Passion: what does it mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, passion is defined as: “a strong and barely controllable emotion”. Humankind has expressed passion in multitudes of ways for as long as humans have possessed communication skills. Through art, science, literature, music and even politics humans have showcased passion. Passion can be either supportive or oppositional. Music has been the greatest medium for humans to express passion, due to the great range of emotions that can be realized through song. Due to the high level of passion felt in both music and politics, politically-themed music has become a marriage made in heaven.
There are untold numbers of songs and musical genres that have become rally anthems for political movements around the globe. One region in particular, due to a unique blend of passion for music and politics, has become a hotbed for politically-charged music: Cuba. The histories of music and politics in this tiny island nation are so intertwined that one cannot do any amount of research on one topic without finding information on the other. Music in Cuba has a long and rich tradition that can be traced back to Africa. Politics in Cuba also has a long and rich tradition that can be traced rearward to Spain. These traditions include a clash between two different cultures, predominately Spanish and African, that have dominated the island. Another important aspect of Cuban political history is the tradition of slavery and the fight for freedom from slaves. Due to the interlocking nature of music and politics on the island of Cuba, many political movements have been influenced by music and vice versa. Beginning with the early history of Cuban music and poli...
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Orovio, Helio 2004. Cuban music from A to Z. Revised by Sue Steward. Biographical dictionary of Cuban music, artists, composers, groups and terms. Duke University, Durham NC; Tumi, Bath.
Pacini-Hernandez, Deborah and Reebee Garofalo."The emergence of Rap Cubano: An historical perspective." In music space, and place, ed. Whitely, Bennett, and Hawkins, 89- 107.BurlingtonVt. Ashgate, 2004.
Perez, Louis. Cuba Between Reform and Revolution. $th edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.
Peter Bakewell. A History of Latin America. Bakewell Books. p.74.
Selvin, Joel. Telephone Interview. November 12, 201.
Sublette, Ned 2004. Cuba and its music: from the first drums to the mambo. Chicago.
Thomas G. Paterson. Contesting Castro.
United States War Department, Informe sobre el censo de Cuba, 1899 (Washington, D.C., 1900), pg. 732.
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