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This article is about the dance music. For the band, see Contradanza (band).

The Cuban contradanza (also called contradanza criolla, danza, danza criolla, or habanera) was a popular dance music genre of the 19th century. It was the first written music to be rhythmically based on an African motif, and the first Cuban dance to gain international popularity. Habanera is the name used outside of Cuba, for the Cuban contradanza.[1] Manuel states that "In Cuba itself, the term habanera . . . was only adopted subsequent to its international popularization, coming in the latter 1800s" (2009: 97).[2]

Origins and Early Development[edit]

Its origins dated back to the European contredanse, which was an internationally popular form of music and dance of the late 18th century. It was brought to Santiago de Cuba by French colonists fleeing the Haitian Revolution in the 1790s (Carpentier 2001:146). The earliest Cuban contradanza of which a record remains is "San Pascual Bailón," written in 1803 (Orovio 1981:118). This work shows the contradanza in its embryonic form, lacking characteristics that would later set it apart from the contredanse. The time signature is 2/4 with two sections of eight bars, repeated- AABB (Santos 1982).

During the first half of the 19th century, the contradanza dominated the Cuban musical scene to such an extent that nearly all Cuban composers of the time, whether composing for the concert hall or the dance hall, tried their hands at the contradanza (Alén 1994:82). Among them, Manuel Saumell (1817–1870) is the most noted (Carpentier 2001:185-193).

The contradanza, when played as dance music, was performed by the orquesta típica, an ensemble composed of two violins, two clarinets, a contrabass, a cornet, a trombone, an ophicleide, paila and a güiro (Alén 1994:82).

Cinquillo, tresillo, and the habanera rhythm[edit]

Cinquillo. About this sound Play 
Tresillo.[3][4] About this sound Play 

The cinquillo (a variant of the more basic tresillo) is a syncopated rhythmic cell whose introduction into the contradanza/danza began its differentiation from a strictly European form of music. Carpentier (2001:149) states that the cinquillo was brought to Cuba in the songs of the black slaves and freedmen who emigrated to Santiago de Cuba from Haiti in the 1790s. Although the cinquillo was introduced into the contradanza in Santiago at the beginning of the 19th century, composers in western Cuba remained ignorant of its existence:

"In the days when a trip from Havana to Santiago was a fifteen-day adventure (or more), it was possible for two types of contradanza to coexist: one closer to the classical pattern, marked by the spirits of the minuet, which later would be reflected in the danzón, by way of the danza; the other, more popular, which followed its evolution begun in Haiti, thanks to the presence of the 'French Blacks' in eastern Cuba (Carpentier 2001:150)."

Manuel disputes Carpentier's claim that the cinquillo was first incorporated into the contradanza in Santiago. Among other things, Manuel cites "at least a half a dozen Havana counterparts, whose existence refutes Carpentier's claim for the absence of the cinquillo in Havana contradanza" (Manuel 2009: 55-56).[5] The cinquillo pattern is sounded on a bell in the folkloric Congolese-based makuta, as played in Havana.[6] As one of the most common rhythmic patterns found in Africa and in music of the Diaspora, cinquillo survived in many former slave ports of the New World, including both Santiago and Havana.

Tresillo is used for ostinato bass figures of some contradanzas, such as "Tu madre es conga."[7] Another tresillo variant popularized by the Cuban contradanza is the rhythmic cell referred to as the habanera rhythm,[8] congo,[9] tango-congo,[10] or tango.[11]

"Habanera" rhythm. About this sound Play 

Danza[edit]

According to Argeliers Léon (1974:8), the word danza was merely a contraction of contradanza and there are no substantial differences between the music of the contradanza and the danza. In fact, both terms continued to denominate what was essentially the same thing throughout the 19th century.[12]

A danza entitled " El Sungambelo," dated 1813, has the same structure as the contradanza- the four-section scheme is repeated twice: ABAB (Santos 1982). In this early piece, the cinquillo rhythm can already be heard.

Later Development[edit]

The contradanza in 6/8 evolved into the clave (not to be confused with the key pattern of the same name), the criolla and the guajira. From the contradanza in 2/4 came the (danza) habanera and the danzón (Carpentier 2001:147).

The danza dominated Cuban music in the second half of the 19th century, though not as completely as the contradanza had in the first half. Two famous Cuban composers in particular, Ignacio Cervantes (1847–1905) and Ernesto Lecuona (1895–1963), used the danza as the basis of some of their most memorable compositions. And, in spite of competition from the danzón, which eventually won out, the danza continued to be composed as dance music into the 1920s. By this time, the charanga had replaced the orquesta típica of the 19th century (Alén 1994:82- example: "Tutankamen" by Ricardo Reverón).

