These are two small, wooden cylinder drums that are fitted together and covered
with calf skin on one side. Contrary to the "congas", which supply the "bass"
in the rhythm, bongos have a little more freedom to improvise, are much higher
in pitch and supply the "top end" of the rhythm. The bongos, played with fingers
and hands, are traditionally held between the knees with the smaller, higher drum
(macho), to the left and the larger, lower drum (hembra), to the right. In traditional
Cuban music, the "bongosero" (bongo player), also plays the "campana" (cow bell)
in sections where the rhythm is to be more predominant.
The WORLD BEATS video features live,
costumed performances of ancient, ethnic, percussive traditions. Aaron Plunkett
puts it all together in this fascinating 33 minute program. SEE