- Robin Moore
Also known as Orquesta típica. A phrase used in Cuba to denote wind ensemble groups associated primarily with the nineteenth century that played dance repertoire of the period, most often contradanzas, danzas, and danzones. The instrumentation of such groups typically included two or more violins, two clarinets, acoustic bass, bassoon, trombone, cornet or trumpet, a güiro scraper, and timbales. The piquete típico format remained popular from the early nineteenth century through the turn of the twentieth century. At that time its popularity began to decline and other ensembles began to take its place in public life, most notably the smaller Charanga bands of flute and violin, and large jazz bands.
A group known as the Piquete Típico Cubano continues to exist in Havana. The revolutionary government formalized its status in 1963 under the direction of musicologist Odilio Urfé. The mission of the group is to maintain older repertoire that might otherwise not be heard. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Piquete recorded LP records of historical dance repertoire for the EGREM record label. Under the guidance of its current director, Jorge Vistel Columbié, the ensemble often performs together with dancers in Old Havana, and has created video shorts for educational purposes....