How Would One Define Rumba?

define rumba

We can define Rumba or usually called Rhumba as a ballroom dance with Afro-Cuban roots that gained international popularity in the early twentieth century. The rumba is performed with a fundamental pattern of two rapid side steps and a gradual forward step and is most recognized for the dancers’ delicate side-to-side hip motions with the body upright. Each bar goes through three steps. The song has a strong syncopation in 4/4 time. The ballroom version is based on the Cuban son, which is a less energetic version of the unconstrained Cuban rumba that is performed in bars and similar establishments. The term rumba is sometimes used to refer to other Cuban dances with similar beats.

Rhumba Style Of Dancing

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Around the world, two rhumba versions with opposing step patterns are performed. Between 1913 and 1935, bandmasters like Emil Coleman and Don Aspiaz brought American-style rumba to the United States. The film Rumba, which was released in 1935, brought the aesthetic to the public’s notice. The slow-quick-quick rhythm performed on the 1, 3, and 4 beats of 4-beat music is known as the American-style rhumba. After comparing the established American style with modern Cuban dancers, Monsieur Pierre developed international style rhumba in Europe. International style is taught in a quick-quick-slow sequence on the 2, 3, and 4 beats of 4 beat music, comparable to the cha-cha-cha in step and motion. In 1955, both styles were declared canonical.

Music Used In Rumba

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Although American record companies began to use the term rhumba to label all types of Latin music between 1913 and 1915, the history of Rhumba as a specific form of ballroom music can be traced back to May 1930, when Don Azpiaz and his Havana Casino Orchestra recorded their song “El manifesto” (The Peanut Vendor) in New York City. This track became a smash four months later, becoming the first Latin song to sell one million copies in the United States. The song is a son-pregón created by Moisés Simons and arranged for Azpiaz’s large band, which includes three saxophones, two cornets, banjo, guitar, piano, violin, bass, and trap drums. The CD, composed by saxophonist Alfredo Brito and featuring vocals by Antonio Machn and a trumpet solo by Remberto Lara (the first in the recorded history of Cuban music), aimed to adapt the Cuban son to the style of dance music popular at the time on the East Coast. With vocals by Antonio Machn and a trumpet solo by Remberto Lara (the first in recorded Cuban music history), Azpiaz’s style was quickly adopted by other Cuban singers such as Armando Oréfiche and the Lecuona Cuban Boys, who went on lengthy worldwide tours in the 1930s. Because they borrowed conga rhythms in songs like “Para Vigo me voy,” their approach has been dubbed “ballroom conga.” Boleros and canciones like “Amapola” and “Siboney” were among their many hits. The rhumba craze was the name given to a music phenomenon that comprised several large American bands covering Latin tunes.

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