Rhythm: Salsa follows the rhythmical pattern of the Son Cubano with the key of the Son on the 4/4 stroke.
Melody: In many cases the melodies of the Salsa correlate with the traditional Son Montuno and other Caribbean genres. The influence of the Afro-Cuban Jazz contributed to the development of the Salsa music and dance.
Harmony: The Salsas‘ harmony agrees with the very of the occidential music and also has the tradinional musical Cuban traits.
Instruments: Salsa music uses Caban percussion instruments that have gained popularity in 1920es. Those instruments are kettledrums, the Güiro Cubano, bells and two rattles. The Conga (that distinguishes itself from the other Afro Cuban drums though its tonal heritage) and instruments as the piano, string bass or e-guitar conducted into a new style that established itself as important Salsa component across love songs of the Salsa Romántica in Columbia, Venezuela, Panama and slightly distant places such as Japan.
Salsa as a musical genre
Salsa is a mix between Afro-Cuban rhythms as the Son Montuno, Bomba, Mambo and Plena. It also has American Jazz elements. The movement that conducted from this new style started in New York, when a group of young musicians with Latin origin decided to blend tunes and rhythms. They tried to create a new style that accords to the dancing audience of that time to carry the “taste” that the other Afro-Cuban rhythms already possesed. Some of these musicians were ay Barretto, Bobby Valentin, Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, Richie Ray, Bobby Cruz, Ismael Miranda, Adalberto Santiago and others like the Salsa star Cortijo snd Ismael Rivera.
On the 21. August 1972 the disc “Fania All Stars” was presented in Chetah by the Dominican flautist Jonny Pacheco and the jewish attorney Jerry Massuci. This birth of the Salsa was shown in the movie “Nuestra Cosa Latina”.
Thanks to the disc “FANIA” this rhythm gained popularity and spread all over the world from 1975 in New York to the Caribbean and the whole world. The music of this time is called Salsa Clásica or Salsa de Oro (golden Salsa).
In the 1970es and 1980es the Salsa reached Venezuela, Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and also lived variations in Europe and Japan.
At the beginning of the 1980es the Salsa was influenced by the Dominican Merengue and the disco music, whereat a whole new musician generation invented a new Salsa style. This style is called erotic Salsa or romantic Salsa. Some of these talents were Frankie Ruiz, Eddie Santiago and Luis Enrique.
Meanwhile, Merengue was the music that attracted people to discotheques in Puerto Rico. Thankfully, the “Musica brava” was implemented again and this is the real Salsa. The audience expects Salsa with vitality and halt. They want to see the singer indulging into the music, hear a good solo, listen to the lyrics that tells from life; in short everything that was devoted from Salsa from the very beginning.
The developments from 1988 are mostly given through the label RMM that belongs to the Puerto Rican Ralph Mercado. Thanks to this label young and successful musicians such es Tito Nieves, Tony Vega and José Alberto “El Canario” were launched.
Nevertheless, Cuban bands hat an important value in times of the vanguard of the Salsa such as Los Vanvan, NG La Banda and Adalberto Alvarez and his Son. Nowadays, Salsa is listened and danced all over the world. Luckily, Salsa music styles are produced for every taste and every audience.