Tropical music

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Musica tropical or tropical music (Spanish: Música tropical) is a broad term for vocal and instrumental music with "tropical" flavor usually associated with Caribbean music. It is part of an even broader category of Latin music. Usually it is an upbeat dance music, but also includes ballads. It features complex, syncopated rhythms and draws from traditional music forms. Its sound is based on traditional percussion and string musical instruments, such as timbales, congas, bongo, the tres, but can also incorporate other instruments and advanced machinery, such as synthesizers and drum machines.[1]

The term "tropical" is commonly used as a music format by Latin music radio stations.[2] Among the most popular tropical styles are salsa, merengue, vallenato, cumbia, and bachata.

Tropical music entered Chile first in the 1930s with the guaracha.[3] In the 1940s mambo and cha cha cha orchestras became a popular form of tropical music in Chile.[3] In the 1960s cumbia entered Chile and leaving a long-lasting impact on tropical music in that country.[3]

See also[edit]


  • Wade, Peter (2000). Music, race & nation: música tropical in Colombia. Chicago studies in ethnomusicology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-86844-8. 
  • Quintero Rivera, A G (1999). Salsa, sabor y control!: sociología de la música "tropical". Sociología y política (Siglo Veintiuno Editores) (in Spanish) (2nd ed.). México: Siglo Veintiuno Editores. ISBN 978-968-23-2149-8. 

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