Chapter

The Aesthetics of <i>Sabor</i>

Raul A. Fernandez

in From Afro-Cuban Rhythms to Latin Jazz

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247079
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939448 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247079.003.0004
The Aesthetics of Sabor

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Cuban musicians in the twentieth century developed and continue to develop today a unique aesthetic, a musicalia not based on fantasies but rather grounded in the quotidian, particular Cuban reality. This aesthetic is built around the concept of sabor, which is central to the ability of Cuban musicians. This chapter examines the ways in which Cuban popular musicians in the twentieth century developed a characteristic manner of approaching and playing dance music, sabor. The sabor aesthetic allows Cuban musicians to constantly mix formerly separate Cuban genres and to readily incorporate musical elements from other cultures, which are then re-elaborated and flavored to produce newer forms of Cuban music. The most characteristically “Cuban” musical expression has been in part the result of criollo versioning and reinvention. The sabor aesthetic, which thrives in mixing new and old forms, led to Cuban music's growth, enrichment, and increasing popularity: much of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and vast areas of Latin America and the United States have become musically Cubanized.

Keywords: sabor; criollo; musicalia; Cuban music

Chapter.  5087 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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