Salsa Music

One of the most popular types of Spanish Music

The Basics of Salsa

Salsa music is most commonly danced to in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and New York City.

This type of music was given the name "salsa" to play off the spiciness of different salsas and sauces in Latin and Caribbean cuisine.

The History of Salsa

Salsa originated in New York City in the mid 1970's, then spread to Latin American countries. However, salsa music was popular long before the title "salsa."


Salsa music has a very defined structure, different than other spanish music types:

-an introduction

-a melodic phase

-a rhythmic or percussion phase, known as the montuno

-another melodic phase

-the ending

Two types of salsa music are son conjunto and string charanga.

Son conjunto consists of congas, bongos, bass, and piano, with percussion instruments such as claves, guíro, or maracas used by the singers. Trombones are often used in this type of music, also.

Charachanga, the traditional type of salsa, involves congas, timbales, bass, piano, flute, and a string section of violins, viola, and cello.


There are no costumes specifically for dancing to salsa music, but most female dancers wear glittery, flowing fabrics and bold, strong colors. Males wear jazz shoes, while females wear heels.


Grupo Vena - Ya No (2012) by salsa-life_bachata_02