins on the two-side (2–3) Clave (rhythm)_section_22

Clave motif Clave (rhythm)_section_23

A chord progression can begin on either side of the clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_140

One can, therefore, be on either the three-side or the two-side because the harmonic progression, rather than the rhythmic progression, is the primary referent. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_141

The following guajeo is based on the clave motif in a 2–3 sequence. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_142

The cinquillo rhythm is now in the second measure. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_143

Onbeat/offbeat motif Clave (rhythm)_section_24

This guajeo is in 2–3 clave because it begins on the downbeat, emphasizing the onbeat quality of the two-side. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_144

The figure has the same harmonic sequence as the earlier offbeat/onbeat example, but rhythmically, the attack-point sequence of the two measures is reversed. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_145

Most salsa is in 2–3 clave and most salsa piano guajeos are based on the 2–3 onbeat/offbeat motif. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_146

Going from one side of clave to the other within the same song Clave (rhythm)_section_25

The 3–2/2–3 concept and terminology was developed in New York City during the 1940s by Cuban-born Mario Bauza while he was the music director of Machito and his Afro-Cubans. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_147

Bauzá was a master at moving the song from one side of the clave to the other. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_148

The following melodic excerpt is taken from the opening verses of "Que vengan los rumberos" by Machito and his Afro-Cubans. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_149

Notice that the melody goes from one side of clave to the other and then back again. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_150

A measure of 4 moves the chord progression from the two-side (2–3) to the three-side (3–2). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_151

Later, another measure of 4 moves the start of the chord progression back to two-side (2–3). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_152

According to David Peñalosa: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_153

Tito Puente learned the concept from Bauzá. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_154

Tito Puente's "Philadelphia Mambo" is an example of a song that moves from one side of clave to the other. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_155

The technique eventually became a staple of composing and arranging in salsa and Latin jazz. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_156

According to Kevin Moore: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_157

Cuban folkloric musicians do not use the 3–2/2–3 system. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_158

Many Cuban performers of popular music do not use it either. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_159

The great Cuban conga player and bandleader Mongo Santamaría said, "Don’t tell me about 3–2 or 2–3! Clave (rhythm)_sentence_160

In Cuba, we just play. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_161

We feel it, we don’t talk about such things." Clave (rhythm)_sentence_162

In another book, Santamaría said, "In Cuba, we don’t think about [clave]. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_163

We know that we’re in a clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_164

Because we know that we have to be in clave to be a musician." Clave (rhythm)_sentence_165

According to Cuban pianist Sonny Bravo, the late Charlie Palmieri would insist that "There’s no such thing as 3–2 or 2–3, there’s only one clave!" Clave (rhythm)_sentence_166

The contemporary Cuban bassist, composer and arranger Alain Pérez flatly states: "In Cuba, we do not use that 2–3, 3–2 formula... 2–3, 3–2 [is] not used in Cuba. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_167

That is how people learn Cuban music outside Cuba." Clave (rhythm)_sentence_168

In non-Cuban music Clave (rhythm)_section_26

Controversy over use and origins Clave (rhythm)_section_27

Perhaps the greatest testament to the musical vitality of the clave is the spirited debate it engenders, both in terms of musical usage and historical origins. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_169

This section presents examples from non-Cuban music, which some musicians (not all) hold to be representative of the clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_170

The most common claims, those of Brazilian and subsets of American popular music, are described below. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_171

In Africa Clave (rhythm)_section_28

A widely used bell pattern Clave (rhythm)_section_29

Clave is a Spanish word and its musical usage as a pattern played on claves was developed in the western part of Cuba, particularly the cities of Matanzas and Havana. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_172

Some writings have claimed that the clave patterns originated in Cuba. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_173

One frequently repeated theory is that the triple-pulse African bell patterns morphed into duple-pulse forms as a result of the influence of European musical sensibilities. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_174

"The duple meter feel [of 4 rumba clave] may have been the result of the influence of marching bands and other Spanish styles..."— Washburne (1995). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_175

However, the duple-pulse forms have existed in sub-Saharan Africa for centuries. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_176

The patterns the Cubans call clave are two of the most common bell parts used in Sub-Saharan African music traditions. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_177

Natalie Curtis, A.M. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_178 Jones, Anthony King and John Collins document the triple-pulse forms of what we call “son clave” and “rumba clave” in West, Central, and East Africa. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_179

Francis Kofi and C.K. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_180

Ladzekpo document several Ghanaian rhythms that use the triple or duple-pulse forms of "son clave". Clave (rhythm)_sentence_181

Percussion scholar royal hartigan identifies the duple-pulse form of "rumba clave" as a timeline pattern used by the Yoruba and Ibo of Nigeria, West Africa. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_182

He states that this pattern is also found in the high-pitched boat-shaped iron bell known as atoke played in the Akpese music of the Eve people of Ghana. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_183

There are many recordings of traditional African music where one can hear the five-stroke "clave" used as a bell pattern. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_184

