Everybody considers that music is the universal language. For one, each country has its own distinct taste for music. Their music is so diverse that each has its own unique style and characteristics that clearly separate them from other genres. What makes music interesting to listen to is the fact that each genre represents an extravagant and rich culture from where they were rooted.

Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan: what do these singers have in common? Salsa. Yes, both artists are known to their signature music which is salsa. Everybody knows salsa, yet not most of these people know the history behind salsa music.

It has been said the most people consider salsa as “extravagant, clave-driven, Afro-Cuban derived songs anchored by piano, horns, and rhythm section sung by a velvety voiced crooner in sharkskin suit.:” No wonder many are driven crazy once salsa is played in parties and social events. The music adds life and gives no one dull moments. How did salsa develop into something grand?

This style came from the influence of Cuban son, which is a blend of African and European music influence. In Spanish, the word itself, salsa, refers to sauce, a liquid substance that adds extra flavor to the food. Just like the idea of sauce, salsa music puts more live and more spice in things making one move their body to the music. Typical instruments used are piano, bongos, conga, timbales, trumpet, trombone, maracas, double bass guitar, flute, saxophone, vibraphone, and violin.

A lot of people may refer salsa to Cuban music. Johnny Pacheco, the creator of Fania All Stars, favored this by commenting that salsa is always a part and will always be Cuban Music. Now, how did salsa music started making its way to the airwaves?

In the 1960’s, salsa slowly developed through Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants who lived in New York City. Bands spearheaded by John Pacheco, Ray Baretto, and Eddie Palmieri dominated the music scene in New York.

During the ’70s, salsa spread in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Mexico, Venezuela, and other Latin countries. These immigrants often referred salsa as soul or swing for the quality of the emotions it gives to the African and American community. It was during these years when the music had been making its name into the scene. During this time, salsa became “a symbol of pride and cultural identity” among Latinos. They already made a name and continued to be popular as the years went on.

Salsa music diversified in the 80’s when two kinds of style emerged: salsa romantica which is about love and romance and salsa erotica which is more “advanced” than romantica. Performers of salsa also experimented on ways to improve their style. It was during this time when they mixed hip hop music with salsa to make the genre much more known and be more popularized.

When the ’90s came, salsa hit the charts with top singers Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony. The style went on with new artists of the century bring pride to its origins and roots. Salsa music has been a great addition to the variety of music genres. Like its name, salsa has added a new life and more soul to the music industry with its upbeat rhythm that surely takes anyone out of their seats.

Source by Bryce Alexander