Musical instruments of slaves come alive at Antigua Aduana

Musical instruments do not have to be elaborate, and those who came to the Americas as slaves pretty much had to create their own, based on what they had seen and used in their native Africa.

Carlos Blanco Fadol is a man who has traveled the world and assembled one of the largest collection of such instruments. Some 35 of them will be on display at the Antigua Aduana until April 13. The display is part of the Festival de las Artes.

A special program is planned for today at 5 p.m.  The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said that the public is invited to play the instruments as part of a large orchestra. A summary says that no musical experience is needed and that some of the instruments can be learned in a few minutes.

Basically they come in four forms. There is the instrument that creates sound by its own vibrations. There are instruments with strings that are plucked. Others are wind instruments and others generate sound by the movement of some piece that is under tension, such as a drum.

Blanco has one original that is about 400 years old, the ministry said.

The Antigua Aduana is on Calle 23 in northeast San José.

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