What's the best type of Cuban Music?
We love Cuban Salsa Music & Cuban Reaggaton to get us on the dance floor! Find out about the best of Cuban Music here.
Types of Cuban Music
The music of Cuba is as varied and diverse as its culture and population. It is primarily a fusion of African and European musical influences that developed in the early 19th century from the interplay between the Spanish immigrants and their African plantation slaves. Since that time, Cuban music has been an enormous influence in the international music scene and may be the most popular form of world music. There are many types of Cuban music, as well as their derivatives.
Son is perhaps the most popular style of traditional folk Cuban music and gave rise to numerous modern styles including salsa, cha-cha-cha and mambo. Son has origins in the late 19th century, when it arose in the Santiago region of Cuba. It combines elements of the Spanish canción with African rhythms and percussion instrumentation.
Perhaps the most well-known of Cuban music, salsa is actually a term derived in New York City in the 1960s by Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants. It is an mixture of Puerto Rican and Cuban influences and is derived from several different musical styles. Although son is agreed to be the backbone of modern salsa, elements of jazz, mambo, Afro-Cuban rhythms and several other styles are all found in salsa music.
Rumba is another popular folk style originating in the late 19th century in the provinces of Havana and Matanzas. Secular in origin, the music was a product of both the Spanish settlers and their African slaves. It is often accompanied by an erotic dance symbolizing the pursuit of a woman by a man. The music is rhythmic and a combination of drumming, dancing and singing in both Spanish and African languages.
Danzon was developed in the 1870s in Matanzas, and like most other Cuban music, has both European and Spanish influences. However, unlike other styles, the danzon is usually played with instruments such as the flute, piano or strings and has a slow, melodious, classical sound. The dance of the danzon is a slow, elegant couple dance and was considered aristocratic.
The mambo is a modern musical style and dance, influenced by traditional Cuban styles such as danzon and son, as well as newer musical styles like jazz and swing. The first mambo was written in 1938 by Orestes Lopez, but only in 1943 did it become popularized with a dance by Perez Prado. Mambo also had raging, though short-lived, popularity in the United States. The modern mambo contains elements of swing and traditional Cuban music and is played with jazz instruments and drums.