The music and dance of the contradanza/danza are no longer popular in Cuba, but are occasionally featured in the performances of professional or amateur folklore groups.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Manuel, Peter (2009: 97). Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  2. ^ Manuel, Peter (2009: 97).
  3. ^ Garrett, Charles Hiroshi (2008). Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century, p.54. ISBN 9780520254862. Shown in common time and then in cut time with tied sixteenth & eighth note rather than rest.
  4. ^ Sublette, Ned (2007). Cuba and Its Music, p.134. ISBN 978-1-55652-632-9. Shown with tied sixteenth & eighth note rather than rest.
  5. ^ Manuel, Peter (2009: 55-56). Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  6. ^ Coburg, Adrian (2004: 7). "2/2 Makuta" Percusion Afro-Cubana v. 1: Muisca Folklorico. Bern: Coburg.
  7. ^ Manuel, Peter (2009: 20). Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  8. ^ Roberts, John Storm (1979: 6). The Latin tinge: the impact of Latin American music on the United States. Oxford.
  9. ^ Manuel, Peter (2009: 69). Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  10. ^ Acosta, Leonardo (2003: 5). Cubano Be Cubano Bop; One Hundred Years of Jazz in Cuba. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Books.
  11. ^ Mauleón (1999: 4) Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble. Petaluma, California: Sher Music. ISBN 0-9614701-9-4.
  12. ^ Although the contradanza and danza were musically identical, the dances were different

Discography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Alén, Olavo. 1994. De lo Afrocubano a la Salsa. La Habana, Ediciones ARTEX
  • Carpentier, Alejo. Music in Cuba. Edited by Timothy Brennan. Translated by Alan West-Durán. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.
  • Léon, Argeliers. 1974. De la Contradanza al Danzón. In Fernández, María Antonia (1974) Bailes Populares Cubanos. La Habana, Editorial Pueblo y Educación.
  • Orovio, Helio. 1981. Diccionario de la Música Cubana. La Habana, Editorial Letras Cubanas. ISBN 959-10-0048-0
  • Santos, John. 1982. The Cuban Danzón: Its Ancestors and Descendants, liner notes. Folkways Records - FW04066

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El Universo

El Universo
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:52:30 -0700

“Este año prepararemos 15 gallinas y 45 cuyes para casi 100 personas que se comprometieron a sacar la contradanza desde la noche del sábado que el santo se vela en mi casa, hay castillo y juegos pirotécnicos, banda de pueblo y la alegría de los ...
 
Lewistown News-Argus
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:52:30 -0700

The group was indeed jiving, and they kept a fun, upbeat groove going through “La Bikina” by Ruben Fuentes and “Contradanza” by Paquito D'Rivera. The group was having fun, and they wanted the audience to join in, encouraging those who bought ...

Puebla Noticias

Puebla Noticias
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 12:52:30 -0700

... Los constructores danza contemporánea y Sisti Dance Place; el martes 21 se realizará la final del Concurso Nacional de Coreografía; el miércoles 22 se presenta Vicente Silva Sanjinés Compañía de Danza; jueves 23 Contradanza; viernes 24 Colectivo ...
 
HamletHub
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 08:00:54 -0700

... for Johnny Dodds, The River Queen, Le Tombeau De Bessie Smith, and Les Animaux. Then after a short intermission they will finish up their concert with Aires Tropicales by Paquito D'Rivera: Alborada, Son, Habanera, Vals Venezolano, Contradanza, Afro.
 
EntornoInteligente
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:42:11 -0700

El País / El espectáculo realiza un viaje por fragmentos de obras que marcaron desde los años 60 a fines del siglo pasado, de creadores de primera línea, como Urs Dietrich, Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown y Pina Bausch, entre otros. Las funciones serán ...
 
Informe21.com (Sátira)
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 04:48:45 -0700

“Sin ánimos de cuestionar, sin xenofobia, quitaremos esa música para incorporar gaitas, boleros, guaracha, contradanza y, por supuesto, nuestra música lusiteña; queremos recuperar nuestra idiosincrasia”, expresó ayer Enrique Parra, intendente de ...

El Tiempo Ecuador

El Tiempo Ecuador
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:52:30 -0700

Las festividades en honor a San Lucas, patrono de la parroquia Llacao continúan este fin de semana. Desde las 08:00 de hoy se llevará a cabo el campeonato interescolar de indor con la participación de diferentes establecimientos educativos de la ...

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La Jornada de Oriente
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:00:00 -0700

... del Concurso Nacional de Coreografía; el 22 se presentará Vicente Silva Sanjinés Compañía; el jueves 23 la agrupación Contradanza; el viernes 24 con un colectivo de bailarines invitados y para cerrar, el sábado 25 con la compañía Athosgaracathos.
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