Puerto Rican Music – The Bomba

Considered to be one of the oldest forms of dance and music, the Bomba is the rhythmic backbone of the Afro-Boricuas. Along with many other types of music that were founded in this region, the Bomba is by far one of the most loved and the most exciting. The music form is so prevalent in the streets and clubs of San Juan, Puerto Rico, that it isn’t uncommon to see famous personalities take a liking to the music and accompanying dance moves for entertainment. Although the dance that occurs alongside the music is incredibly mesmerizing and eccentric, the music is even more unique.

The Instruments

The most captivating aspect of Bomba music is the instruments. The instruments and the music used for this dance form is known to originate from ancient times when slavery was prevalent in the area. The music is said to reflect the history of the island’s connection to African slavery. In recent times, however, the music style that is expressed in the Bomba has changed dramatically. Instead of it representing and telling the story of African slavery, the Bomba is now used to display Puerto Rican cultures. The drum is the main instrument in this type of music. It keeps the tempo and creates the rhythm to which the dancers perform, and the minor instruments follow. The drum is nothing more than a rum barrel that is covered with a goatskin lead, which creates a bouncy and hollow thumping sound. Several singers and dancers usually follow the Bomba drum in a series of choruses where there is both calling and responding.

Significance Of The Bomba

Even though the music style is famous in the lands of Puerto Rico, the Bomba is a significant part of political stability. In many cases around the streets of San Juan, the Bomba is used as a medium to disguise revolts and protests. In one example, a Bomba band was present at the Mayday protest in San Juan, where people danced wildly in protest against school closures and increasing tuition fees that caused families to go through many hardships. In the Puerto Rican culture, the Bomba drum is considered to be a representative of political power and spiritual release.

Bomba Clubs – La Terraza de Bonanza

Le Terraza de Bonanza is a famous event in Puerto Rico and is considered to be a hub for crowds and people who are itching for both spiritual and musical release. At nights, this event is jam-packed with young people who are known for their bomba techniques and exaggerated moves. Many traditional dancers who practice the Bomba are known to use fans and their skirts to mark their personal dancing space by flicking them and claiming control of the area surrounding them.

Spreading The Music

Bands hailing from the region are famous for their clever use of multicultural music. But, one band known as Bomba Evolución is known for their ability to make bomba a legendary icon among many young individuals. Among other ways in which this band makes itself popular, one of the most prominent strategies that the band adopts is the way they play the instruments. While newer and more well-known bands play the bomba faster and jumpily, Bomba Evolutión focuses more on the rhythm and the more traditional ways of the music.



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