The Bongos Drum

Two small drums joined together using a thick wooden piece are what Bongos are made of. This percussion instrument is also called bongo drums. You play the bongos by placing them between your knees and then you strike the diaphragm with your fingers to produce a rhythm. Sticks or brushes are used to create contemporary sounds in some classical musical scores. The drums of the bongo have different sizes. One drum is larger and is called hembra or female. The smaller drum on the other hand is called macho which is actually the Spanish term for male. The materials used to make modern bongo drums are wood, metal or composite materials. Bongos can produce high-pitched sounds.

The use of Bongos started way back in the late 1800’s during the Cuban styles of music called Changui and Son. In order to help tack and tune the bongo during that time, they use a heating element. However, by 1940’s they have incorporated metal tuning lugs so that tuning is made easy. In the Spanish group, they call the musician who plays the bongo “Bongocerro”. In Middle East, Egypt and Morocco, they use the tbila, a drum similar to the Bongo but is made with ceramic bodies.

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