What is a plena in music?

Plena music, also known as la plena, is an Afro-Puerto Rican musical genre known for its heavy percussion and energetic sound. Plena has long been used as a way for working-class Puerto Ricans to communicate with each other and critique society.

Where does plena music come from?

Plena developed from bomba music around the beginning of the 20th century in southern Puerto Rico. Plena lyrics are narrative. They convey a story about events, address topical themes, often comment on political protest movements, and offer satirical commentaries.

Is bomba and plena the same?

As nouns the difference between plena and bomba is that plena is (music|uncountable) a style of puerto rican music having a highly syncopated rhythm and often satirical lyrics or plena can be while bomba is (label) a form of traditional drumming, and an associated form of dance, from puerto rico.

Are lyrics important in plena?

The plena may be danced, but that is less important than the lyrics and melody, in contrast to the bomba. The choreography is quite simple with pairs dancing together although originally evidence indicates that they danced apart.

Who dances plena?

Plena is also enjoyed by the Puerto Rican diaspora outside of Puerto Rico. Pleneros de la 21, for example, traveled to Hawaii to perform for the Puerto Rican diaspora there which include descendants of Puerto Ricans who immigrated to Hawaii from Puerto Rico in the early 20th century.

Why is the plena called the sung newspaper?

Other uses of this music include the narration of significant events in daily life (Morales 2014). The genre, in fact, is known as “el periodico cantado,” or “the sung newspaper,” because it communicates stories about the everyday lives of the Puerto Rican people (Maynard 2016).

Is plena a dance?

Plena is a genre of music and dance native to Puerto Rico.

Who started bomba y plena?

Puerto Rican Bomba is the first native music of Puerto Rico, created in the sugar plantations by slaves more than 400 years ago. African slaves were brought to Puerto Rico by the Spaniards during the 1600s. The slaves came from different African tribes and through this music, they could communicate.

What is the primary instrument used in both bomba and plena?

Bomba y Plena It’s a rhythmic music using barrel-shapped drums covered with tightly stretched animal skins and played by hand. This form of music is produced by one large drum plus a smaller drum called a subidor.

What instruments are used in La plena?

Plena music is generally folkloric in nature. The music’s beat and rhythm are usually played using hand drums called panderetas, also known as panderos. The music is accompanied by a scrape gourd, the guiro. Panderetas resemble tambourines but without the jingles.

What is often the topic of a plena song?

Following the universal custom the theme touches upon all phases of life—romance, politics, and current events. Generally, anything which appeals to the imagination of the people, such as the arrival of a personage, a crime, a bank moratorium, or a hurricane, can be the subject of plena music.

What are some of the uses of plena?

According to singers discussing the use of the plena, they stated it was song with lyrics that related to a current event. For example, if someone drowned or was killed, a plena would be written about it.