- Son Cubano
Infobox Music genre
Changui, a mixture of Spanish guitar and canción, mixed with Bantuand Ararapercussion
cultural_origins=Late 19th century
Orienteand Island Espanola
Guitaror tres, marímbulaor double bass, trumpet, bongo, clavesand maracas
popularity=Much in Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America
subgenrelist=List of son genres
Son Jarocho, Son Huasteco
Son montuno- Guajira-son- Bolero-son- Guaracha-son- Salsa music
Music of Cuba- Anticipated bass- Clave
With roots on the island of
Cuba, "Son Cubano" is a style of music that became popular in the second half of the 19th century in the eastern province of Oriente. The earliest known son dates from the late 1500s (the oldest known son is "Son de la Má Teodora", from about the 1570s in Santiago de Cuba). It combines the structure and elements of Spanish canciónand the Spanish guitarwith African rhythms and percussion instruments of Bantuand Araraorigin.
While originally a Cuban music style Son has also become a word used for rural traditional musical styles of Spanish speaking countries and apart from the Cuban variant called "Son Cubano" other son traditions exist in Mexico where for example the
Son Jarochoof Veracruzand the Son Huasteca of the Sierra Huasteca constitute distinct popular musical styles where the concept has been historically linked with indigenous musical styles.
The sisters Teodora and Micaela Ginez were black slaves who emigrated to Cuba from
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republicand brought with them the new rhythm. "El Son de la Má Teodora" marks the birth of Son which Cubans have made their own and which formed the origin of modern Salsa.
Son is derived from Spanish,
African, French Creoleand native musical influences, arising first in Oriente province, reaching Havanaaround the 1880s. The most influential group from this period was the Trio Oriental, who stabilized the sextet format that soon came to dominate son bands. In 1912, recording began with groups like Sexteto Habanero (a re-named Trio Oriental) and Sexteto Boloña, and popularization began in earnest with the arrival of radio broadcastingin 1922, which came at the same time as Havana's reputation as an attraction for Americans evading Prohibitionlaws and the city became a haven for the Mafia, prostitutionand gambling, and also became a second home for trendy and influential bands from New York City. A few years later, in the late 1920s, son sextets became septets and son's popularity continued to grow with artists like Septeto Nacionaland its leader, Ignacio Piñeiro. Piñeiro experimented and by fusing son with other genres of music, formed guajira-son, bolero-sonand guaracha-son. In 1928, Rita Montaner's "El Manicero" became the first Cuban song to be a major hit in Parisand elsewhere in Europe. In 1930, the Havana Orchestratook the song to the United States, where it also became a big hit.
In the 1940s
Arsenio Rodríguezbecame the most influential player of son, creating the modern Afro-Cuban sound, the "son montuno". Later Beny Moréand others helped develop salsa music. Arsenio Rodríguez was especially influential, incorporating improvised solos, toques, congas and extra trumpets, percussion and pianos. Beny Moré (known as the El Bárbaro del Ritmo, "The Master of Rhythm") further evolved the genre, adding guaracha, boleroand mambo influences, helping make him extraordinarily popular. He is now cited as perhaps the greatest sonero.
With the arrival of chachachá and mambo in the United States, son also became extremely popular but was usually called "rumba", which more properly refers to a specific genre of music. Son, mambo and rumba, along with other forms of Afro-Cuban music contributed to the development of
salsa music, which quickly became perhaps the most popular form of Afro-Cuban music ever.
* [http://www.cubanfolkloricdance.com/cutumba.php Video of "son" performed by Cutumba]
* [http://www.contactomagazine.com/bailable100.htm History of cuban music, with section about son (in Spanish)]
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