This is a response to an email that I received commenting on a previous post (On 2 SalsaBeat – How to dance On2).
I will answer a couple of questions presented on this comment: “Why an 8-beat measure? I hear salsa in 4/4 time.”
Steve, Thanks for your email. I appreciate the invitation to discuss the starting step for men in mambo (Salsa On2). But first I think I need to address the music, then the different styles of dancing.
Your assertion that salsa is written in 4/4 timing is correct. For a musician (piano, bass, trumpet player, etc.), the music is best organized with a 4-beat measure. Wearing my guitar player hat, I like to feel salsa music in 4/4 time (count 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4…) because I’m interested in the harmorny (chord) changes and basslines of the songs. I come from a rock/blues background and I like to hear the chord changes on the 1st beat of every measure. So, Yes I agree with you that I can feel 4/4 timing in salsa. In salsa, it is very common to hear chord changes in the 1st beat of the 4/4 measure (or the 1st and 5th beat of the dance measure).
Rhythm and Dance
Things change, however, when I listen to melody and rhythm. Let me differentiate by defining the following:
Musical measure is 4 beats. Following is two (2) musical measures
|1 2 3 4 |1 2 3 4|
Rhythmic and Dance Measure is 8 beats
|1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | Read the rest of this entry »