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Cuban Music Styles

Cuba has many musical sub-styles, but only a few major genres. These include, Afro-Cuban music, rumba, danzon, the son complex and punto.

In these pages we explore many of these sub-styles like nengón, cha-cha-chá, guaguanco, changüi and more. The pages include both musical examples and recordings as well as video wherever possible.

Please feel free to leave comments and contact me if you are looking for some Cuban music style that is not covered on these pages.

About the nueva trova

About the nueva trova

By Jose Antonio Rodriguez Translation © 1999 Jon Griffin The nueva trova is a phenomenon born in the second half of the 1960's in Cuba. It is the continuation of previous movements called trovadorezcos, traditional trova and feeling (filín). T...
Changüi

Changüi

By Jon Griffin Changüi was born in Guantanamo Province, Cuba (specifically the Baracoa area) from the style called Nengon . There are some conflicting answers you will receive when you ask the question, "What is Changüi"? The answer from an ...
Cuban Son Complex

Cuban Son Complex

Son is a generic term for the musical family of country music originating in Oriente de Cuba (Eastern Cuba), as well as a style within the family itself. Traditionally, Son was played with an ensemble similar to a Changüi , but the Contra Bass replaced t...
Kiriba

Kiriba

By Jon Griffin Kiriba is a style of Son  from a different area of Cuba. It mostly originated in the Baracoa area, which is also where the Changüi  was created. In fact where the fusion of Kiriba and Nengon  takes place is where Changüi is invented...
Nengon

Nengon

  By Jon Griffin Nengon was the precursor to both Son  and Changüi . It evolved into Son in Santiago de Cuba and Changüi (when it fused with Kiriba ) in Guantanamo province. Nengon was traditionally played with a Tingotalango or Tu...
Punto Guajiro

Punto Guajiro

By Jon Griffin Punto Guajiro (also called Punto Cubano) is the country music from the Western and Central provinces of Cuba. This style began to become popular around the end of the 18th century, mainly as a social event. Remember that in the ...
The Nueva Trova In Cuba

The Nueva Trova In Cuba

By Olavo Alén Rodríguez © 2007 Jon Griffin During the 19th century different forms for presenting songs appeared in Cuba, all of which were marked with elements that offered national pride. Among them the Cuban lyrical songs were emphasized: ha...
Timba

Timba

By Olavo Alén Rodríguez © 2007 Jon Griffin NG La Banda In 1993, the Cuban musician José Luis Cortés travelled with his group NG La Banda through a tour of Japan. At that time this important musician tried to achieve a different sound from what...
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