How do we identify Salsa music?

#63
Hey guys, just though I should share this with other salsa lovers. Have you checked out the Jetstream Rio competition where you can win a trip to the Rio Carnival. I've been to Rio but never to the carnival, which apparently is a dance lovers paradise.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#64
Hey guys, just though I should share this with other salsa lovers. Have you checked out the Jetstream Rio competition where you can win a trip to the Rio Carnival. I've been to Rio but never to the carnival, which apparently is a dance lovers paradise.
This is a SALSA thread.. not Samba ( altho, not a bad idea ! )
 
#65
Salsa is a mix of all sorts of elements together: son, mambo, old-school rhythm and blues, jazz, funk among others, that comes together to make a sound we can identify as Salsa, even if it is hard to describe.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#66
Salsa is a mix of all sorts of elements together: son, mambo, old-school rhythm and blues, jazz, funk among others, that comes together to make a sound we can identify as Salsa, even if it is hard to describe.

Theres a very heated discussion about " salsa " on Salsa Forums.

The name, is more of a lable, that encompasses various indigenous latin rhythms, that are identifiable, in many cases, by the musical construction .

As a musician said, " You cannot write a " salsa ", because there is really no such thing . The name implies more a dance "style " ,than a specific rhythm .Its useful for marketing, and, an umbrella term for all the styles that fall within that name .

Cuban " Son " is the heart of the genre, and, depending upon which version is written/played, that ,often becomes the determining factor, by which the very experienced dancer, will dance. ( most people will dance the same, no matter what style is played ) .

Son, is not only the " bedrock " of the music, its also a dance form .

If you reallywant/need to know , the differences in sound, buy a CD of the following styles...

Colombian
Timba
PR
Guaguanco
Son...

There are others, but these are the most commonly played in clubs..
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#67
Theres a very heated discussion about " salsa " on Salsa Forums.

The name, is more of a lable, that encompasses various indigenous latin rhythms, that are identifiable....
Colombian
Timba
PR
Guaguanco..
Speaking frankly, tangotime, the styles you mentioned lie away from the real front. Sixteen years ago we still had three communities here in west europe:
1) Torres-NY
2) Cuban mish-mash (all latin americans and a few west africans)
3) and an totally isolated lusitanian community (angola, cabo verde, brazil)

Till today the Torres-NY community has been more or less stable. The cuban mish-mash community separated into a small Vazquez-LA, and a remaining multy culty salsa scene in which also kizomba and zouk equally are taught or danced. The few cuban teachers now dwell in some niches for reggaeton and despelote.
 
#68
By the Montuno, The montuno is climbing a mountain twice then back down in each rhythmic set. cumbia sounds more like chunky like a boat swaying in the waves.
 
#69
And of course people commonly dance salsa to "not strictly salsa" music anyway, like boogaloo ("Micaela" is probably one of world's most popular "salsa songs that aren't salsa"), timba, son.
Both timba and son are played to the clave. Heck, son is where this whole salsa thing started from. Why do you exclude them from the big melting pot of 'salsa'..?

But I do see where you're coming from. The catch-all phrase 'salsa' was invented to help people who aren't familiar with this sort of music create a generic label for it. Gotta call it something, right? Back when Don Azpiazu first brought this music to the US, they mistakenly called it RHUMBA because they didn't know what else to call it in order to sell it... and the name stuck as the latin dance came into being. In the 70s, they were faced with the same dilemma again... this time they called it 'salsa'.

But once one begins to understand and get familiar with the differences between the different types of salsa music, one tends to find it increasingly difficult to pigeonhole everything. Son is son, timba is timba, mambo is mambo... but to keep it simple to the uninitiated and save the lengthy explanation, we call them all just 'salsa'.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#72
Both timba and son are played to the clave. Heck, son is where this whole salsa thing started from.

But I do see where you're coming from. The catch-all phrase 'salsa' was invented to help people who aren't familiar with this sort of music create a generic label for it.


Gotta call it something, right? Back when Don Azpiazu first brought this music to the US, they mistakenly called it RHUMBA because they didn't know what else to call it in order to sell it...


But once one begins to understand and get familiar with the explanation, we call them all just 'salsa'.
1.... The "whole " salsa thing was a re-invention of mambo.
What you probably dont know ( from your writings ) is that Mambo NEVER died out, it just lost its more universal appeal . When Fania took over, it re-vitalised the then style of NY music, and re-branded the name, purely from an economic and sales oriented business decision.

2.. And, It was called mambo from the day it hit NYC , out of Cuba.
Cachao was the one who initially and formally ,wrote music under the name " Mambo " in 1938, which was well established by the time mambo hit the states .

And " Rumba " is the generic term for the afro cuban rhythms , the various Son " dance rhythms " are the branches on the tree .

3... As to calling "them" ALL salsa ,is not correct. Any teacher who knows the subject matter, will ( or should ) educate their students, to the differences in the musical styles within the genre .The evidence that ,this does not happen ,can be seen in dance socials everywhere ( unfortunately ! ) .
 
#73
1.... The "whole " salsa thing was a re-invention of mambo.
I have heard this phrase before, not sure by who but if I remember correctly it was in the context of the NY salsa scene:

"ALL SALSA IS MAMBO BUT NOT ALL MAMBO IS SALSA".

Never been able to figure out what that means and it's been like a pebble in my shoe for years.

Can you explain it to me?
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#74
I have heard this phrase before, not sure by who but if I remember correctly it was in the context of the NY salsa scene:

"ALL SALSA IS MAMBO BUT NOT ALL MAMBO IS SALSA".

