Bomba ensemble

by Edgardo Díaz Díaz

3).       Cuá, an idiophone consisting of two hard sticks beating a small wooden body which may be either a barrel with no skin, a wooden block or a dried bamboo trunk. The function of the cuá is to mark a steady pattern, clave or timeline. Also, it is said to replicate the toque, and at times to do variations on the bulá pattern: [from 1:00 to 1:03] [from 1:14 -1:18]
4).       Maraca, an idiophone consisting of a dried and hollowed out gourd with seeds or peebles inside. It is larger than the kind of maraca popularly known in Latin ensembles, where they are used in pairs. In bomba ensembles, only one maraca is played. The maraca player (at times a female lead singer or a choir member) is in charge of marking the pulse of music performance;
5).       The lead singer (cantaor, or cantaora), knowledgeable of bomba verses in various languages and melodic styles or sones de bomba. Lead singers in Puerto Rico’s southern coast are often in charge of the maraca, as seen in the example below: [from 0:22 to 0:37] 6).       The choir,in charge of the responsorial parts.


Content credits Center for Puerto Rican Studies
Image Credits: Cortesy of Edgardo Díaz Díaz| All Rights Reserved