is a style of music and dance that originated in Cuba and gained worldwide popularity during the 1930s. Son combines the structure and feel of the Spanish canción with Afro-Cuban traits and percussion. The Cuban Son is one of the most influential and widespread forms of Latin American music: its derivatives and fusions, including salsa, have spread across the world.
The word Son (one of the words that translates to English ‘rhythm’ from Spanish) has also been used in other musical styles of Spanish-speaking countries. For example, in Mexico the Son Jarocho of Veracruz and the Son Huasteco of the Sierra Huasteca constitute distinct popular musical genres and are not related to the Cuban Son. At present, the traditional-style Son is seldom heard, but has been assimilated into other genres and is present in them. Thus, other types of popular Cuban music and other Latin styles of music continue using the essential style of the son.
Another important contribution of the Son was the introduction of the drum to mainstream music. The increase in popularity of the son unveiled the huge potential of music with Afro-Cuban rhythms. This led to the development and mass distribution of newer types of Latin music. Additionally, genres of the later 1940s such as mambo manifest many characteristics derived from son. Charanga orchestras, also developed dance music heavily influenced by son. Perhaps the most significant contribution of son is its influence on present day Latin music. Son is specifically considered to be the foundation on which salsa was created.