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Pronounced ("claw- vay"), the rhythms used in Cuban music have a very specific relationship with the "clave". Clave literally means "key", "keystone" or "code" in Spanish, and it is the fundamental beat for Cuban rhythms. The claves are a pair of hardwood sticks that produce a clear and cutting sound when struck against each other. One stick sits between the cupped fingers and the entire thumb of the left hand, forming a small "sound chamber" just underneath the stick. If held too tightly, the resulting sound will be too muffled. The right hand then strikes the stationary stick in the middle. Two traditional and well-known clave rhythms are the "Son clave" and the "Rumba clave".

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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 MORE...

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