Private Lessons
Brooks Truly, D.M.A.
Percussionist / Educator

The Afro-Cuban Abakuá:

Rhythmic Origins to Modern Applications

DMA Essay Abstract

The objective of my doctoral essay and powerpoint presentation is to help shed some light on the Afro-Cuban musical style called the Abakuá. The essay/presentation traces the development of the Abakuá secret society and its music from its ancestral beginnings in Africa (with the Èfik and Efut Leopard Societies), through its movement into Cuba and the development of the first lodge (in the eighteen hundreds), to its eventual influence in America. The essay/presentation also describes the impact the Abakuá has had on music in general, but especially the music of the Cuban Rumba and Afro-Cuban jazz.

Detail is given on many different aspects of the Abakuá, including the history, beliefs, and practices of the secret society, the types of ceremonies, the types of drums and rhythms associated with each ceremony, including their purpose, and the influences of Abakuá on rumba and modern music. The essay/presentation concludes with an assessment of the development of the drum set and how this instrument has played a part in the music of the Abakuá as well as Afro-Cuban jazz in general. While this essay covers many elements, the focus remains on the drums and rhythms of the Abakuá and how they have influenced others and evolved throughout this process.


PASIC 2010 Video Links
The entire presentation is available below but has
been broken into six sections.

click here to see the PASIC 2010 program

Introduction - Origins of The Abakuá

The Secret - Instrumentation (Sacred Drums)

Sacred Drums (Ekué) - Traditional Abakuá Music (Performance Demonstration)

Chano Pozo and the Influence of Abakuá - Modern Applications of Abakuá Rhythms

Modern Applications of Abakuá Rhythms (Drum Set Performance Demonstrations) 

Modern Abakuá Ensemble - Performance Demonstration


PASIC 2010 was a great success! Thank you to
all who participated!

Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) 
Friday, November 12th, 2010 at 5:00PM
at the Indianapolis Convention Center, 
Indianapolis, IN.

Sponsored by:



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