43 Cuban Music Facts You Will Enjoy Knowing About! | Kidadl


43 Cuban Music Facts You Will Enjoy Knowing About!

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Cuba is the largest Caribbean island located only 90 mi (144.841 km) off the coast of Florida.

Cuba has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has a population as warm and shining as its tropical climate and beautiful arts. It's one of the best places to explore.

Cuba's neighboring islands are Jamaica, Haiti, and the Cayman Islands. Cuba's size is a bit smaller than Pennsylvania's, and it has beautiful farmlands, mountains, metropolitan cities, colonial villages, and white-sand seashores.

The island nation has 15 provinces and one unique district, Isla de la Juventud. Striking Cuba regions include rural Pinar del Rio, where tobacco farming is the main source of economy of this nation; Santiago de Cuba, the country's second-largest city close to Havana is overflowing with Afro-Cuban impact; and colonial Trinidad, which is a UNESCO world heritage site settled between stunning mountains and the ocean.

Music is a part of Cuban culture and society; however, how familiar are you with it? Let's find out about the history and styles of music in Cuba and see how it is unique.

What kind of music is popular in Cuba?

Cuba's music and dance style are one of the most popular globally. Here are some of the important facts about Cuban music.

  • If you intend to visit Cuba, you will learn about its music and the different musical genres. The most famous musical genres are rumba music, son, and salsa. The musical genre Son Cubano is a genre of music and dance that began during the 19th century in eastern Cuba.
  • Salsa is a well-known dance music type that emerged as a popular musical genre in New York City in the '60s.
  • Celia Cruz was one of Cuba's most popular singers, famous globally as the 'Queen of Salsa.' Celia Cruz received 23 gold for her albums during her profession.
  • Celia Cruz turned into an image of artistic freedom for Cuban American exiles after the revolution in Cuba. In 1994, former U.S. President Bill Clinton granted her the National Medal of Arts.
  • Cuba is a vibrant nation with a powerful rhythm of music and dances, and it formed a significant part of Cuban life and the culture of the people. It is an exuberant blend of lyrical traditions, a touch of Spanish melodies, and lively African drumming and beats.
  • Cuban music is characterized by distinct Afro-Cuban rhythms and themes mixed with European-style music.
  • Drums are an integral part of Cuban music and Cuban dance, and they especially used it for dancing because of folk traditions that originated from the island. It made Cuban music special.
  • Music is popular in every part of Cuba. The most popular music genres in Cuba are son, salsa, rumba, danzon, Nueva Trova, and timba.
  • It's believed that son gave birth to other Cuban music genres. It started in the 19th century as a mix of African vocals & drumming and Spanish verse & chorus.
  • Salsa is a well-known musical genre and combines with famous musical traditions like Cuban son, mambo, bolero, and other music styles, especially American jazz.
  • Salsa dancing is determined by Afro Cuban style, particularly the rumba. It's believed that salsa became popular throughout Latin America.
  • Rumba is another type of Afro-Cuban song and dance. Bolero is from Santiago and includes a romantic and heart-touching musical genre. Danzon dates back to 1800, and it is the official music and dance of Cuba.
  • Cuban bolero is usually performed by soloists or a harmony couple as a ballad. Cuban bolero music is intimate and romantic. Pepe Sanchez is known as the creator of Cuban bolero.
  • Jazz is very famous throughout the island, and Cuba's jazz musicians are renowned worldwide.
  • The yearly International Jazz Festival in Havana and venues like Jazz Cafe and La Zorra y el Cuervo are incredible choices to encounter the best of jazz music.
  • Nueva Trova is a politicized genre that emerged later in 1959 after the Cuban Revolution and was made popular for its folk music and expressive musical style.
  • Timba is an adaptation of Cuban son-derived salsa in a modern and faster-paced form that has turned into a predominant sound today in Cuba. It combines African folk dances and rhythms like rumba, reggae, and rap.
  • The popular Cuban folk music includes son, rumba, danzon, cancion Cubana, and punto guarjira.


Where does Cuban music come from?

Cuba music is characterized by Afro-Cuban rhythms and themes mixed with European-style forms. Let's explore more about where it comes from.

  • Drums are the main instruments used in Cuban music and Cuban dance, making the best moves with the drumbeat. The music is usually based on folk traditions of the island.
  • Afro-Cuban is Afro-Cuban jazz, a musical style created during the '40s and '50s. It depended on African and Cuban rhythms, jazz harmonies, and various methods of spontaneous creation. Afro-Cuban jazz is thought to be the first style of Latin jazz.
  • In 1940, Afro-Cuban jazz originated when Black jazz musicians in New York City started to play on the rhythmic styles of Cuban music. They tried to make their way into New York City music. So, Afro-Cuban music and jazz combined, and finally, in 1940, Afro-Cuban rhythms made their way into American jazz music.
  • In the same way as other different forms of music and dance in Cuba came from various styles and desires worldwide. The principal focal point of impact is from African and Spanish music.
  • Slaves who were brought to Cuba from Africa by the Spain colonists would show the local Cubans their religious traditions, and thus, the music that accompanied it. The Spaniards also brought information on their cultural instruments, which cemented the drum as one of the most powerful instruments in playing the music in Cuban style.
  • European music had a major influence on Cuba's music and dance style. It can be felt in the string areas, particularly with the Spanish guitar and certain European folk dances. The Spaniards brought their musical notes and thus contributed to the modern music form.
  • Some different impacts came from the French and Chinese foreigner networks that have lived in Cuba. Influence from Jamaica, the United States, and the other Caribbean and the countries of Latin America came later.
  • European folk music and dances changed the world; they included the fandango, the contradanza, the minuet, the gavotte, the zapateo, the paso doble, and the waltz. Even some of the modern dance figures of salsa are taken from contradanza dance figures.


