LATINO VOICES
04/16/2013 09:44 am ET

Candombe: Afro-Uruguayan Drums And The Roots Of Tango

If you think it's difficult to drink water while walking, or text while walking, or do anything except walk while walking, try to wrap your brain around people who play giant drums while walking. You can't? Well then you can go ahead and cross "play candombe music" off your to-do list, because when it comes to candombe, playing while walking is the only way to do it.

Candombe music from Uruguay uses wooden drums that are shaped like barrels and called tamboriles. You wear them with one strap over your shoulder (called a talig or talí) and play them with a stick in your other hand. There are three kinds of tamboriles: chico (alto), repique (tenor), and piano (bass). The chico drum marks the tempo, piano drums the melody, and repique does the improv.

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