The traditional wooden clave, which we associate with Afro-Cuban music, is actually derived from the African concussion sticks and clappers of centuries past. Much like the role for the bell player within traditional African music, the clave's function is that of a time keeper, back-bone and foundation for traditional rhythms with which it is used. The clave rarely incorporates variations within a given performance. This helps to develop player discipline as one is called upon to play an essential, unchanging clave pattern for the duration of the performance. This book, although brief, begins to answer many questions about the diverse history and use of clave, from its early beginnings in African and Egyptian cultures to the popular and more familiar Cuban clave of Afro-Latin music. The application of Clave—instruments and philosophy—is limited only by the player's imagination.
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