There can be some confusion regarding this drum, mainly in the terms quinto and requinto. When we look at big manufacturers like LP we see the quinto and the requinto in their catalogs. However when we look at this album by Grupo Afro-Cubano and look at the quinto player, we see what Lp would call a requinto. To Grupo Afro-Cubano it is the quinto, and they credit Giraldo Rodrigues with playing it.
LP is mainly referring to the requinto as a size of drum, their smallest. While in rumba the names for the drums mainly refer to their role or position in the ensemble. I've also heard the quinto referred to as "a fifth", assuming the fifth drum. I don't know how accurate that really is, but if you have claves, palito, tres dos, salidor then quinto, that makes five. Also quintet means five, thus quinto???
So why requinto? I'm assuming LP adopted the name for size purposes again. An LP quinto is not really different enough in size from the conga and tumba be an authentic sounding quinto for rumba. You need something smaller, with a different shape to sound like that. Listen to an old Los Munequitos album and hear how high pitched the quinto is. Look at the examples in this blog and see how small the "quintos" are.
It doesn't look like Jesus Alfonso needs a smaller version of his quinto here does it? An 11" LP quinto just isn't going to compare with Jesus's drum there, so they've got to have a requinto. We also have Nolan Warden saying:
The words quinto, conga, and tumbadora are now used as a practicality among performers and retailers to indicate size. Quinto, the smaller drum, traditionally refers to the lead part in rumba......
Some manufacturers now produce requintos (extra small) and/or supertumbas (largest). It should not be inferred, however, that drums with these names were ever used together in a traditional ensemble. ~(Warden pg.2)
You never see Jesus Alfonso Mira credited with playing the "requinto", he plays quinto, he is a quintocero. You also never hear the gallo call out "requinto!" when he wants to hear the solo, it's always "quinto!". As Nolan Warden says, you really don't hear the word requinto used referring to a traditional rumba ensemble at all, unless your referring to drums that have been sized along the newer LP "standards". This old Gon Bops ad doesn't use the word requinto, even though their "Super Quinto" size is what we might think of as requinto nowadays. Actually super is the name of the line, along with the Voodoo, and International lines, which also feature the 9 3/4" size. What's even more confusing is the new DW Gon Bops feature a "super quinto" as well, but it is a size in their California series, it's a smaller quinto, what others call a requinto, however DW Gon Bops call it a super quinto, perhaps in reference to the older Gon Bops.
The only rhythm that I have actually learned that calls for a drum part with the name of requinto is a Comparsa taught to me by Sandy Perez. In that rhythm the quinto is still the main improvising drum with the highest pitch, and the requinto drum plays a repeating rhythm and is described as being the 3rd highest pitched drum.
I've also heard that the music Plena from Puerto Rico uses a drum called a requinto. However I know so little about that music, that all I am going to do is mention it and post this little image I found describing what a requinto is in Plena. I assume it's accurate. There is also this from Wikipedia.
The requinto drum is used in the Puerto Rican folk genre plena, wherein it is a small conical hand drum that improvises over the other drum rhythms.
I'm assuming the LP sized quinto is intended for a Salsa or Latin Jazz 3 drum set up, as it's range would be more compatible with a conga and tumba. However, many of the guys I play with use that size as part of their rumba set and that is perfectly fine and acceptable.
Then there's the Guarapachangeo. It's not unusual to see the quinto player for that rhythm to be playing a quinto cajon between his knees, a quinto to his right and then requinto or smaller quinto to the right of that. Not only that, but it's entirely possible for the quinto player to be playing very conservatively while the big bass cajon's are going off all over the place.
So what can I say? Confusing isn't it? A quinto really isn't a quinto, a requinto is a quinto, unless of course you have a quinto and a requinto, but then you have a quinto and a smaller quinto. Oh, and a fifth isn't a bottle, it's a drum.