Who was the first Cuban musician?

Of all the nations that have impacted its development, Cuba, the little Caribbean island, has had the best impact on Latin music. Let's find out who was the first Cuban musician.

  • Because of its dark history of slavery and filling in as a worldwide port for the colonization by Europeans and its diverse population, Cuba has a rich musical history despite its dark past.
  • From son, rumba, salsa, contradanza, and conga, the musical genres that rose out of Cuba after its discovery in 1492 have assisted in forming Latin American music overall, adding diverse forms to the music scene locally and the world as a whole.
  • The main roots of Cuban music are believed to have evolved in Spain and West Africa; however, it has been impacted by various musical genres from around the world over the years. Significant among these are France and its settlements in America.
  • The traditional music of Cuba includes cancion Cubana, danzon, rumba, son, and punto guarjira. The important musical genres son, rumba, and danzon had a major significance in the creation of Afro-Cuban culture in Cuba.
  • Many Afro-Cuban individuals delivered music, but it did not become famous. However, this started to change in the late 19th century. Maybe the most outstanding figure in Afro-Cuban music was Ignacio Cervantes (he lived from 1847-1905). Ignacio Cervantes (a double bass player) is considered to be the primary Cuban musician who people truly began looking for as a public style figure of music. Ignacio Cervantes became Cuba's African legacy for a mixed European piano with African rhythms, and it was the introduction of a remarkably Cuban sound.
Music is a part of Cuban culture and society

When did Cuban music start?

The use of instruments differs between various styles of rumba music (however, there are many similarities) and used technology advanced musical instruments. Many Afro-Cuban musicians adopted new musical instruments, and the rumba musicians dropped many old instruments over the years. Let's take a look at how it all started.

  • The typical instruments used to play Cuban rumba music are tumbadoras, acat, claves, Cajon, Bata, shekeré, Campana's, and so on.
  • Cuba is perhaps the most culturally dynamic country in not only the Caribbean Islands but the world. Cuban music is popular worldwide because of its one-of-a-kind style, and it is a splendid mixture of African and Spanish music.
  • The percussion instruments used in Cuban music are Conga drums, bongos, bata, cata, shekere, guiro, timbales, tres, laúd, and trompeta China.
  • Cuban music art started in the '30s. During 1930, Desi Arnaz and the Lecuona Cuban Boys made the conga popular in the US, Don Aspiazu with son montuno, while Arsenio Rodriguez fostered the conjunto band and rumba became popular. They were the main Cuban composers.
  • As many migrants relocated north to the United States, music in Cuba melded with other musical forms in the metropolitan communities.
  • During the 20th century, Cuban musicians brought new famous musical styles into the world from this combination, giving us the cha-cha, mambo, and the famous salsa.


The History Of Cuban Music

Cuba's music style is a world-famous musical genre. When visiting Cuba, you will understand that the Cuban people are extremely creative. One justification behind this is that they invest heavily in their way of life. Cuba has a rich cultural foundation. From Cuban music, famous worldwide, to the best cigars on the planet, made here. Let's explore more about the history of Cuban music.

  • The people in Cuba love music and dance; it has been a lifestyle of the people from the past. If we discuss their dance and music styles, it could fill a book. However, the most popular music genre that started on this little Caribbean island is rumba, conga, danzon, and music Campesina.
  • Cuban music history dates back to the 19th century. The Caribbean island of Cuba has been persuasive in improving different musical genre styles in the 19th and 20th centuries. The African beliefs influenced the musical style of Cuba.
  • The basics of most Cuban musical forms come from the cabildos, which is a type of social club formed by the then African slaves that were brought to this island by the Europeans. Cabildos safeguarded African cultural traditions, even though they were forced to be united with the Roman Catholic church in 1886. So the music of Cuba is influenced by European and African origin.
  • Simultaneously, a religion called Santería was created and had before long spread all through Cuba, Haiti, and other close-by islands. Santería affected Cuba's music. Each orisha, or divinity, is related to Roman Catholic saints, colors, emotions, and drum designs known as toques. By the 20th century, it portrayed components of Santería music in folk music.
  • Cuban music has its chief roots in Spain and West Africa; however, diverse musical genres from various nations impacted it over a long period. Generally significant among these are the United States, Jamaica, and France. Cuban music also impacted different nations, improving jazz and salsa, Spanish nuevo flamenco, Argentinian tango, West African Afrobeat, and Ghanaian extravagance and luxury.
  • The recorded music was the way the music of Cuban musicians reached the world.
Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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