Clave Madness!

by Karl Hitzemann

It's time to break out the claves! Well, maybe not... Imagine writing a song called "Clave Madness!" which uses lots of fun Latin instruments like congas, bongos, cowbell, shakers, guiro, and, you would hope, claves. But alas, the person in charge of the instruments forgot to bring, of all things, the claves! How can you forget the claves for a song with "clave" in the title?! That's the fun and silly conundrum of "Clave Madness!"

This song features a wonderful Latin rhythm section and winds, complete with a soaring trumpet solo. It's sure to bring up the energy level of your singers. If you want to do a bit of staging with this song, have one performer out in front being the person who forgot the claves. He/she can be looking around or digging through a box trying to find the claves while the song is sung. Have another performer pretending to be the person who is needing the claves. This person should be acting very anxious and frustrated. These two people would then do the bit of dialog at the end of the piece when the claves are finally located. Also, be sure to have lots of over-the-top exuberance the second time at measure 41 when the line "you forgot the claves" is spoken instead of sung. As always, you can hear a great demonstration on the performance track.

On the recording for this issue, you will find our standard performance and accompaniment tracks for this song. The accompaniment track has the claves playing randomly at the end of the piece. Your actors can pretend to be playing them or even play an actual pair of claves if you have them. However, if you would like to have a track that does not have the claves at the end, we have provided such a track on our web site. That way, you can provide your own claves. You could also use this track if you choose to sing the song without the spoken part at the end.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.