Question by User pavizla
It says that it evolved around 1940 but that’s when it was brought to New York. Is it older than that? Will it be easier to separate modern salsa from legacy (Cuban) salsa? Mambo? Just how old really is salsa? I cannot find a good source, or book about it too..
Son music has been around since the late 19th century. Mambo has been around since 1930s, Salsa has been around since 1960s. Timba has been around since the 1970s. The underlying rhythms go back even further, but we know that they came from Africa.
The thing is, it’s almost impossible to say when something started, whether dance or music. Everything is a blend of the influences that came before it. It’s just as correct to claim that Salsa originated in New York, as it is to claim it originated in Cuba, it all depends on your individual interpretation of what makes salsa “salsa”. Even saying it started in the Cuban highlands is problematic because it erases the African origins of the rhythms.
tl;dr; it’s a mess, the history is interesting, but anyone claiming any particular ownership is probably wrong.