The genre of Caribbean Music encompasses a diverse variety of musical styles and traditions from islands that are located in the Caribbean Sea and it represents something that is simple, exotic yet rich and wonderful. The styles range anywhere from traditional folk genres such as the Puerto Rican aguinaldo and Jamaican mento to more contemporary music such as salsa and reggae. They are each syntheses of African, European, Indian and Indigenious influences, largely created by African slave descendants, along with contribution from other communities. Some of the styles that gained wide popularity outside of the Caribbean includes reggae, zouk, salsa, bouyon, calypso, soca, reggaeton and punta.
The diverse history of Caribbean music begins with tribal music from the Native Americans that first inhabited the Caribbean island. This music largely featured percussion instruments, much of which was developed by the Native Americans and sadly perished along with most of the Native Americans during the 17th century. After that time, Caribbean music came out of the combination of the European settlers to the Caribbean as well as the African slaves that were brought along with the settlers. The music represents the culture of struggle, triumph, blood, sweat and tears that are all reflected in the beats and rhythms of Caribbean music. The rewards of a battle well fought in search of freedom can still be heard echoing form the distance past as the enslaved left with future generations the strength to keep fighting using the powerful sounds of music. Located in the Caribbean Sea are many islands each having its own experience of slavery and triumph, each developing its own cultural expression through the use of music.
The outer most Caribbean styles of music may be grouped into the different categories of folk, classical, or commercially popular music. Folk styles were derived primarily from African music and tend to be dominated by percussion