Salsa is a primary music played mainly at Latin dance clubs and has been said to be the "essential pulse of Latin music". Some people who are associate with salsa music are: Johnny Pacheco, Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena and Eddie Palmieri.
This type of music had originated from communities of Cuba and Puerto Rico. The music was influenced by Afro-Cuban rhythmic patterns by Africans.
A major characteristic of salsa music is rhythm and beat. The music mainly uses just different patterns of rhythms on top of each other. Percussion is a big part of salsa music and it makes up must salsa playing bands. The percussion usually includes: the clave, the conga, the bongo, and the timbales. The clave is said to be the "heartbeat" of the music and the rest of the instruments are just overlapping complex rhythms. Salsa is usually played late at night around nine or ten PM at dance clubs. Salsa is preformed by large bands. There are no costumes that go along with salsa but people will usually dress formally when going to listen to salsa because there are dances that go with the music.
Along with salsa music, there is the salsa dance. It is a partner dance and it is where the man leads and the woman follows. The music will have four beats and the dances will go along to that music with a step, step, step, pause foot work. The dance includes a lot of hip movement and patterns. During the dance couples will dance both together and separately. It is a constant moving dance and partners will always begin and finish with one another.
Salsa is not necessarily popular in the U.S. today, but it is becoming more and more popular in places in South America. It is played a lot in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Africa, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Someone who is associated with that music today is Marc Anthony who is said to be the 'King of Salsa'.