Instrumentation (12 players)
Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibes 1 (soloist), Vibes 2, Marimba (1,2), Bass/Marimba, Timpani, Timbales, Bongo Bell, Congas, Drumset
Plena is a traditional rhythm from Puerto Rico traced tothe beginning of the20th century. Born in the south of the island and adopting African, European, and native influences, Plena was the!news teller (troubadour style) of the towns. Very satirical, Plena would announce subjects that include from the neighbors to the governor. The drums were like the tambourine but without the jingles, called Panderos or Panderetas. The group would consist of (3) drummers, a guiro and or maracas player, and guitarist(s). Later a trumpet would be added to the group. The music usually starts with an instrumental section (Intro) choral section (A) in which the subject of the song and dance is presented. Solo vocal (B) will sing the story. These two sections will go back and forth for a while. In the middle section (C) the drummers become more active, while the solo drummer will improvise complementingthe solo dancer who with the steps would also tell the story. Also in this section it would turn into an instrumental solo. Vocals were added with shorter versions of the previous choir (D). Then, back to the main choir and solo vocal repeating this for a shorter time and ending with an instrumental section, many times the (Intro) and a percussion break.
Plena Linda follows this form. The Panderos drums are replace by the conga drums. One player can play the Plena pattern while another can play short improvisation using the plena pattern as reference.