|Katherine L. Oliveras||Subject: Music|
|Class 603||September 15, 2009|
Salsa music is a diverse and predominantly Spanish Caribbean genre that is popular across Latin America and among Latinos abroad. Salsa incorporates multiple styles and variations; the term can be used to describe most any form of popular Cuban-derived genre, such as chachachá and mambo. Most specifically, however, salsa refers to a particular style developed in the 1960s and '70s by Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants to the New York City area, and stylistic descendants like 1980s salsa romántica. The style is now practiced throughout Latin America and abroad; in some countries it may be referred to as música tropical.Salsa's closest relatives are Cuban mambo and the son orchestras of the early 20th century, as well as Latin jazz. The terms Latin jazz and salsa are sometimes used interchangeably; many musicians are considered a part of either, or both, fields, especially performers from prior to the 1970s. Salsa is essentially Cuban in stylistic origin, though it is also a hybrid of Puerto Rican and other Latin styles mixed with pop, jazz, rock, and R&B. Salsa is the primary music played at Latin dance clubs and is the "essential pulse of Latin music", according to author Ed Morales, while music author Peter Manuel called it the "most popular dance (music) among Puerto Rican and Cuban communities, (and in) Central and South America", and "one of the most dynamic and significant pan-American musical phenomena of the 1970s and 1980s". Modern salsa remains a dance-oriented genre and is closely associated with a style of salsa dancing. Salsa means sauce in the Spanish language, and carries connotations of the spiciness common in Latin and Caribbean cuisine. More recently, salsa acquired a musical meaning in both English and Spanish. In this sense, salsa has been described as a word with "vivid associations but no absolute definitions, a tag that encompasses a rainbow assortment of Latin rhythms and styles, taking on a different hue wherever you stand in the Spanish-speaking world". The precise scope of salsa is highly debatable. Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants in New York have used the term analogously to swing or soul, which refer to a quality of emotionally and culturally genuine music in the African American community. In this usage salsa connotes a frenzied, "spicy" and wild musical experience that draws upon or reflects elements of Latin culture, regardless of the specific style.