Salsa music can be simply described as a type of dance music from Latin America. There are lots of debates and arguments about where Salsa music comes from. If you would like to know a bit more about the Salsa music origin, please read this article: Where is Salsa dance from? And What is Salsa? We don’t say the article above has enough information or not. But, at least, it can give you some views about Salsa culture. 😀 Well, let’s go back to our main concern for this post: Salsa music styles.
Salsa music has so many styles. And, there are lots of discussion and arguments around Salsa music styles, until now! The main discussion is always about Salsa music’s origins, the names, the playing styles, etc. However, for this post, we only want to give you a very general view of some popular Salsa music styles. These ideas are totally based on our experiences and methods of explanation to make it as less complicated as possible for readers to differentiate Salsa music styles.
Instruments are an important part of the Salsa music. The instruments playing in Salsa songs define its styles in some ways. The instruments that are used in Salsa are very diverse. They are influenced either by the genre or the geographic area in which the music originates from.
Varieties of Salsa music styles
Salsa music has a variety of styles which have features that differentiate them from each other. Some of these styles are well-known, while others have gradually been incorporated as part of Salsa due to its influence in the development. Some of the most important music styles in Salsa include:
Salsa Dura is also known as hard Salsa. This style of Salsa still preserves characteristics of the original Salsa. Sometimes, this type of music places a lot of emphasis on strong percussions over vocals. Salsa songs in this type were usually produced 30-60 years in the past. You can call these Classic Salsa. This song is a perfect example.
No Que Va a Llorar by Andy Harlow
Salsa Jazz is the combination of elements of Salsa music and Jazz to bring out a unique rhythm. Mostly, Jazz artists and Salsa artists co-performed these types of Salsa music. The flavors of Jazz are super easy to recognize in this style. Especially, When you can hear the Marimba sound during a Salsa song, the song will probably be Salsa Jazz. Also, in this type, people usually refer to Latin Jazz, rather than Salsa Jazz. This is because famous artists often combine Jazz flavors into many types of Latin music, not just Salsa. For a better understanding of what Salsa Jazz sounds, you may want to listen to this song
Viva Cepede by Cal Tjader
Salsa Romantica is one of controversy Salsa music styles. It is a part of Salsa culture. This style emerged between the 1980s and 1990s. It is a commercial style of music in Salsa circles. Salsa Romantica has been criticized for being a watered down version of the real Salsa. Why? Because the way this style of Salsa music is composed is (as criticized) only to satisfy the market and listeners. This type of Salsa music styles uses easy to understand lyrics, soft sound, and sometimes take away the strong use of percussions. However, regardless of the hate toward the nature of this style, Salsa Romantica played a very important role in bringing Salsa culture to more people. And, personally, this style of Salsa music sounds quite nice! 😀 You can listen to this song.
Sobredosis by Orquesta Guayacan
Salsa Mambo can be considered a branch of Salsa Dura. However, with Salsa Dura, people usually refer to classic Salsa songs. With Mambo, even though there are still arguments around its nature, people often refer Salsa Mambo as classic and modern Salsa Dura songs. It has the same nature as Salsa Dura. Especially, the percussion solo parts of modern Mambo songs sometimes are really long with lots of percussions taking part in. The percussion playing is occasionally not as strong and furious as in classic Salsa. You can listen to this song for better understanding.
Lagrimas Negras instrumental covered by Zoe Tiganouria
There are other types of music that are perceived to be Salsa as well. However, we just write about some popular Salsa music styles for now. There will a dedicated article on this matter later. 😀 Because people who have not danced Salsa much will be easily confused with too many styles of Salsa music in one post. 😀
If you want to watch this pattern on youtube, please visit here:
For other 1-Minute Salsa patterns:
You can also go to our Salsa & Bachata music playlist for more of our collection 🙂