Cuba, Republic of (Sp. República de Cuba)
- Gerard Béhague
- and Robin Moore
(Sp. República de Cuba)
Island republic in the West Indies. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea between North and South America and near to the Tropic of Cancer. It comprises over 1600 cays (low coral banks) and the Isla de la Juventud. The capital city is Havana. Cuba became an independent republic in 1902, and was declared a socialist state in 1961.
The history of art music in Cuba shows that it surpassed that of any other Caribbean island, although colonial music started much later there than in the larger Latin American countries. Musical activity during the 16th and 17th centuries was apparently limited. At that time sacred music was concentrated at Santiago Cathedral; the earliest reference to music indicates the presence there in 1544 of Miguel Velázquez, a native organist. The post of maestro de capilla was established in 1682, with limited means, by Bishop Juan García de Palacios, and was first held by Domingo de Flores....