Never been able to figure out what that means and it's been like a pebble in my shoe for years.

Can you explain it to me?

This was said by Puente.. he was ( I believe ) trying to put the music of today into context,implying that, ALL the music that was being up dated in the 70s style, was mambo, with a new set of clothes ( thats my expression, added ) .
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#75
Here's a question about Sequence Dancing (no don't laugh: I'm curious). For anyone who doesn't know, Sequence Dancing is dancing to a choreographed sequence of steps/figures (usually 16 bars) where everyone dances the same thing at the same time, repeating the sequence for the duration of a song. It is very British, and new sequences get added to the repertoire by winning an inventive dance competition (of which there are several each year).

The question relates to "Sequence Mambo". Every script that I have ever seen breaks on 1 and not 2. Why? I'd observe, on the side, that every dance script based on Rumba breaks on 2 (as it should), but Sequence Rumba is almost universally danced on 1 in a social setting.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#76
Here's a question about Sequence Dancing (no don't laugh: I'm curious). For anyone who doesn't know, Sequence Dancing is dancing to a choreographed sequence of steps/figures (usually 16 bars) where everyone dances the same thing at the same time, repeating the sequence for the duration of a song. It is very British, and new sequences get added to the repertoire by winning an inventive dance competition (of which there are several each year).

The question relates to "Sequence Mambo". Every script that I have ever seen breaks on 1 and not 2. Why? I'd observe, on the side, that every dance script based on Rumba breaks on 2 (as it should), but Sequence Rumba is almost universally danced on 1 in a social setting.
It probably stems from the fact that.. American style Rumba, was taught to commence on "1" by one major chain school ( starting on a Q to the left side ) .
I would however agree that,the name Mambo infers, that its following a set musical sequence ,used for multi yrs, that is breaking on "2" .

Heres where the another influnce may come from.. Rueda, on "1"
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#77
@tt, you know, I differ on this because I´ve also got the category of true bolero as an independent animal besides cuban son (= on2). And in the vessels of that "very british" variant still more of that ancestral bolero blood is running compared to it´s international brother.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#78
@tt, you know, I differ on this because I´ve also got the category of true bolero as an independent animal besides cuban son (= on2). And in the vessels of that "very british" variant still more of that ancestral bolero blood is running compared to it´s international brother.

Thats a "contradiction " in terms", in a sense.. Bolero, IS a Son rhythm,, if you dis-agree with that, then I suggest you take it up with latin musicians who record songs UNDER the label of Son-Bolero ( I have some titles if you need them ? ) .

lets clarify.. " Son " is the base core element of Cuban music ,that from which, comes varying dance styles and rhythms ( Guajira, Montuno etc ) .

The social dances in the latin genre ,we teach and dance, today, are deeply rooted in those basic concepts.
The classic e.g. is " Cuban Rumba ".. a SOLO dance, in the guaguanco/colombian form ;from this root, the rumbas we dance today, exist ( tho no one could ever recognise that ).

And, as I have said on many occasions, ALL latin dances. are hybrids, and the majority retain their roots, and to a large degree, the musical content, in newer formats .

No one who has studied the latin genre, would dis-agree, that ,the vast majority of latin dances, have strayed a long way from those roots.. some more than others .

Do me a favor, take your posits to Salsa Forums.. I would be very interested to hear, what some of the high profile musicians etc ,would have to say .
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#79
..Bolero, IS a Son rhythm,, if you dis-agree with that, then I suggest you take it up with latin musicians who record songs UNDER the label of Son-Bolero ( I have some titles if you need them ? ) .....No one who has studied the latin genre, would dis-agree, that...
tt, than please let me be the only one that studied latin music and yet still disagrees. I do know Son-Bolero! Your "memory" starts with son-bolero, mine reaches back before that period, when bolero still was independent of the son and it´s ancestors. I don´t know why we still cannot agree upon this. May be the reason is that you are a dance teacher, and I´m a musician?
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#80
tt, than please let me be the only one that studied latin music and yet still disagrees. I do know Son-Bolero! Your "memory" starts with son-bolero, mine reaches back before that period, when bolero still was independent of the son and it´s ancestors. I don´t know why we still cannot agree upon this. May be the reason is that you are a dance teacher, and I´m a musician?
Ahhh.... the old " Musc/teach. " conflict. I dont believe we are in dis-agreement . I did stipulate that, EVERY dance has roots, and those roots are seldom portrayed in their true indigenous form, as they would not " sell ",so Im not dis-agreeing with you ,about going back to the year Dot . BUT , todays compositions, are still founded in those roots. Son, as we know is a comparative new kid on the "block " compared to the time of the " drum " and pretty much all dance forms were solo.

And, my memory does go back ( a LOT farther than yrs, considering my age !! )

To remember, I must speak in context, of HOW those rhythms have been transposed to suit the general public. There are still some hardcore salsero/s, who are insistant about developing indigenous Rumba, as an integral part of salsa .There are even bands who are closer to their musical roots ( all the Son " soneros " that, dont go over very well with the club types ) .

As a teacher, I may only talk in absolutes, about the dance music that is played today,and its recent evolution , and to "take " it back to the 17th century ,serves no real purpose in a " dance " discussion of todays dance/ music, "roots " ?; do I inject some of this yes ?, of course, but only in a somewhat superficial way in my teachings.
All the musical textbook stuff, is more for academics ( and music nerds, like me ).

Your claim about being a musician, always reminds me of a comment, that a well known band leader made.. " I dont know what the hell they are dancing to, but its not what we are playing ! "
by the way.. do you know who made the Bolero ( the dance ) popular ?.
 

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