The Currulao Pacific Region
Instruments of the Currulao

The music I chose from the Pacific Coast is the Currulao. The Currulao is a type of music in which the main influence is African, although the melodies and harmonies were influenced by European music and dances.  Given the strong African roots of this type of music, the musical instruments used in a typical Currulao ensemble are all percussion instruments: The marimba de chonta, which gives harmonic and rhythmic support to the Currulao and the Cununos, the bass drums and the Guasá that give rhythmic support.  The marimba de Chonta is made using a native kind of bamboo called Guadua for the resonance tubes and Chonta wood for the slabs, it is it is normally played by two people: One in charge of the high register and the other one for the lower register. The Guasá is made with a hollow guadua tube filled with dry seeds or pebbles. 

A very distinctive feature of of the singing patterns in Currulao is the presence of a lead voice and a answering choir, this comes from the religious origins of this music and can be found in other music music of African descent like Salsa and Merengue as well.   The following Currulao is only a fragment, but all this elements are present.

Rhytmically the Currualo has a composite pattern that, in my opinion, could be more easily written in a 6/8 measure.  In the next sample this structure will become more apparent since this is a more modern Currulao and we have additional instruments including a set of drums that mark the downbeat.
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