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Most of the songs on this collection are a style called son, (lit. "sound") one of the most popular and influential Cuban musical forms. Son developed around the turn of the century in Oriente, a region in eastern Cuba. Migrating musicians brought son west to Havana in the 1920s, where it exploded in popularity. The fundamental element of the son is a rhythmic pattern called clave (lit. "key"). Played on two wooden sticks, called claves, this repetitive beat is the foundation upon which all of the other musical elements are structured. It gives son the propulsive swing that has endeared it to people around the world. Most contemporary salsa is based on son.