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The Artistry of Afro-Cuban Batá Drumming – Aesthetics, Transmission, Bonding, and Creativity - University Press of Mississippi
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The Artistry of Afro-Cuban Batá Drumming: Aesthetics, Transmission, Bonding, and Creativity

Kenneth Schweitzer


An iconic symbol and sound of the Lucumí/Santería religion, Afro-Cuban batá are talking drums that express the epic mythological narratives of the West African Yoruba deities known as orisha. By imitating aspects of speech and song, and by metaphorically referencing salient attributes of the deities, batá drummers facilitate the communal praising of orisha in a music ritual known as a toque de santo. This book blends musical transcription, musical analysis, interviews, ethnographic descriptions, and observations from his own experience as a ritual drummer to highlight the complex variables at ... More

Keywords: Afro-Cuban batá, talking drums, mythological narratives, West African Yoruba, orisha, deities, music ritual, toque de santo, ritual drummer, trance possessions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9781617036699
Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617036699.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kenneth Schweitzer, author