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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ His resourcefulness and range of sound from an orthodox conga set and assorted percussion props is breathtaking.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

conga \conga\ n.

  1. music composed for dancing the conga.

  2. a Latin American dance of 3 steps and a kick by people in single file.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1935, American Spanish, fem. of (danza) Congo "Congo (dance);" so called because it was assumed to be of African origin.


n. 1 a tall, narrow, single-headed Cuban hand drum of African origin 2 a march of Cuban origin in four-four time in which people form a chain, each holding the hips of the person in front of them; in each bar, dancers take three shuffle steps and then kick alternate legs outwards at the beat; the chain weaves around the place and allows new participants to join the back of the chain vb. To dance the cong

  1. n. music composed for dancing the conga

  2. a Latin American dance of 3 steps and a kick by people in single file

  3. v. dance the conga


The conga, also known as tumbadora, is a tall, narrow, single-headed drum from Cuba. Congas are staved like barrels and classified into three types: quinto (lead drum, highest), tres dos or tres golpes (middle), and tumba or salidor (lowest). Congas are traditionally used in Afro-Cuban genres such as conga and rumba, although they are now very common in some other forms of Latin music, including descarga, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, songo, merengue and Latin rock.

Conga (disambiguation)

The conga is a Cuban drum.

Conga may also refer to:

Conga (music)

The term conga refers to the music groups within Cuban comparsas and the music they play. Comparsas are large ensembles of musicians, singers and dancers with a specific costume and choreography which perform in the street carnivals of Santiago de Cuba and Havana.

The instrumentation differs between congas santiagueras and congas habaneras. Congas santiagueras include the corneta china (Chinese cornet), which is an adaptation of the Cantonese suona introduced in Oriente in 1915, and its percussion section comprises bocúes (similar to African ashiko drums), the quinto (highest pitched conga drum), galletas and the pilón, as well as brakes which are struck with metal sticks. Congas habaneras lack the corneta china but include trumpets, trombones and saxophones, and they have a different set of percussion instruments: redoblantes ( side drums), bombos ( bass drums), quinto, tumbadora (the lowest pitched conga drum), and metallic idiophones such as cowbells, spoons, frying pans and rims.

Congas and comparsas have a long history which dates back to the 19th century, with musical traditions being passed down from one generation to the next. The older comparsas are derived from cabildos de nación or other social groups, whereas the later ones, called paseos, are derived from barrios (neighbourhoods). The music of the congas has become a genre itself, being introduced into Cuban popular music in the early 20th century by artists such as Eliseo Grenet and Armando Oréfiche and his Havana Cuban Boys. They have been present for decades in the repertoire of many conjuntos, Cuban big bands and descarga ensembles, also having an influence on modern genres such as salsa and songo. The conga drum, also known in Cuba as tumbadora, took its name from the congas de comparsa.

Conga (song)

"Conga" is the first hit single released by the American band Miami Sound Machine led by Gloria Estefan on their second English-language album, and ninth overall, Primitive Love. The song was written by the band's drummer and lead songwriter Enrique Garcia. The single was first released in 1985.

Conga (skipper)

Conga is a genus of skippers in the family Hesperiidae.

Usage examples of "conga".

About midline, her mother yanked Kyle into the Conga line, her well-manicured hands encircling his flat stomach.

In fact, he can see that she rumbas and sambas and congas much better than any married beautiful should, because between a rumba and a samba she informs him that her name is Mrs.

And it was toward this direction that Jim Pooley danced at the head of an inebriated conga line, composed for the most part of under-age females.

So they get out on the floor and rumba quite a while and after that they samba some and then they conga and Ambrose can see that the beautiful has a very liberal education, indeed, along these lines.

The route through the wax museum twisted like a conga line among the life-size wax displays, all of them behind a velvet rope and all of them involving murderers of one kind or another.

Chuck and the others joined an enormous conga line that stepped and hip-thrust its way down a street full of people shouting and singing.

SSR was keeping a low profile We joined the conga line of men pushing empty dollies back into the big cool space of the warehouse.

I could see now that the minister, doing what looked like deltoid releases, was leading his merry band of church elders in the equivalent of a canonical conga line with Essie Daggett bringing up the rear.

The final trumpet choruses that came with drum climaxes on conga and bongo drums, on the great mad Chattanooga record, froze Dean in his tracks for a moment till he shuddered and sweated.

One night a year ago, Cinco de Mayo, there was a mariachi Mexican Spanish Pachuco conga lineup through the halls and down through the tenement, gassed on wine and enchiladas.

The warm-up would have gone well if he hadn't started that dumb conga line.

A branle was forming in the hallway like a fifteenth-century conga line, accompanied only by Felix Arabia on shawm, resembling a Bosch demon in a genial moment.

In the early 1960s a conga line of trucks, straining against the heat and blowing sand, hauled 6,000 tons of heavy steel to the secret base.

And when they get there they'll form a conga line and sing 'It's a Small World After All.

When I arrived at the auditorium at the appointed hour, the expected conga line of sign-holding protesters had not materialized.