Popular dance music Clave (rhythm)_section_30

Cuban music has been popular in sub-Saharan Africa since the mid-twentieth century. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_185

To the Africans, clave-based Cuban popular music sounded both familiar and exotic. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_186

Congolese bands started doing Cuban covers and singing the lyrics phonetically. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_187

Soon, they were creating their original Cuban-like compositions, with lyrics sung in French or Lingala, a lingua franca of the western Congo region. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_188

The Congolese called this new music rumba, although it was based on the son. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_189

The Africans adapted guajeos to electric guitars and gave them their regional flavor. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_190

The guitar-based music gradually spread out from the Congo, increasingly taking on local sensibilities. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_191

This process eventually resulted in the establishment of several different distinct regional genres, such as soukous. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_192

Soukous Clave (rhythm)_section_31

The following soukous bass line is an embellishment of clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_193

Banning Eyre distills down the Congolese guitar style to this skeletal figure, where clave is sounded by the bass notes (notated with downward stems). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_194

Highlife Clave (rhythm)_section_32

Highlife was the most popular genre in Ghana and Nigeria during the 1960s. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_195

This arpeggiated highlife guitar part is essentially a guajeo. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_196

The rhythmic pattern is known in Cuba as baqueteo. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_197

The pattern of attack-points is nearly identical to the 3–2 clave motif guajeo shown earlier in this article. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_198

The bell pattern known in Cuba as clave, is indigenous to Ghana and Nigeria, and is used in highlife. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_199

Afrobeat Clave (rhythm)_section_33

The following afrobeat guitar part is a variant of the 2–3 onbeat/offbeat motif. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_200

Even the melodic contour is guajeo-based. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_201

2–3 claves are shown above the guitar for reference only. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_202

The clave pattern is not ordinarily played in afrobeat. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_203

Guide-patterns in Cuban versus non-Cuban music Clave (rhythm)_section_34

There is some debate as to whether or not clave, as it appears in Cuban music, functions in the same way as its sister rhythms in other forms of music (Brazilian, North American and African). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_204

Certain forms of Cuban music demand a strict relationship between the clave and other musical parts, even across genres. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_205

This same structural relationship between the guide-pattern and the rest of the ensemble is easily observed in many sub-Saharan rhythms, as well as rhythms from Haiti and Brazil. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_206

However, the 3–2/2–3 concept and terminology are limited to certain types of Cuban-based popular music and are not used in the music of Africa, Haiti, Brazil or in Afro-Cuban folkloric music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_207

In American pop music, the clave pattern tends to be used as an element of rhythmic color, rather than a guide-pattern and as such is superimposed over many types of rhythms. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_208

In Brazilian music Clave (rhythm)_section_35

Both Cuba and Brazil imported Yoruba, Fon and Congolese slaves. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_209

Therefore, it is not surprising that we find the bell pattern the Cubans call clave in the Afro-Brazilian music of Macumba and Maculelê (dance). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_210

"Son clave" and "rumba clave" are also used as a tamborim part in some batucada arrangements. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_211

The structure of Afro-Brazilian bell patterns can be understood in terms of the clave concept (see below). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_212

Although a few contemporary Brazilian musicians have adopted the 3–2/2–3 terminology, it is traditionally not a part of the Brazilian rhythmic concept. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_213

Bell pattern 1 is used in maculelê (dance) and some Candomblé and Macumba rhythms. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_214

Pattern 1 is known in Cuba as son clave. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_215

Bell 2 is used in afoxê and can be thought of as pattern 1 embellished with four additional strokes. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_216

Bell 3 is used in batucada. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_217

Pattern 4 is the maracatu bell and can be thought of as pattern 1 embellished with four additional strokes. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_218

Example in a Pixinguinha choro music (help·) Clave (rhythm)_sentence_219

Bossa nova pattern Clave (rhythm)_section_36

The so-called "bossa nova clave" (or "Brazilian clave") has a similar rhythm to that of the son clave, but the second note on the two-side is delayed by one pulse (subdivision). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_220

The rhythm is typically played as a snare rim pattern in bossa nova music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_221

The pattern is shown below in 4, as it is written in Brazil. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_222

In North American charts it is more likely to be written in cut-time. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_223

According to drummer Bobby Sanabria the Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, who developed the pattern, considers it to be merely a rhythmic motif and not a clave (guide pattern). Clave (rhythm)_sentence_224

Jobim later regretted that Latino musicians misunderstood the role of this bossa nova pattern. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_225

Other Brazilian examples Clave (rhythm)_section_37

The examples below are transcriptions of several patterns resembling the Cuban clave that is found in various styles of Brazilian music, on the ago-gô and surdo instruments. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_226

Legend: Time signature: 4; L=low bell, H=high bell, O = open surdo hit, X = muffled surdo hit, and | divides the measure: Clave (rhythm)_sentence_227

