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Salsa History

             The musical style now known as "salsa" came before it was actually called salsa. Although the first Cuban reference to the word was in Ignacio Pineiro's 1933 song Echale Salsia in he term was mostly unknown until about 1962. In 1964 Cal Tjader's recording of Soul Sauce (Salsa del Alma) was played on jazz, r&b, and Latin radio stations. The word was then used more and more frequently in the years to follow. There are arguments to where salsa originated. Some argue that it was played in Cuba far before given credit. Others feel that Puerto Rico should get the majority of credit for the style. Being a conglomerate of different styles leaves room for argument. However more agree that salsa has a variety of background.
             The Cuban Salsa style was created from the dance style Son, a dance style which originated during the first decades of the nineteenth century. The Son represents a mixture of Spanish-derived and Afro-Cuban elements. The majority of salsa songs follow the basic two-part formal of the Son. Cecila Cruz says "Salsa is just Cuban music with a new name." She was playing salsa in Cuba in the 1950's.
             Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans are given credit for salsa becoming so popular. Though having dance styles of their own Puerto Ricans frequently borrow, then improve upon Cuban dance styles. This is important because since the 1920's Puerto Ricans have migrated to America, namely New York City, and have had a huge impact on the Latin music culture. During this time 50,000 Puerto Ricans migrated to America. During the years from 1949 to 1969 the popularity of Latin music became apparent. In this time span an additional 800,000 Puerto Ricans migrated to America. After moving to America many Puerto Ricans were forced to live in the ghettos. The traditional music of their homeland was often the only release from the frustrations of daily life. During this time the form of salsa "musica caliente" was formed.

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