There are very few places in the world which have had as profound an impact on contemporary music as Cuba. Nowadays you can hear influences from traditional Cuban music anywhere from jazz to country and even popular music. From this it can only be deduced that if the music of Cuba has had such an effect internationally, then to Cubans themselves their music is more than just a form entertainment. This becomes more apparent as you take into account the current societal situation. As you might guess, since the people of Cuba have been under a communist dictatorship for quite some time, the musicians of the island cannot carry on their passions uninhibited. Suffering from low wages and dilapidated musical equipment, Cuban musicians have continued to make their music so as not to lose the most important part of their lifestyle. For most Cubans this lifestyle is embodied in music and dancing and is a way in which to identify themselves and cope with the extreme hardships faced through impoverished living conditions. At the heart of all this musical energy, is the most important genre of music called "son."" The "son Cubano,"" as it is called in Spanish, is the original creation that has given rise to the many evolving styles of Cuban music today.
My quest for knowledge on the Cuban son has led me to various places over the internet. My object in researching over the internet was not only for information and for history, but also to get names of famous Cuban recording artists so I could listen to their work through downloaded material. I really wanted to get a feel for the music instead of just researching facts about it. I first began by looking through various search engines at random. Although most of the search engines returned generally the same results, a few did tend to stand out above the rest. These search engines were www.yahoo.com, www.msn.com, and www.lycos.com, and the terms used for these searches were "Cuban son-, "history of Cuban son-, and "Cuban music history-, respectively.