Puerto Rico's Music Culture

Isla de Gran Riqueza

Puerto Rico’s culture is a mixture of three races that dominated through the 7th and 16th centuries: the indigenous Taínos, the Spanish, and African.

Throughout its history, traits and influences of these groups blended together in what became a big Puerto Rican melting pot.  

The people of the island have shaped their culture through many centuries of music and dance, and many famous hijos de la isla have proudly sung about their love for the island worldwide. Some examples of this are the legendary tenor Antonio Paoli and Grammy award-winning pianist Eddie Palmieri, as well as pop and urban influences Ricky Martin and Daddy Yankee. 

Puerto Rico’s diversity is perhaps best represented through its unique music and rhythms, ranging from traditional sounds of bomba and plena, to more contemporary sounds like salsa and reggaetón.

Although there is not a lot of documentation of early Puerto Rican music, the island’s musical traditions were surely rooted in percussion, like barriles and güiros.

Besides its drumming, Puerto Rico is also home to several other instruments that derive from Spanish traditions, like the requinto, a smaller version of the classic guitar; the cuatro, that also derives from the same Spanish instrument; and the bordonua, another string instrument native to Puerto Rico. 

When you visit Puerto Rico, you can enjoy historic music sites, witness bomba dances or plena performances, learn the basic salsa steps in a class, or get a little flirty dancing reggeatón in the club.  

Even if your clients aren't seeking out music on their holiday, it will be sure to find them and take over!

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