Why is Salsa music counted in 8 if it is in 4/4 time?



Asked by: Amanda Smith

The shortest answer is: it isn’t by musicians. There are 4 beats per clave. Dancers count in 8 because it’s easier to count ‘one two three four’ than ‘one and two and’.

Is salsa an 8 count?





In salsa, the basic step is done to a quick-quick-slow, quick-quick-slow rhythm on beats 1-2-3, 5-6-7 of an 8 count. On beats 4 and 8, no additional steps are taken. That’s why counts 4 and 8 are considered the “slow” portion of salsa rhythm.

Is salsa a 4 count?

This is where counting becomes natural. With salsa dancing, you will use two measures of the music for a cycle in the basic steps. Traditionally salsa uses a 4/4 time signature. It’s often played in groups of eight beats.

Why do you count to 8 in dance?

In dance, a measure is usually “musically paired” with a second measure. These two measures equal a total of 8 counts, which is why dancers count in sets of 8. 8 counts keep track of the beat and tempo, but break up the song into manageable sections. One set of 8 is like a sentence.

How is salsa counted?

Salsa music is counted in 8 beat phrases. These 8 beats constitute two “musical measures” of 4 beats each.

Who invented salsa on 1?





the Vazquez brothers

This is known as On 1 salsa. Developed by the Vazquez brothers in LA, it is more of a linear dance and is a bit flashier and includes tricks. LA salsa is easier for beginners to start with due to the timing. Popularized by the “Mambo King”, Eddie Torres, Salsa New York or Mambo style is danced “On 2”.

What meter is salsa in?

Salsa music is traditionally based on a 4/4 time signature, and is mostly phrased in groups of two bars (eight beats), such as recurring rhythmic patterns and main phrases of the chorus.

Who invented salsa on 2?

On 2 salsa originated in New York, and is often referred to as “New York Style” salsa. It was popularized by Eddie Torres (featured in the video above), who helped formalize the timing of the dance.

Is Cuban Salsa On1 or On2?

From the streets of Havana to clubs in Berlin, Cuban salsa is commonly danced in a synchronized ring of couples, called a Rueda. Many dancers start out with this style because its timing (on the count of 1) is easy to grasp — and few things are more fun than a sweaty, boisterous Rueda.



How many bars are in a salsa song?

Most parts of a salsa song, although not in 100% of cases, are based on this rule; many elements take place during 4 or 8 clave cycles, which are, respectably, 8 or 16 bars of music.

How do you read salsa beats?

Every second day or once a week so consistency of practice is key and then exposing yourself to music more music you hear the more you tap on beat that music the more you try and move to the rhythm.

Is salsa on 2 the same as mambo?

If we are talking about club style salsa and club style mambo, the only difference is that salsa can be danced on any beat whereas in mambo, the break step is taken on the second beat of the measure. Thus salsa encompasses mambo.



How do you hear rhythm in salsa?

So as I step forward on the left you step forward on the left as I step back on the right you step back on the right and as you follow along with my steps. Pay attention to the beat or instruments.

What is the tempo of salsa dancing?

Salsa dance socials are commonly held in nightclubs, bars, ballrooms, restaurants, and outside, especially when part of an outdoor festival. Salsa’s tempo ranges from about 150 bpm (beats per minute) to around 250 bpm, although most dancing is done to music somewhere between 160 and 220 bpm.

What defines salsa music?

What Is Salsa Music? Salsa is a musical style rooted in son Cubano, an Afro-Cuban music genre created by Cuban musicians of Bantu descent. The salsa genre took form in the United States, and it may feature elements from all sorts of Latin American styles.

How do you count music for dance?

Sounds and it introduces a new one that kind of sounds like fingers snapping. And we're gonna say cut to know take that and that happens on every two four six eight.



Why do dancers count at 5?

Why do dancers count 5, 6, 7, & 8? Because musicians took 1, 2, 3 & 4. It’s funny because it’s true. Dancers count music in groups of 8, while musicians count in groups of 4.

How do you do a 8 count?

Five six seven eight step one down two three and four then maybe one last time here we go five six seven eight step one two three and four great so you're halfway through the 8 car eight count combo.