This course will introduce students to Cuban music, from traditional popular music to the more contemporary sounds of Havana today. The course will take a close look at the major events and factors that shaped the arts and culture in Cuba historically and the influences that led to the unique sound of Cuban music and its aesthetics. An understanding of Cuban music requires familiarity with clave, and we will analyze the 6/8 clave, rumba clave and son clave. Through exercises of clapping and singing, and by using hand percussion instruments students will develop an understanding of beat, syncopation and melodic counterpoint. In addition we will explore some of the more well-documented genres like danzon, son, rumba, mambo, cha-cha-cha, bolero, and arrive at Timba. Class work will include readings, DVD’s, contemporary recordings and field trips to experience first-hand Cuban music performed live in NYC. No previous instrumental training is required but, of course, is helpful.
AREA OF STUDY: Music, History and Cultures