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A Bembe is an Afro-Cuban rhythm used in Santeria rites to evoke different Orishas of the Yoruban pantheon. Bembe Shango honors Shango, the Yoruban Orisha of Lightning, Thunder, Drums, Dancing and Yams. Musically, this rhythm (like other bembe rhythms) is fascinating, because it can be played at many different tempos and still sound wonderful. Most musical ideas must be played in a narrow range of tempos, usually a 30 or 40 beat range to sound their best. If you play them too slow or too fast, they lose their savor. Bembe Shango sounds great when you play it at 70 beats a minute and equally amazing at 600 bpm, nearly a factor of 10 range of tempos. It changes it's character and sounds like a different rhythm at the different tempos. In usual performance, it seems to be performed at a tempo between 120 and 200 bpm. To learn more of Shango, see Shango To learn more about the Bembe ceremony, see Bembe: The Rhythm of the Saints
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