Few countries in the world can afford to have a musical heritage as rich as Cuba. To study Cuban music you must understand what a phenomenon with a number of factors, our island was fortunate to have.
Study Cuban music is understand its history
With the first Spanish conquistadors, many single people in search of fortune brought the air of their respective hometowns, most of them with Arab influences. Then the hand of African slave labor came to incorporate the rhythms, songs and percussion instruments.
To study Cuban music you must also understand the importance of our country in history. Our land was called the Key of the West Indies, since was the point of arrival to America of all boats from Europe, with also its musical cargo from France and Italy.
Outside but inside
But it was not only Cuba port of arrival, year after year the city of Havana was the meeting point of the Fleet, so our native country also point of arrival to music from all America.
The last years of the Spanish presence on the island, we had a wealthy bourgeoisie needed of further refined musicality. Then came the ballroom dancing, at first with sophisticated European air but then acclimated to the taste of our ear. They are prospering in our countryside the punto guajiro and the repentismo.
Rumba, conga and guaguancó within sectors of the population of slave origin created their own expressions. Despite the division of classes, music borrowed elements were taken here and there to create our own style.
Cuban music study is to understand fusion
With the passage of the years our nation also came the influence of American music. Rhythms like jazz, blues, soul and rock later were blended in our musicality. But at the same time, our own rhythms were also spreading across the Americas.
Cuban music of the last century
With the new trova another chapter was opened to study Cuban music. The son became first salsa and then timba. Filin was born, elements of samba and bossa nova were brought… we incorporate rap and hip hop, classical music… then we mix all this and get as a result the most exotic and tasty cocktails of all.
You cannot study Cuban music without seeing their people enjoy
And, if you ask yourself, “why should I go to Cuba to study Cuban music?” Because you will never understand completely the Cuban music if you don´t get in touch with Cuban people.