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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

King Carlos, aka Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Modern Music

As the parade of the Guaracheritos de Regla passes with colourful carnival costumes, choreographed dances, and drums, the gathered crowd falls in behind the procession and joins the celebration.
Photo: Britt Basel
Back in colonial Spain, King Carlos made an ironic decision in his war against non-Christians: he banned slaves from Muslim areas of Africa in the new territory of Cuba. So the peoples of northern Africa were sent to other European colonies including the U.S., where their stringed instruments may have helped give rise to the musical tradition of the blues; while many of the first slaves who wound up in Cuba came from the forested regions of southern Africa, where the drum was, and still is, king. - Britt Basel
Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo By Ned Sublette
While former [Spanish] colonies gradually abolished chattel slavery after independence in the 1830's, the Cuban pro-slavery lobby succeeded in delaying abolition in Puerto Rico, and Cuba, the two remaining American possessions, until nearly the end of the 19th century. - Slavery in the Spanish New World colonies

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