Musical Styles - Carribean
In many aspects, it is more common to see a marked diversity than a marked unity in Carribean music. A few generalizations can be made, however. Most music of this region combines features of music from Africa with features of music from the West. This combination began with the European colonization and slave trade but still continues into the present.
The next key development came in the twentieth century with the advent of mass media, particularly phonograph records and radio broadcasts. This stimulated the creation of popular dance styles. During the mid-twentieth century, the immigration of Cubans to large cities played a major role in spreading the music of the region. New York City, in particular, emerged as a large center for Latin and West Indian popular music.
Local forms of classical music were created in the nineteenth century in Cuba and Puerto Rico as formally trained composers began to infiltrate the area. The most prominent styles in this category are the Cuban contradaza and the habon (a lighter and more rhythmic but also Cuban style).
The best known forms of Caribbean music are the modern, popular genres. They are mostly from Cuba and include the con (the most popular style of Cuban dance music). The chadracha, the listera (a romantic, languid style), and the mambo (an instrumental big band style). Since the mid-1960s, styles like salsa and merengue have become widely popular. The most internationally famous style of Cuban music has clearly been reggae. This style emerged in the late 1960s in Jamaica as a reinterpretation of American R & B music. Singers such as Bob Marley have helped push this style into the international arena.