The term “Salsa” music was coined in New York City during the 1960s. Between 1930 and 1970 a lot of Latin musicians traveled to New York City to perform. Salsa, a sauce with many different components, is a perfect word to describe this mixture of music styles. The term salsa also brings with it an idea of spiciness that carries over to the music style. While it is primarily based on popular Cuban music, salsa music is also comprised of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Columbian, and even American music styles. Salsa music is a fusion of different cultures and influences, and therefore it is hard to define in set terms. While the first salsa bands were predominantly New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent, salsa music has spread rapidly. Salsa is now a recognized style worldwide.
Salsa music has found a place in the hearts of millions. It has a unique rhythm and sound. This is in part due to the instruments involved in the production of this music. Conga drums, bongos, and timbales are all commonly used instruments in salsa music. They are the three instruments that are standard in most salsa bands. However, many artists include other, not as traditional, instruments such as the piano.
Salsa is also a lively form of dance. Salsa generally has an energetic 1-2-3 1-2 form. This lends itself well to dance. This rhythm is largely maintained through the use of drums. Other percussion instruments can be added to drums to increase the depth of the music. Claves, maracas, and hand held bells are often a way of doing this. Salsa dancing is a way for people to come together in a high energy, fun environment. The production, enjoyment, and dance surrounding salsa make it a great tool for communication amongst groups of people.
With the mixture of cultural influences salsa music is a great way for people to come together. The melding of music styles helps people relate to one another. While it was termed in New York City, salsa music is not confined to any one geographical area. It is something to be participated in and shared by everyone. The different blend of styles and instruments makes salsa something that can truly cross any boundaries.