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What Do Salsa, Rumba, Conga, Son, Mambo, and Afro-Cuban Jazz Have in Common?

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

When people hear the word clave, they may think of the two rhythm sticks used so prominently in Latin music.

The term not only refers to the instrument, it also serves as the name of a rhythmic pattern that forms the foundation for traditional Afro-Cuban music.

Most Afro-Cuban styles of music are built around the clave pattern, which is repeated throughout the song and forms the foundation for percussionists, as well as the other musicians in the ensemble.

The clave pattern is also found in Haitian Vodou drumming, Afro-Brazilian music, African-American music, Louisiana Voodoo drumming, and Afro-Uruguayan music (candombe).

Talk about a prevalent beat.


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