The Timeless Music Of Cuba – Origin, Evolution And New Trends

Editor   February 18, 2015   Comments Off on The Timeless Music Of Cuba – Origin, Evolution And New Trends

Cuban music old generation

Passion is the Cuban music and its history – in the air!

The Caribbean island of Cuba has been the start of many different styles of music. Its development began at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Cuban music has its roots above all in the Cabildos people. It’s about a social group which had developed among the slaves.


The African culture recorded the Cabildos. She did this even after the year 1886. We emphasize this date, because at that time, they were forced to move to the Catholic Church.

The successor of the Cabildos

Cuban music singing Cabildos

But at the same time, a religion has very much influenced the Cuban music. It was called Santeria and evolved during this period. She spread in Cuba, Haiti and other islands nearby. The typical percussion instruments are connected to their worship traditions. You will be recorded also in the Cuban music.

Santeria ritual with singing and drumming

Cuban music Santeria ritual

Santeria psychic reading

Cuban music Santeria psychic

Rich offering to the gods

Cuban music Santeria sacrifice

The colours, customs and percussion instruments incorporated also in the Catholic masses. Also wonderful works of Cuban music can be found in this area.

The Cuban music as a mixture of Spanish and West African rhythms and melodies

If you want to go deep in the genealogy of African music, then you should think about Spain and West Africa. But in whose development it has been influenced by other cultures. These are the music traditions of France, the United States and Jamaica. On the other hand, the Cuban music has influenced many other traditions.

Traditional Cuban dances and costumes

Cuban music African rhythms

The Cuban music and folklore

As in any other country, there are characteristics which are typical for folklore in Cuba. This is the Cuban music, which is associated with various indigenous tribes and minorities in the first place. Given the colonial history we have here to do with much diversity. The tribes of African origin are Ciboney, Taíno and Arawak. You have also your typical music. The Europeans had of course also a strong influence through styles like Zapateo, Fandango, Zampado, Retambico, and Canción. The styles that affect the Cuban music, include also waltz and Mazurka, minuet, gavotte.

Son Cubano and Havana Club

Cuban music Band Havana Club

Dance troupe from Matanzas, Cuba

Cuban music group Matanzas

Street musicians in Havana

Cuban music street musicians

How to play together the whole inside of the term “Cuban music”? The folklorist Fernando Ortíz dealt in detail with this process. You should find the books if you want to know more about this.

In addition we have not forgotten the Chinese and their influence in the mix. Their instrument Cornet was particularly influential. It is known as Chinese cornet. In Spanish it is called “cornetín chino”.

The different styles

We have dedicated much time of Cuban music of folklore. Because that represents the base material, it evolved even today.  However, there are a number of great styles that have arisen from it. Each of them deserves just as much attention. It is Changuí, son, Batá and Yuka and Rumba among others Guaraja, Musica Kampesina, Charanga and Danzon (these are Haitians in Cuba). But we talk about it in another article.

An ordinary Street in the capital

Cuban music everyday Havana

Classic cars and horse-drawn carriage

Cuban music Havana streets Oldtimer coach

Tradition and joie de vivre

Cuban music musicians Street

The song of the old guitar

Cuban music musician guitar

The younger generation

Cuban music music group Trinidad Cuba

Cuban Reggaeton

Cuban music modern young generation

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