Print Version

Effective: Summer 2017

Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in MUS 64C.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture, 1 hour laboratory. (60 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Describe and discuss the history and development of the afro-carribean styles that became modern day Salsa and Latin Jazz.
  • Identify major recordings and artists of the afro-caribbean style.
Description -
History and analysis of Afro-Caribbean musical styles that have developed into modern Salsa and Latin Jazz. An introduction to the instruments, performers, composers, compositions and recordings that defined/define Salsa and Latin Jazz. Presentation of recordings, videos and print resources. Major artists include Tito Puente, Machito, Perez Prado, Eddie Palmieri, Giovanni Hidalgo, Israel 'Cachao' Lopez, Mario Bauza, Frankie Ruiz, Celia Cruz, Luis Enrique, Paquito D'Rivera, Poncho Sanchez, Chucho Valdez, and others. Styles include Danzon, Son, Mambo, Rhumba, Guaguanco, Guaracha, Son Montuno, Cha Cha, Guajira, Cumbia, Plena, Bomba, Merengue and others.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Describe and discuss the history and development of the afro-carribean styles that became modern day Salsa and Latin Jazz.
  2. Analyze historical Cuban, Puerto-Rican and Dominican styles and how they have evolved.
  3. Identify major recordings and artists of the Afro-Caribbean style.
  4. Compare and contrast Salsa and Latin Jazz vs. similar styles of improvisational music.
  5. Write comprehensive analyses of changes in Afro-Caribbean musical styles.
  6. Discuss how American culture created alternate communities in large metropolitan areas and how those communities developed musical styles based on ethnic origins.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus: classroom sound equipment for compact discs, audiotape and records, screen, overhead projector, slide projector, and DVD.
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities; Email address; Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Context
    1. Afro-Caribbean culture 1920-present
      1. Cuban musical culture before Castro.
      2. Preservation of style in Cuba, development of style in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and the U.S.
    2. Musical vocabulary of Cuba, Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic
      1. Technical characteristics (including pitch, rhythm, melody, dynamics, timbre, texture, form and harmony).
      2. Changes in characteristics due to social change.
  2. Style
    1. Fusion of French and Spanish forms into characteristic Salsa and related forms.
    2. Development of Montuno, Tumbao and Clave as the basis for Afro-Caribbean music.
    3. The introduction and assimilation of other American musical styles into the jazz idiom and the subsequent development of Latin Jazz.
  3. Rhythm
    1. Danzon, Son and early dance forms.
    2. The development of tumbao and clave.
    3. Merengue as a variant of Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythmic styles.
  4. Instruments, Harmony and Form
    1. The Afro-Carribean batterie as opposed to the standard jazz/pop rhythm section.
    2. Timbales as developed from European tympani and their essential role in the batterie.
    3. Congas and Bongos as developed from African drums and integrated into the batterie.
    4. The montuno as a strict arpeggiated harmonic accompaniment and its development.
    5. The use of the mambo as an essential element of all Afro-Caribbean forms.
    6. Coro-pregon (call and response) and its use in contemporary salsa.
  5. Major Innovators and Performers
    1. Barbarito Torres and the tradition of Tres and Laoud.
    2. Ruben Gonzalez and Danzon.
    3. Celia Cruz and the cult of the Diva in Salsa.
    4. Machito and the jazz/salsa connection.
    5. Mario Bauza and the modern Latin jazz orchestra.
    6. Tito Puente and the development of Salsa as a dance form.
    7. Eddie Palmieri and New York Salsa/Latin jazz.
    8. Poncho Sanchez and contemporary west coast Latin jazz.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Weekly worksheets and quizzes for guided reading and listening.
  2. Listening assignments via CD and online delivery
  3. Midterm and Final exams
Representative Text(s) -
Mauleon, Rebecca. The Salsa Guidebook. Sher Publications, 4th edition 2011.
Boggs, Vernon. Salsiology: Afro-Cuban Music and the Evolution of Salsa in New York City. 3rd Edition, Greenwood Publishing, 2009.
Caesar Miguel Rondon. Book Of Salsa: (Latin America In Translation). University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion of salsa and latin jazz styles.
  2. In-class viewing of historically significant performances followed by instructor-guided interpretation and analysis.
  3. Group presentations of major projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
Lab Content -
Lab content includes directed listening from the following areas:
  1. Early Cuban Son
  2. Son Montuno
  3. Charanga
  4. Danzon
  5. Mambo
  6. Rhumba
  7. Guaguanco
  8. Guaracha,
  9. Cumbia, etc.
  10. American "salsa" from Puerto Rican communities
  11. American "salsa" from Cuban communities
  12. American "salsa" from Central American communities
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Weekly reading from course texts.
  2. Written critiques of live performances.
  3. Written critiques/reviews of concert DVD's.
  4. Written Midterm & Final Exams.