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Cuban Influence On Music And Rhythm

There have been multiple events in the Cuban history that have influenced their music in the 20th century. Mostly, it has originated from cablidos which was a group of slaves from Africa. Moreover, there was an emerging religion at that time known as Santeria and it highly promoted drumming. This religion was associated with sentiments, colors and goodness and thus, these elements were seen in folk music in the late 20th century.

Recently, Cuban music has been influenced by different types of music from around the world, these include the US, Jamaica and France. Many countries have taken hints of Cuban music to make another form of music which includes salsa, bolero and mambo.

Let us look at how these forms of music and rhythms:


It has been associated with the Afro-Cuban beats and rhythms and has been traced back to the Cuban “son”. It is a combination of drum beats and other various musical instruments like guitar, trumpet, piano, flute, saxophone etc. Singers singing salsa go with the beat and follow it and often mimic the pattern. In the 1960’s, there were musicians in America who came from different areas like Cuba, South America, Mexico etc. They together played their instruments and as they jammed and listened to each other, they invented different rhythms and formed what today are known as cha cha cha, conga, rhumba and salsa.


This is a much celebrated Latin rhythm which helped create salsa and has its roots in Cuba. The Lopez Brothers which were part of a band that played a lot of “danzon,” a Cuban influenced music style. They introduced an African beat that had more bass and it became known as the danzon mambo. Later in the 1950’s, mambo music became recognized around the world by a pianist who introduced two singles that took mambo to another level. It was then that mambo was used in salsa which overshadowed its individuality but is known to be the most victorious creations of Latin music.


Bolero has its roots in Trova, Cuba which is popular in the eastern part of the country. The guitar playing and singing romantically changed the Trova music and later it created bolero music. It was most popular in Mexico where it became popular with the rise of Mexican cinema. Bolero has been associated with love and it is being used as a title and theme by so many musicians and singers in their songs today.

Cuban rhythms have been very influential in today’s music and it wouldn’t have been possible without these music styles that the world could discover different melodies today.