Ortiz, Fernando, La Africanía de la Música Folklórica de Cuba, (con 108 ilustraciones), La Habana: Editora Universitaria, 1965.
Reviewed in The Musical Quarterly © 1952.
Reviewed in The Journal of Negro History © 1951.
Reviewed in B.B.A.A. Boletín Bibliográfico de Antropología Americana © 1952.
Music of Cuba:
Fernando Ortiz, the first great Cuban folklorist, described Cuba's musical innovations as arising from the interplay ('transculturation') between African slaves settled on large sugar plantations and Spaniards from different regions such as Andalusia and Canary Islands. The African slaves and their descendants made many percussion instruments and preserved rhythms they had known in their homeland. The most important instruments were the drums, of which there were originally about fifty different types; today only the bongos, congas and batá drums are regularly seen (the timbales are descended from kettle drums in Spanish military bands). Also important are the claves, two short hardwood batons, and the cajón, a wooden box, originally made from crates. Claves are still used often, and cajons (cajones) were used widely during periods when the drum was banned. In addition, there are other percussion instruments in use for African-origin religious ceremonies. Chinese immigrants contributed the corneta china (Chinese cornet), a Chinese reed instrument still played in the comparsas, or carnival groups, of Santiago de Cuba.