Music and Dances
From Music to Dance there is only one step
To fully appreciate the Cuban music we listen to and dance today, it is important to understand the evolution and progression it has had in the cultural history of Cuba.
80% of the Cuban music we hear today is called Salsa or Timba (a new evolution of Salsa). These terms are as broad as hip-hop, jazz or rock. A lot has been put into it, which is why the use of the term “gender” has always been controversial.
There is a lot to be said about that. This will be presented soon in a dedicated article in News: Stay Tuned.
In the meantime, my research over the years and studies in Cuba are the subject of musicology courses but also explained in regular courses in small episodes (there are 8 seasons for the moment: D).
In a nutshell, these two genres have their roots in the Afro-Rumbera and Sonera (Traditional Sound) cultures, which are the result of a crossbreeding between African and Spanish cultures. La Clave meets The Spaninsh Guitar !
The first mentions in Salsa were made with the legend will be Ignacio Pineiro for "Donde estabas anoche" (1925) and Echale salsita (1933).
Although the term Salsa is used to define the addition of spice, Ignacio Piñeiro defines this "genre" as the remainder of Cuban Son.
Subsequently, North American influences with Jazz, Rock, Funk, known in the last 50 years and shared by groups such as Irakere and NG La Banda, had a strong importance in the creation of the Timba we know today.
The return to the origins of Rumba and Afro (Orishas, Palo, Arara...) even more intensely than before, is clearly evident on the latest recordings.
The evolution continues with the urban influences of Hip-Hop, Ragga... to bring forth the Reggaeton and/or Cubaton that is currently all the rage in Cuba and around the world.
The most important notion and the common element between these different musics is that they are created to be danced and "PARA GOZAR"!
The majority of Cuban dances are swapped by two people (couples). It is the connection between man and woman, but also between friends, that is at the heart of this art. Dance is above all a moment of pleasure and expression of life. It allows a reconnection with ourselves and others.
In Cuba we observe as main expressions of this philosophy:
More than just words (which you will have in class), I suggest you discover this in video: