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Salsa: Ear Training


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Dancing With The Sinners: Introduction

The mambo is an evocative word. It conjures up images of frenzied dancing at the Palladium, of Machito leading his AfroCubans with maracas in hand, of Tito Puente blistering away on the timbales with a red-hot solo.

It is the timbales that have become a signature instrument of the international mambo era, and the mambo that we have to thank in part for giving the timbales pride of place as a lead percussion instrument in salsa.

When not soloing or accenting, the timbales interpret highly synchopated rhythms which, though repeating, have the feel of intermittency to them. The stop-and-start quailty, the stillness pursued by bursts of energy, are all things associated with the mambo's music and dance. The same frenetic activity this inspired, was what led the church to label the dancers as sinners; and the rhythm itself, the work of the devil.

The 'irregularity' of the rhythms of the timbales have left us to addressing them last - as the crowning achievement of Stage II. And at the end of this, with its reward in hand, you will realise how much of an achievement it is.
 

 
 

 
1999 Salsa & Merengue Society
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