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This 110-page book is designed to accompany El Lenguaje del Tambor: Bata Rhythms from Matanzas, Cuba, a 2-disc set of instructional DVDs that presents the Oro Seco as played in Matanzas, Cuba.

These transcriptions offer the most detailed and complete documentation of the fundamentals of Matanzas-style bata drumming every produced.

The 19 rhythms of the Oro Seco were transcribed by internationally-acclaimed percussionist Bill Summers, who has studied with both the late Esteban (Chacha) Vega Bacallao (who consecrated him to the sacred drums) and Daniel Alfonso, master drummer and the instructor on the DVDs; Kevin Repp and Vanessa Lindberg, both long-time students of Daniel's; Michael Spiro, world-renowned Afro Cuban percussionist and teacher who studied intensively over several decades with both Chacha and Daniel; and classically-trained musician Neraldo Duran.

Each transcription presents, to the greatest extent possible, the rhythm as it is played by Daniel on the DVDs. Explanatory notes identifying the changes in the individual rhythms match and amplify the subtitles presented on the discs.

The Second Edition has been completely revised to enhance the readability of the scores. The notation has been reduced to a two line staff, and the notes and rests within each measure have been grouped together so that each beat is easier to read.

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The Kabiosile team of musicians and scholars have just released a second edition of their book of transcriptions. Responding to feedback from drummers and scholars about the first edition, they have overhauled the musical transcription style. Following trends of scholarly percussion notation, they have reduced the five-line staff in favor of a simplified two-line staff which represents each hand and head of the drum. This is not only easier on the eye, but it is simpler to read. The team have also reviewed their approach to rhythm notation by beaming each beat and reinforcing rests with short, headless stems. While this is not a conventional classical approach to rhythm notation, it makes the bata's complex rhythms far more explicit and easy to read most particularly for musicians with only rudimentary reading skills, while still being accessible and comfortable for advanced readers.

The Lenguaje del Tambor DVD/book package is currently the richest resource available for learning the Matanzas style bata. --Amanda Vincent
Bata scholar
London, England

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ISBN 10: 1606431196 ISBN 13: 9781606431191
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