The term “Salsa” came into use at the end of the 1960s to define the musical genre resulting from the synthesis of Cuban musical influences and other elements of Caribbean music, Latin American music and jazz, especially Afro-Cuban jazz. Salsa was developed by musicians of Hispanic origin in the Gran Caribe and New York City.

Salsa presents the following characteristics:

Rhythm: It uses Cuban rhythm (son cubano) as a base, which is in 4/4 time.

Melody: In many cases the melodies used in salsa correspond with those employed traditionally in ‘son cubano’, although it can also blend into other genres of traditional Cuban and Caribbean music, including the melodies of popular Latin American music.

Harmony: Similar to its use in Western music.

Instrumentation: Salsa uses Cuban percussion instruments popular since the twentieth century such as pailas (or timbales), bongo, Cuban guiro, cowbell, two maracas and conga (or tambó). Arsenio Rodríguez was the first well-known musician to incorporate the conga into dance orchestrations.

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