It has been perhaps the most popular form of regional music since the introduction of recording technology.
Cuban music has contributed to the development of a wide variety of genre and musical styles around the globe, most notably in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Europe.
Almost nothing remains of the original native traditions, since the native population was exterminated in the 16th century.
Aside from rural music and Afro-Cuban folk music, the most popular kind of urban Creole dance music in the 19th century was the contradanza, which commenced as a local form of the English country dance and the derivative French contredanse and Spanish contradanza.
Cuban music has its principal roots in Spain and West Africa, but over time has been influenced by diverse genres from different countries.
Important among these are France (and its colonies in the Americas), and the United States.
Also, in African tradition, percussion is always joined to song and dance, and to a particular social setting.
The result of the meeting of European and African cultures is that most Cuban popular music is creolized.
Examples include rhumba, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, soukous, many West African re-adaptations of Afro-Cuban music (Orchestra Baobab, Africando), Spanish fusion genres (notably with flamenco), and a wide variety of genres in Latin America.