Term Definition
salsa a musical genre developed in Puerto Rico combining musical genres and traditions from American jazz, Cuban son and African rhythms
salsa vieja the earliest salsa music; salsa that was performed during the earliest period of salsa music and usually associated with pioneers such as Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barretto, Roberto Roena, Willie Colón, Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez, Ismael Miranda, Héctor LaVoe and the Fania All Stars.
salsero someone who sings or performs salsa music
santeria Santería is a Spanish term meaning saint worship and describes a religion originated by the Yoruba people in Africa but practiced throughout much of the Caribbean including Puerto Rico. The term was used to disguise the religeous practices from their Catholic masters. See El Boricua page for more detail.
son a musical genre from the Cuba that is intended to be danced. It developed in the eastern part of Cuba (Oriente province) and reached Havana, in the west, around 1909. Its musical structure combines African and Spanish elements. Although there is a great variety in its instrumentation, it is traditionally played by a tres accompanied by a güiro and bongos. It is the foundation of modern salsa. There are several hybrids of Son, including Son-montuno, Afro-son and Guajira-son.
son montuno A son that begins on the coro section, so there is no largo or "verse" to it. According to musicologist Andres Alen and his brother Olavo, the verse section shows the influence of European music. The coro/soneo section shows the African influence.
subidor high-pitched bomba drums providing dialogue with the dancers in a bomba
Taíno the name of the indegenous Indian tribe that populated Puerto Rico during pre-Colombian times
tambor a general term describing any of many different types of drums
timbales percussion musical instrument
trés a musical instrument adapted from classical Spanish guitar; also referred to as a triple, which has three pairs of strings;
triple a musical instrument adapted from classical Spanish guitar; also referred to as a "trés"
tumbadora a type of conga drum from Cuba; larger than the bomba.
vihuela a five stringed musical instument similar to the lute and quite common in Spain and other parts of Europe, reaching the height of its popularity in the 16th century. The vihuela is tuned A-D'-G'-B-E and today is only used in mariachi bands.