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  • Salsa
    • The Spanish colonised Cuba and brought African slaves with them to work on the sugar plantations
      • The two cultures combined to make a dance style called Son
        • Traditional Son music has:
          • A repeated rhythm pattern called a clave, played by hitting two claves together
          • Other repeated rhythm patterns played on percussion like maracas and bongos. These parts were often syncopated and form complicated cross-rhythms and polyrhythms against the clave part
          • The melody is played by brass instruments like trumpets
          • Call and response between the lead singer (sonero) and the chorus (choro). In Slasa, call and response is called pregón and choro
          • Son is for dancing to, so the lyrics are simple or about the dancers. When the singers improvise, they sing about anything they want
          • The band has a guitar, string bass, bongos, maracas, claves and a tres (like a guitar but with 3 sets of 2 strings)
    • Salsa developed in New York in the 1960s and 70s in NYC, in the city's largest Latin-American community. Salsa means sauce in Spanish, so it is meant to be 'spicy' music
      • Salsa bands took the basic structure of Son and added harsher, brass-based arrangements of big-band jazz. There was a big focus on the trombone
        • It also took inspiration from Puerto-Rican, Brazilian and African music
          • It soon became popular throughout Latin-America and beyond
    • Clave is the basic rhythm of any piece of Salsa music. A piece doesn't use the same rhythm all the way through it might switch halfway through.
      • A piece doesn't use the same rhythm all the way through. It might switch to a different clave, but it always stays in a 4/4 time signature. All other parts fit around the instruments playing the clave
    • Instruments
      • Front line or horns: Trombones, trumpets and saxophones play the tune
      • Vocals: Soneros (lead singers) and choro (the chorus)
      • Strings and piano: The brass section's accompaniment is provided a bass guitar, a tres/spanish guitar and a piano
      • Rhythm section: Latin-American instruments  congas, timbales, bongos, maracas, guiro and a standard drum kit
      • Rapping, samplers and synthesizers turn traditional Salsa into club music called Salsaton
    • Structure
      • There are 3 main chunks, that can be in any order and used more than once
        • Verse: the main tune is sung by the sonero or played by the instrumentalist
        • Chorus: montuno where the sonero or lead instrumentalist improvises, and the choro or other instrumentalists answer
        • Break between choruses: mambo, which has new material eg. different chords or tune. Oftenplayed by the horn section
        • There will also be an introduction and outro, and possibly a break, where just the rhythm section plays
      • There is also a drum roll (abanico) at the start of each section
    • Rhythms
      • The rhythms change in each section
        • Conga: 2 drums in the montuno and mambo, and 1 in the verse
        • Bongo: Switches to a cowbell and a different rhythm in the montuno and mambo
        • Timbale: The mambo bell, as well as the timbale, is played in the montuno and mambo


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