The reggae of Jamaica and the drums in Spain: two cultural manifestations that continue to make history

Through reggae and tambourines, we can find percussion at different levels of cultural expression. Furthermore, the reggae of Jamaica and the drums of Spain are not only music, but also values ​​and customs for society. These are two musical genres that continue to make history over the years.


Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity 

At this time, both manifestations are Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as they have attracted the attention of people throughout the rest of the world, being declared in this way by UNESCO. Who does not think of reggae when visiting Jamaica or the bombaradas when he goes to Spain at Easter. This is because they are qualities that define such places and moments very well. In addition, these manifestations are very important in the culture of these countries. 


The origin of Jamaican reggae  

This musical genre was born in Jamaica in the second half of the 60s and at first it was an art through which people expressed their criticism of social inequality, labor exploitation, racism, among other social problems. However, there are currently reggae singers who express love lyrics, beach, party, among other themes.

Reggae has its roots in ska and rocksteady, but differs from those genres by slowing down the rhythm and reducing the use of wind instruments. One of the most important representatives of reggae is Bob Marley, who not only criticized through his songs, but also inspired society to be peaceful and to practice love between people. This artist was the one who spread reggae throughout the world, even thanks to him today we hear this musical genre in several languages.




Reggae and drums

This type of music has a deep connection with drums, in fact congas, bongo and drums are some of the main instruments of reggae. In addition, it can be said that the peals on the leather are one of the most characteristic elements of reggae. With a guitar, a bongo and a singer you can already make reggae music at home. However, if you want to play with a band in the future, we recommend that you review how much a good drum costs to make a wise investment.


The tambourines in Spain and the reggae of Jamaica

Although they seem two very different themes, the truth is that they have many similarities, so many that both manifestations are recognized by Unesco as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. One of the similarities of these two traditions is that they call for unity, transmitting values ​​such as respect and social equality.

In the Spanish tambourines of Teruel, Córdoba, Valencia, Murcia, Castellón or Albacete you can see group work, brotherhood and discipline of each procession, especially at Easter. Likewise, respect and brotherhood is practiced by the Rastafari, a Jamaican religious movement, to which the majority of reggae singers belong.

All this means that both cultural manifestations have different origins, but are related to the spiritual. The tambourines, for example, are based on the Catholic faith and take place in Lent.

In addition to this, both drums and reggae have cultural and musical characteristics that have remained intact over time. The drumming has passed from one generation to another, that is, from father to son, respecting each peal and custom of the groups. On the other hand, reggae, although it has evolved over time, has not lost sight of the essence of the genre, which is the slow 4/4 rhythm with an accent on the weak beats of the compass, that is, in the second and the fourth pulse. In addition, normally in this genre the guitar is still used to make syncopations.


The tambourines of Spain

Unesco registered 15 manifestations of Spain in its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, among which the Fallas of Valencia, the castells or the Patios of Córdoba stand out. Also, activities with drums and other musical instruments are part of this list, for example, the Baena drum and flamenco. The latter stands out for its guitar sounds and dance, in addition to the flamenco cajon, which, according to some historians, has its origin in Peru.

The tambourines are parades or processions to the sound of the drums, in which people from a certain place participate, for example, the festival of San Sebastián. This is held every January 20 in the city of San Sebastián, capital of Guipúzcoa, Spain. In this cultural and religious celebration drum and barrel peals are heard, in addition, people are dressed in Napoleonic military costumes, since it is a cultural manifestation with origins in the wars carried out by Napoleon Bonaparte.




Tamborrada that collapses balconies

In Calanda, province of Teruel, one of the most emblematic religious and cultural manifestations of Spain is held called breaking the hour. This festival takes place on Good Friday at 12 noon.   

Calandinos gather in the main square dressed in blue and hanging drums of different sizes to celebrate this tradition. It is impressive how seconds before the 12 thousand people gathered in the place make absolute silence to begin at the same time the drumming .  

The noise is so intense that drum vibrations have collapsed balconies in Calanda. However, this is not an impediment so that each year the number of people who attend continues to grow. This demonstration has even attracted the attention of many Spanish citizens and tourists, who go to the municipality at Easter to enjoy this great bombarada that has been going on for more than 100 years.

It is a celebration that unites the religious with the profane, in which Christians or atheists come together to play the drum with joy. The tradition is passed down by parents and grandparents, so that new generations follow suit every Good Friday.


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