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What is a Bongo?
The bongo is a Cuban percussion instrument. It consists of two small drums of different sizes are played simultaneously with the hands while they are held between the knees. Bongo is a characteristic of Latin music instrument and is very popular.
It is believed that bongo has its roots in Africa, where similar drums were used. However, bongo is considered a Cuban instrument. It would have been born in the mountainous areas of Eastern Cuba to adapt very fast to a very characteristic area musical style called "son", which have emerged as well known as the salsa genres. They are there were two kinds of bongo: bongo montuno are and the sound of a changuí. The difference of the two is that the sound of a changuí bongo is larger and sound more serious than the son montuno of bongo. In 1909, bongo arrived in Havana and became a very popular instrument, especially due to the sound of montuno.
As mentioned previously, the bongo is composed of two small drums, one higher than the other; the smallest "male" is called and the major, "female", or principal. They are joined by a piece of wood or metal or a belt, being separated from the other. The drums are provided by a patch or membrane that is tuned differently in each drum. Initially, the patch was nailed to the resonance box or drum corps, so it could not be tuning, but currently has a system of rings, screws (in the form of hooks) and nuts, allowing the tuning of the instrument through the tension of the patch.
Running the bongo is putting the instrument between the knees, leaving the male drum to the left side and the drum right side female. That position makes it easy to make most of the execution on the male drum. With your knees you must press on the outer side of each drum and patches should face upward. In the case of being United by a belt, this relies on the thigh of his right leg with drums on both sides of the leg. Today is also used much an bookrest for supporting bongo. Usually, the instrument is played with the palms of the hands, but also sticks are used.
The bongo is intended to bring stability to the music that is playing creating a rhythmic accompaniment. Because of this, have arisen schemes of the bongo, which highlights the "touch hammer", which consists of a sequence of eight sounds in heights and different timbres.
The popularization of the bongo has depended in large part of the universalization of the montuno are. Great artists such as Arsenio Rodríguez, Benny Moré, Miguel Matamoros, Siro Rodríguez and Rafael Cueto, have been who have talent with such universalization.