Son montuno

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Son montuno_table_infobox_0

Son montunoSon montuno_header_cell_0_0_0
Stylistic originsSon montuno_header_cell_0_1_0 Son cubano by septetos and sextetosSon montuno_cell_0_1_1
Cultural originsSon montuno_header_cell_0_2_0 1940s, CubaSon montuno_cell_0_2_1
Fusion genresSon montuno_header_cell_0_3_0
Other topicsSon montuno_header_cell_0_4_0

Son montuno_table_infobox_1

Music of CubaSon montuno_header_cell_1_0_0
General topicsSon montuno_header_cell_1_1_0
GenresSon montuno_header_cell_1_2_0
Specific formsSon montuno_header_cell_1_3_0
Religious musicSon montuno_header_cell_1_4_0 Son montuno_cell_1_4_1
Traditional musicSon montuno_header_cell_1_5_0 Son montuno_cell_1_5_1
Media and performanceSon montuno_header_cell_1_6_0
Music awardsSon montuno_header_cell_1_7_0 Beny Moré AwardSon montuno_cell_1_7_1
Nationalistic and patriotic songsSon montuno_header_cell_1_8_0
National anthemSon montuno_header_cell_1_9_0 La BayamesaSon montuno_cell_1_9_1
Regional musicSon montuno_header_cell_1_10_0

Son montuno is a subgenre of son cubano developed by Arsenio Rodríguez in the 1940s. Son montuno_sentence_0

Although son montuno ("son from the mountain") had previously referred to the sones played in the mountains of eastern Cuba, Arsenio repurposed the term to denote a highly sophisticated approach to the genre in which the montuno section contained complex horn arrangements. Son montuno_sentence_1

He also incorporated piano solos and often subverted the structure of songs by starting with the montuno in a cyclic fashion. Son montuno_sentence_2

For his approach, Arsenio had to expand the existing septeto ensemble into the conjunto format which became the norm in the 1940s alongside big bands. Son montuno_sentence_3

Arsenio's developments eventually served as the template for the development of genres such as salsa, songo and timba. Son montuno_sentence_4

Background Son montuno_section_0

Son cubano developed in the late 19th century and soon became the most important genre of Cuban popular music. Son montuno_sentence_5

In addition, it is perhaps the most flexible of all forms of Latin American music, and is the foundation of many Cuban-based dance forms, and salsa. Son montuno_sentence_6

Its great strength is its fusion between European and African musical traditions. Son montuno_sentence_7

The son arose in Oriente, merging the Spanish guitar and lyrical traditions with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms. Son montuno_sentence_8

We now know that its history as a distinct form is relatively recent. Son montuno_sentence_9

There is no evidence that it goes back further than the end of the nineteenth century. Son montuno_sentence_10

It moved from Oriente to Havana in about 1909, carried by members of the Permanent (the Army), who were sent out of their areas of origin as a matter of policy. Son montuno_sentence_11

The first recordings were in 1918. Son montuno_sentence_12

There are many types of son, of which the son montuno is one. Son montuno_sentence_13

The term has been used in several ways. Son montuno_sentence_14

Probably the 'montuno' originally referred to its origin in the mountainous regions of eastern Cuba; eventually, it was used more to describe the final up-tempo section of a son, with its semi-improvisation, repetitive vocal refrain and brash instrumental climax. Son montuno_sentence_15

The term was being used in the 1920s, when son sextetos set up in Havana and competed strongly with the older danzones. Son montuno_sentence_16

Later developments Son montuno_section_1

Layered guajeos Son montuno_section_2

Arsenio Rodríguez revolutionized the son montuno. Son montuno_sentence_17

For example, he introduced the idea of layered guajeos (typical Cuban ostinato melodies)—an interlocking structure consisting of multiple contrapuntal parts. Son montuno_sentence_18

This aspect of the son's modernization can be thought of as a matter of "re-Africanizing" the music. Son montuno_sentence_19

Helio Orovio recalls: "Arsenio once said his trumpets played figurations the 'Oriente' tres-guitarists played during the improvisational part of el son" (1992: 11). Son montuno_sentence_20

The "Oriente" is the name given to the eastern end of Cuba, where the son was born. Son montuno_sentence_21

