Songo music

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Songo music_table_infobox_0

Music of CubaSongo music_header_cell_0_0_0
General topicsSongo music_header_cell_0_1_0
GenresSongo music_header_cell_0_2_0
Specific formsSongo music_header_cell_0_3_0
Religious musicSongo music_header_cell_0_4_0 Songo music_cell_0_4_1
Traditional musicSongo music_header_cell_0_5_0 Songo music_cell_0_5_1
Media and performanceSongo music_header_cell_0_6_0
Music awardsSongo music_header_cell_0_7_0 Beny Moré AwardSongo music_cell_0_7_1
Nationalistic and patriotic songsSongo music_header_cell_0_8_0
National anthemSongo music_header_cell_0_9_0 La BayamesaSongo music_cell_0_9_1
Regional musicSongo music_header_cell_0_10_0

Songo is a genre of popular Cuban music, created by the group Los Van Van in the early 1970s. Songo music_sentence_0

Songo incorporated rhythmic elements from folkloric rumba into popular dance music, and was a significant departure from the son montuno/mambo-based structure which had dominated popular music in Cuba since the 1940s. Songo music_sentence_1

Blas Egües was the first drummer in Los Van Van, but it was the band's second drummer, José Luis Quintana "Changuito", who developed songo into the world-wide phenomenon it is today. Songo music_sentence_2

Songo is the most famous of the post-Revolution Cuban rhythms, beginning with the mozambique, which drew from the deep well of Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms (mainly rumba). Songo music_sentence_3

During the 1970s, many Cuban bands created their own original rhythms: Los Van Van invented songo; Orquesta Ritmo Oriental—nueva onda; Orquesta Tipica Juventud—bata cinco, and Orquesta Revé named their invention—changüí, after the "funky," folkloric proto-son music of the 19th century. Songo music_sentence_4

Songo is a precursor of present-day timba. Songo music_sentence_5

Timbales Songo music_section_0

With songo, the timbales were expanded with the addition of a kick bass drum, and sometimes a snare drum and hi-hat. Songo music_sentence_6

Songo uses a Cuban-style timbale/drum kit hybrid, which can be anything from standard timbales with kick, to a full drum kit augmented with timbales, woodblock, and various cowbells. Songo music_sentence_7

Songo was the first Cuban popular dance rhythm to blend rumba and North American funk rhythms. Songo music_sentence_8

The most basic songo bell pattern is an embellishment of the Matanzas-style cáscara pattern for guaguancó, traditionally played on a guagua (hollowed piece of bamboo). Songo music_sentence_9

In both patterns the right hand (lower notes) plays the four main beats, while the left hand plays offbeats. Songo music_sentence_10

The right hand is typically played on a closed hi-hat, woodblock, or cowbell. Songo music_sentence_11

The left hand is typically played on the snare rim, snare, cowbell(s), or toms. Songo music_sentence_12

The left hand portion of the pattern is expressed in a wide variety of melodic motifs, and timbres. Songo music_sentence_13

See: Songo music_sentence_14

Tumbadoras Songo music_section_1

In several songo arrangements, the tumbadora ('conga') part sounds the typical tumbao on the low-pitched drum, while replicating the quinto (lead drum) of guaguancó on the high-pitched drum. Songo music_sentence_15

The quinto-like phrases can continually change, but they are based upon a specific counter-clave motif. Songo music_sentence_16

[See: Songo music_sentence_17

Charanga with a rumba "feel" Songo music_section_2

The rhythmic inventions in songo, share similarities with the contemporaneous inventions by folkloric rumba groups such as Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, and Los Papines from Havana. Songo music_sentence_18

Not only is songo percussion heavily influenced by rumba, but the syncopated quality of the singing and other melodic elements reflect more rumba influence than heard in earlier genres. Songo music_sentence_19

The guajeos (ostinato melodies) are often built upon offbeat patterns. Songo music_sentence_20

Many Latin musicians have described the songo as a very soulful type of music; for instance Juan Formell (leader of Los Van Van) says that "it is the synthesis of a personality, of a way of being and feeling the music, a sum of cultures and a way of making a musician into someone polyfacetic and original." Songo music_sentence_21

Cuban drummers often stress that songo is not a particular rhythm, but rather, a particular rhythmic approach. Songo music_sentence_22

However, these same drummers will usually demonstrate the basic stick part shown above. Songo music_sentence_23

See: Songo music_sentence_24

On Los Van Van v. 6 (1980) Juan Formell took the unusual step of adding trombones to his charanga format. Songo music_sentence_25

Orquesta Revé did the same during the time. Songo music_sentence_26

"Tú tranquilo" has four interlocking guajeos: two keyboards, violins, and trombones. Songo music_sentence_27

North American usage Songo music_section_3

As used in North America, the term songo refers generally to the rumba-influenced music of Cuban bands during the 1970s, and the conga and timbales parts shown above. Songo music_sentence_28

These bands were, for the most part, charanga-based (flute, string instruments, and rhythm section), although some bands added trombones. Songo music_sentence_29

The main exception was the horn-based supergroup Irakere, which blended jazz elements into the rhythmic mix. Songo music_sentence_30

The horn-based Puerto Rican bands Batacumbele and Zaperoko also refer to their style of music as songo. Songo music_sentence_31

[See Giovanni Hidalgo). Songo music_sentence_32

Jazz, funk, son and rumba all intersect in songo. Songo music_sentence_33

Funkifying the clave Songo music_section_4

When played on a drum kit, songo patterns are clave-based rumba-funk hybrids. Songo music_sentence_34

In the early 1980s, these patterns caught the attention of North American drummers who, as a result, were now able to appreciate the clave-based structure underlying funk. Songo music_sentence_35

North American drummers in turn adopted songo ideas into various jazz and funk inventions of their own. Songo music_sentence_36

The fluidly changing patterns of songo offer a more complex palate of rhythmic textures for jazz than the "angular" mambo rhythms typically used in Latin jazz. Songo music_sentence_37

The precursor of timba Songo music_section_5

The funky rhythms of present-day timba evolved from songo. Songo music_sentence_38

Most timba bands are horn-based rather than charanga-based. Songo music_sentence_39

It is also very popular in Spanish Christian Pentecostal churches. Songo music_sentence_40

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