Music in Cuba

Cuban music is the basis for many other Latin American musical styles, such as Salsa. The main musical form is Son, but they also listen to rock. The Caribbean island of Cuba has been influential in the development of multiple musical styles in the 19th and 20th centuries. The roots of most Cuban musical forms lie in the cabildos, a form of social club among African slaves brought to the island. The cabildos were formed from the Igbos, Araras, Bantu, Carabalies, Yorubas, and other civilizations/tribes. Cabildos preserved African cultural traditions, even after the Emancipation in 1886 forced them to unite with the Roman Catholic church. At the same time, a religion called Santería was developing and had soon spread throughout Cuba,Haiti and other nearby islands. Santería influenced Cuba's music, as percussion is an inherent part of the religion. Each orisha, or deity, is associated with colors, emotions, Roman Catholic saints and drum patterns called toques. By the 20th century, elements of Santería music had appeared in popular and folk forms.

Cuban music has its principal roots in Spain and West Africa, but over time has been influenced by diverse genres from different countries. Most important among these are France, the United States, and Jamaica. Reciprocally, Cuban music has been immensely influential in other countries, contributing not only to the development of jazz and salsa, but also to Argentinian tango, Ghanaian high-life, West African Afrobeat, and Spanish "nuevo flamenco". Cuban music of high quality includes "classical" music, some with predominantly European influences, and much of it inspired by both Afro-Cuban and Spanish music. Several Cuban-born composers of "serious" music have recently received a much-deserved revival. Within Cuba, there are many popular musicians working in the rock and reggaeton idioms.

Cuban folk music is very diverse and have been influenced by many different cultures. The coming together of Spanish peoples, slaves from Africa, and the remaining indigenous populations of the Caribbean created many different cultural groups throughout the Caribbean.

Cuban hip-hop is one of the newest genres of music to be embraced not only by the country's youth but by the established government. Initially, hip-hop was shunned by the country because of its affiliation to America and capitalism. As more Cuban youth and rappers put their own energy and style into the music and the government stopped associating the music with materialism, Cuban hip-hop eventually became the voice of a new generation. In fact, "the Cuban government now sees rap music - long considered the music of American imperialism - as a road map to the hearts and minds of the young generation". This music represents a new way for Cuban youth to express their own ideas on relevant political and social issues. Their lyrics contain messages that force people to rethink race and identity in Cuba. This is seen by many as rebellious because it calls attention to the fact that the Cuban government encourages its citizens to believe in a color-blind society, when skin color truly plays a major role in everyday life. In essence, Cuban hip-hop can be considered the revolution of this new generation that grew up on the island after the fall of the Soviet Union and communism, where "rebels use lyrics, not guns,...they dance instead of march" and where "its soldiers are rappers [and] their missions are poverty and racism".