Clave (rhythm)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The clave rhythmic pattern is used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music, such as rumba, conga de comparsa, son, son montuno, mambo (music), salsa, Latin jazz, songo and timba. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms. Just as a keystone holds an arch in place, the clave pattern holds the rhythm together in Afro-Cuban music.

The clave pattern originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions, where it serves essentially the same function as it does in Cuba. The pattern is also found in the African diaspora musics of Haitian vodou drumming and Afro-Brazilian music. The clave pattern is used in North American popular music as a rhythmic motif or ostinato, or simply a form of rhythmic decoration.

Recommended listening

Here are some examples of recordings that use odd meter clave concepts.

Dafnis Prieto About the Monks (Zoho). Sebastian Schunke Symbiosis (Pimienta Records). Paoli Mejias Mi Tambor (JMCD). John Benitez Descarga in New York (Khaeon). Deep Rumba A Calm in the Fire of Dances (American Clave). Nachito Herrera Bembe en mi casa (FS Music). Bobby Sanabria Quarteto Aché (Zoho). Julio Barretto Iyabo (3d). Michel Camilo Triangulo (Telarc). Samuel Torres Skin Tones (www.samueltorres.com). Horacio "el Negro" Hernandez Italuba (Universal Latino). Tony Lujan Tribute (Bella Records). Edward Simon La bikina (Mythology). Jorge Sylvester In the Ear of the Beholder (Jazz Magnet).

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Clave (rhythm)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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