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Salsa MusicSalsa Music a popular genre of Latin American music Since itsemergence in the mid-1960s salsa has achieved worldwidepopularity attracting performers and audiences not only in LatinAmerican communities but also in such non-Latin countries as Japanand Sweden In terms of style and structure salsa is areinterpretation and modernization of Cuban dance-music stylesIt emerged around 1900 as an urban popular dance-music style inCuba It derived some features from Hispanic music including itsharmonies and the use of the guitar and a similar instrument calledthe tres To these it added characteristics of the rumba a style ofdance music with Afro-Cuban origins Features derived from therumba include a rhythmic pattern known as clave and a two-partformal structure This structure consists of a songlike first sectionfollowed by a longer second section featuring call-and-responsevocals and instrumental improvisations over a repeated chordalpattern By the 1940s the son had become the most popular dancemusic in Cuba Puerto Rico and much of urban Africa Puerto Ricanswho moved to New York City brought the son with themThe 1950s were a particularly dynamic period for Cuban dancemusic Cuban and Puerto Rican performers in Havana Cuba andNew York City popularized the mambo as a predominantlyinstrumental big-band style The mambo together with themedium-tempo chachach enjoyed considerable popularity in theUnited States Most importantly the son was modernized byadaptation to horn-based ensembles of 10 to 15 musicians anddistinctive often jazz-influenced instrumental stylesBy the 1950s New York City had become host to a large andgrowing Puerto Rican community A wave of social and politicalactivism cultural self-assertion and artistic ferment swept throughthis community in the 1960s The newly founded Fania Recordssuccessfully promoted several young performers of Cuban-styledance music and the musicnow repackaged as salsabecamelinked to the sociopolitical effervescence of the era Bandleaderssuch as Willie Colon Rubn Blades Johnny Pacheco Ray Barrettoand Eddie Palmieri led the musical movement in which salsabecame a self-conscious vehicle for Latino pride unity andmobilization throughout the Hispanic Caribbean Basin countries andamong Latino communities in the eastern United States
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