It is common practice for treseros to play a series of guajeo variations during their solos. Son montuno_sentence_22

Perhaps it was only natural then that it was Rodríguez the tres master, who conceived of the idea of layering these variations on top of each other. Son montuno_sentence_23

The following example is from the "diablo" section of Rodríguez's "Kile, Kike y Chocolate" (1950). Son montuno_sentence_24

The excerpt consists of four interlocking guajeos: piano (bottom line), tres (second line), 2nd and 3rd trumpets (third line), and 1st trumpet (fourth line). Son montuno_sentence_25

2-3 Clave is shown for reference (top line). Son montuno_sentence_26

Notice that the piano plays a single celled (single measure) guajeo, while the other guajeos are two-celled. Son montuno_sentence_27

It is common practice to combine single and double-celled ostinatos in Afro-Cuban music. Son montuno_sentence_28

Expansion of the son conjunto Son montuno_section_3

The denser rhythmic weave of Rodríguez's music required the addition of more instruments. Son montuno_sentence_29

Rodríguez added a second, and then, third trumpet—the birth the Latin horn section. Son montuno_sentence_30

He made the bold move of adding the conga drum, the quintessential Afro-Cuban instrument. Son montuno_sentence_31

Today, we are so used to seeing conga drums in Latin bands, and that practice began with Rodríguez. Son montuno_sentence_32

His bongo player used a large, hand-held cencerro ('cowbell') during montunos (call-and-response chorus section). Son montuno_sentence_33

Piano guajeos Son montuno_section_4

Arsenio Rodríguez took the pivotal step of replacing the guitar with the piano, which greatly expanded the contrapuntal and harmonic possibilities of Cuban popular music. Son montuno_sentence_34

The piano guajeo for "Dame un cachito pa' huele" (1946) completely departs from both the generic son guajeo and the song's melody. Son montuno_sentence_35

The pattern marks the clave by accenting the backbeat on the two-side. Son montuno_sentence_36

Moore observes: "Like so many aspects of Arsenio's music, this miniature composition is decades ahead of its time. Son montuno_sentence_37

It would be forty years before groups began to consistently apply this much creative variation at the guajeo level of the arranging process" (2009: 41). Son montuno_sentence_38

Clave-specific bass tumbaos Son montuno_section_5

Arsenio Rodríguez brought a strong rhythmic emphasis back into the son. Son montuno_sentence_39

His compositions are clearly based on the key pattern known in Cuba as clave, a Spanish word for 'key,' or 'code.' Son montuno_sentence_40

When clave is written in two measures, as shown above, the measure with three strokes is referred to as the three-side, and the measure with two strokes—the two-side. Son montuno_sentence_41

When the chord progression begins on the three-side, the song, or phrase is said to be in 3-2 clave. Son montuno_sentence_42

When it begins on the two-side, it is in 2-3 clave. Son montuno_sentence_43

The 2-3 bass line of "Dame un cachito pa' huele" (1946) coincides with three of the clave's five strokes. Son montuno_sentence_44

David García Identifies the accents of "and-of-two" (in cut-time) on the three-side, and the "and-of-four" (in cut-time) on the two-side of the clave, as crucial contributions of Rodríguez's music. Son montuno_sentence_45

The two offbeats are present in the following 2-3 bass line from Rodríguez's "Mi chinita me botó" (1944). Son montuno_sentence_46

Moore points out that Arsenio Rodríguez's conjunto introduced the two-celled bass tumbaos, that moved beyond the simpler, single-cell tresillo structure. Son montuno_sentence_47

This type of bass line has a specific alignment to clave, and contributes melodically to the composition. Son montuno_sentence_48

Rodríguez's brother Raúl Travieso recounted, Rodríguez insisted that his bass players make the bass "sing." Son montuno_sentence_49

Moore states: "This idea of a bass tumbao with a melodic identity unique to a specific arrangement was critical not only to timba, but also to Motown, rock, funk, and other important genres." Son montuno_sentence_50

Benny Moré (popularly known as El Bárbaro del Ritmo), which further evolved the genre, adding guaracha, bolero and mambo influences, helping make him extraordinarily popular and is now cited as perhaps the greatest Cuban sonero. Son montuno_sentence_51

See also Son montuno_section_6

Son montuno_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: montuno.