Bongo – percussion instrument originally from Cuba. It represents a small double drum. In Cuba, bongos first appeared in the province of Oriente, in the early twentieth century. Bongo is widely used in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music in general. Drums made of wood, metal or composite material connected by a bridge, and a material for the membrane may be either animal skin or synthetic materials. Bongo drums have an open bottom – similar to the Bantu or Congo drums from central Africa – which is the reason why bongos are believed to have been influenced by African drum design. In Morocco, Egypt and the Middle East were found similar to bongos drums that had ceramic body and stretched goat skin. Since they are known as "tbila".
Often bongos used in the accompaniment of flamenco, which is likely due to the influence of Moorish culture in Spain. Ceramic bongos common in the Middle East and Asia. Wooden bongos were probably brought to America from Africa during the slave trade. The size of bongo drum heads can vary but are usually between 6 and 7 inches to between 7 and 8.5 inches. When playing the bongos the drummer usually holds them positioned between their legs. The position of the bongos depends on player preference but the technique of striking the bongos is the same in that the drummer strikes with their finger pads, thumbs, and heels of the hand, but never their knuckles. Bongo drums are the world's most common hand drum thanks to the popularity of Cuban big band music that gained international attention when it was introduced.
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