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- This article is about percussion instruments used in Latin music. For the instrument manufacturer and distributor by this name, also known as LP, see Latin Percussion.
The term Latin percussion refers to any number of a large family of musical percussion instruments used in Latin music, which in turn is a very loosely related group of musical styles, mainly from the Latin American region, and ultimately having roots or influences in African tribal music.
That definition is good enough for many people, and is true so far as it goes, but before getting into details, it should be pointed out that Latin music can be, and indeed, is, played on any number of instruments, percussion and otherwise. This is an extremely percussive style of music, and many percussion instruments used in the styles roughly known as Latin music cross into different categories.
Again, though many different instruments can be used in Latin American music (and, in fact, often whole percussion sections are occasionally supplemented or even replaced by a Drum Kit, for the purposes of getting a more rock, pop, or jazz sound, or for financial or other constraints), there are a number of instruments that are typically and particularly meant for Latin music.
A "typical" percussion section would be hard, if not impossible, to define, but a more or less full sound can be obtained with congas, bongos, timbales, maracas, guiros, gourds, shakers, and cowbells. In large ensembles, it is not unusual to find a different percussionist responsible for each individual instrument. More often in modern times, though, two, three or four musicians will split the duties of all instruments, with, perhaps, a designated conguero, bongocero, and/or timbalero.
There are far too many instruments in this sub-family of percussion to list all of them here. For more information:
- Latin Fiesta, Latin Percussion Instruments
- Percussion Info.- Latin Percussion and World Drumming Resource.
- Percussion Instruments