Clave (rhythm)_unordered_list_0

  • Style: Samba 3:2; LL.L.H.H|L.L.L.H. (More common 3:2: .L.L.H.H|L.L.L.H.)Clave (rhythm)_item_0_0
  • Style: Maracatu 3:2; LH.HL.H.|L.H.LH.HClave (rhythm)_item_0_1
  • Style: Samba 3:2; L|.L.L..L.|..L..L.L|Clave (rhythm)_item_0_2
  • Instrument: 3rd Surdo 2:3; X...O.O.|X...OO.OClave (rhythm)_item_0_3
  • Variation of samba style: Partido Alto 2:3; L.H..L.L|.H..L.L.Clave (rhythm)_item_0_4
  • Style: Maracatu 2:3; L.H.L.H.|LH.HL.H.Clave (rhythm)_item_0_5
  • Style: Samba-Reggae or Bossanova 3:2; O..O..O.|..O..O..Clave (rhythm)_item_0_6
  • Style: Ijexa 3:2; LL.L.LL.|L.L.L.L. (HH.L.LL.|H.H.L.L.)Clave (rhythm)_item_0_7

For 3rd example above, the clave pattern is based on a common accompaniment pattern played by the guitarist. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_228

B=bass note played by guitarist's thumb, C=chord played by fingers. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_229

The singer enters on the wrong side of the clave and the ago-gô player adjusts accordingly. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_230

This recording cuts off the first bar so that it sounds like the bell comes in on the third beat of the second bar. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_231

This is suggestive of a pre-determined rhythmic relationship between the vocal part and the percussion and supports the idea of a clave-like structure in Brazilian music. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_232

In Jamaican and French Caribbean music Clave (rhythm)_section_38

The son clave rhythm is present in Jamaican mento music, and can be heard on 1950s-era recordings such as "Don’t Fence Her In", "Green Guava" or "Limbo" by Lord Tickler, "Mango Time" by Count Lasher, "Linstead Market/Day O" by The Wigglers, "Bargie" by The Tower Islanders, "Nebuchanezer" by Laurel Aitken and others. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_233

The Jamaican population is part of the same origin (Congo) as many Cubans, which perhaps explains the shared rhythm. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_234

It is also heard frequently in Martinique's biguine and Dominica's Jing ping. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_235

Just as likely however is the possibility that claves and the clave rhythm spread to Jamaica, Trinidad and the other small islands of the Caribbean through the popularity of Cuban son recordings from the 1920s onward. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_236

Experimental clave music Clave (rhythm)_section_39

Art music Clave (rhythm)_section_40

Clave (rhythm)_table_infobox_1

External audioClave (rhythm)_header_cell_1_0_0

The clave rhythm and clave concept have been used in some modern art music ("classical") compositions. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_237

"Rumba Clave" by Cuban percussion virtuoso Roberto Vizcaiño has been performed in recital halls around the world. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_238

Another clave-based composition that has "gone global" is the snare drum suite "Cross" by Eugene D. Novotney. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_239

Odd meter "clave" Clave (rhythm)_section_41

Clave (rhythm)_table_infobox_2

External audioClave (rhythm)_header_cell_2_0_0

Technically speaking, the term odd meter clave is an oxymoron. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_240

Clave consists of two even halves, in a divisive structure of four main beats. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_241

However, in recent years jazz musicians from Cuba and outside of Cuba have been experimenting with creating new "claves" and related patterns in various odd meters. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_242

Clave which is traditionally used in a divisive rhythm structure, has inspired many new creative inventions in an additive rhythm context. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_243

Recommended listening for odd-meter "clave" Clave (rhythm)_section_42

Here are some examples of recordings that use odd meter clave concepts. Clave (rhythm)_sentence_244

Clave (rhythm)_unordered_list_1

  • Dafnis Prieto About the Monks (Zoho).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_8
  • Sebastian Schunke Symbiosis (Pimienta Records).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_9
  • Paoli Mejias Mi Tambor (JMCD).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_10
  • John Benitez Descarga in New York (Khaeon).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_11
  • Deep Rumba A Calm in the Fire of Dances (American Clave).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_12
  • Nachito Herrera Bembe en mi casa (FS Music).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_13
  • Bobby Sanabria Quarteto Aché (Zoho).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_14
  • Julio Barretto Iyabo (3d).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_15
  • Michel Camilo Triangulo (Telarc).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_16
  • Samuel Torres Skin Tones ( (rhythm)_item_1_17
  • Horacio "el Negro" Hernandez Italuba (Universal Latino).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_18
  • Tony Lujan Tribute (Bella Records).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_19
  • Edward Simon La bikina (Mythology).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_20
  • Jorge Sylvester In the Ear of the Beholder (Jazz Magnet).Clave (rhythm)_item_1_21
  • Uli Geissendoerfer "The Extension" (CMO)Clave (rhythm)_item_1_22

See also Clave (rhythm)_section_43

Clave (rhythm)_unordered_list_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: (rhythm).