The bongo or bongó is a percussion instrument of Cuba that has spread across Latin music. It consists of a pair of drums solidarity, to a membrane, and each one of which is larger than the other.
It consists of a pair of cylinders or cones trunks, wood or synthetic fibre, each equipped with a single membrane. These drums of the same height (20 cm) have different diameters (20 and 30 cm).
At first, they were paired with a strip of cloth and percussionist was all on his thigh to play. Soon, this piece of textile has been replaced by a piece of wood allowing the instrumentalist trap drum between his knees. In the early days, skins (calf) were heated with a flame to give the instrument.
Tata Güines says: "congueros, we met often to discuss job and to exchange ideas for improving this constraint candles. Then one day, at the end of 40 years, the brothers Vergarra who lived in the neighborhood Reparto Lawton of Havana have modernized the conga and bongo adding a key system to secure the metal skins. "
This improvement was also attributed to Carlos "Patato" Valdes (Tata Güines contests) and Basileo Pozo, experimenting with Ulpiano Diaz (respectively conguero and timbalero the charanga 'Arcano y sus Maravillas') a blacksmith; these tests lead to a system Key fixed on the drum ... "In 1944," El Colorao "burst onto the stage, the tumbadora covered with a veil & Talks only way for the Heat. As the orchestra prepares to play," El Colorao "reveals his invention. "
The bongo is placed between his knees, sat on the musician who played with the fingers of both hands. The smallest drum (acute) is called macho ( "male" in Spanish), it is left up to the right. The biggest (bass), to the right, is appointed hembra (female). The agreement is the fourth or fifth.
In the orchestras of Western art music, bongo is often placed on a stand and played with chopsticks.
The cell rhythmic bongo base (also known as "boss") is the martillo (small hammer), also known as a caballo (on horseback). Often played tremolo (redoble), it sounds like "tiki-tiki-toki-toki"
The martillo maintains the fabric of rhythmic croche accentuating the highlights on the macho, the fourth time (or ponche) is marked on the hembra and supports the phrasing of tumbao congas. In a reciprocating right-left, right mark the time and fills the spaces left, actually playing all crooked out of season, alternating positions palm and edge.
In Latin music, bongosero (with an "s", cf. Olavo Alèn Rodriguez) also plays a bell (or campana cencerro) in sections of improvised montunos. The sound very acute and rapid movement inherent to the small size of bongo allow the percussionist to improvise with volubility, weaving a texture of the syncopated rhythm without ever really leaving the role of maintaining stability and Rhythmic martillo.
The variations and improvisations of bongo repiques are called.
The bongo is mainly used in the changüi, Cuban son, bolero, then salsa and bachata.
Among the famous bongoseros include Roberto Roena, Ray Romero, Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez.