Let’s Talk Cuba


Let’s Talk Cuba is a joint commission by the Music Teachers National Association and Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA), as a result of my winning the 2019 edition of the ISMTA Composer Commissioning Program.

The starting point for the composition of this piece was to emulate at the piano a very common rhythmic pattern played by the congas (tumbadoras) when accompanying the Cuban genre son. The piece starts by playing bits of this pattern. The rhythms used in most of the remainder of the work are variations of what was presented in the introduction, with the exception of a few sections in which new rhythmic material is introduced. The harmonic language of the piece combines three main types of chords: those derived from a whole-tone scale, along with seventh chords – favoring dominant seventh chords- and altered chords. Another important element of the composition is the presence of tumbao-like gestures that appear as thematic, transitional, and closing material. Finally, the formal structure resembles a first movement of a sonata form, containing an exposition, a development and a recapitulation.

-Ivette Herryman Rodríguez


Ivette Herryman Rodríguez

Score: $18