Study - The 4 Great Clave Debates - Clave Debate 1

click here for Kevin Moore's book: Understanding Clave and Clave Changes.

Clave Debate #1: Should clave be written in two bars of 8th notes or one bar of 16th notes?

Most Cubans write it in 16ths and most others write it in 8ths. The 16th note camp argues that their method shows the pulse where it really is. The 8th note camp insists that 8ths are easier to read on the gig. In defense of the 8th note devotees, if you play it with the correct feel, it doesn’t matter how you write it, and experienced musicians can read 8th notes while feeling the pulse in half notes. We’ll go along with them on this, and have no problem with writing parts for experienced musicians in 8th notes, but to learn to understand clave in the first place, it’s horribly misleading to display it as 8th notes spanning two bars because it draws attention away from the real pulse. Our solution will be to show it graphically, which combines ease of reading with the 16th note conceptualization. The four most common clave patterns are shown below:


0=clave
x=rest
|=separates the four subdivisions of each beat

1)xx0x|0xxx|0xx0|xx0x [audio example 1]
2)xx0x|0xxx|0xx0|xxx0 [audio example 2]
3)0xx0|xx0x|xx0x|0xxx [audio example 3]
4)0xx0|xxx0|xx0x|0xxx [audio example 4]

[click here for notes on the audio examples]

Note that we haven’t named these four rhythms! That’s because of Clave Debate #2 ...

click here for Kevin Moore's book: Understanding Clave and Clave Changes.

miércoles, 08 octubre 2014, 06:17 pm