Development of Cuban Son Music

Son music is a quintessential Afro-Cuban combination, which is a result of positive cultural exchange between African and Spanish cultures.Son depictsa unique set of social and historical circumstances during the late 19th and 20th centuries. This genre of music majorly harnesses the African rhythms, the Spanish guitar, choral refrain and aspects of repeated melody. Son originated from Oriente province in the Eastern region of Cubaand has successfully mutated over the years to various derivatives and appealing fusions like salsa, which has with time spread across the planet.

It was until the second decade of 20th century, about 1917 that Son music popularly referred to as Son Cubano replaced Danzon, then the national dance of the Cuban residents.Its great enthusiastic reception propelled its popularity and acceptance. Migrating artist and musicians brought Son to the west of Havana in the early 1920s where it continuously blossomed thereafter exploding in popularity. Here, Instrumentation formed the fundamental building blocks of Son, inclusive of the guitar, bongos, claves, tres, maracas and marimbula. In addition to that, Son adopted the spicy clave rhythm, a major component of the Havana rumba, which enriched its prominent mystic rhythm.

Radio broadcasting started in 1922, hence the popularization of music and musicians. Son wason the frontline receiving much airplay and Montaner´s”ElManicero” becoming the first song from Cuba to be a major hit in Paris. Radio broadcasting fueled this period to that of radical musical evolution with many artists springing up to diversify this successful genre of music.

During the period between 1940 and 1950, Cuba experienced a great increase in tourism. This successfully popularized Son. Consequently, more bands that are musical arose and new artists equally emerged. This lot however, with the rise in technology by then employed the use of more instruments including piano, horns and bass. The music was commercialized leading to enlargement of the entertainment industry and flourishing tourism even better.

The Son music spread to the United States of America gaining much popularity in the 1960s.it was during this period that fusion music reigning and in style. Consequently, New York invented Salsa. It was a combination of Son, Rumba, Mambo, Latin dances and Afro Cuban music.

In the present day, Son music is seldom heard in most parts of Cuba. However, other genres of music continue to embrace and adopt the fundamentals of this indigenous form of music. The conservative elderly folks still keep Son Music alive especially in the regions of Oriente, the motherland of Son.