Fusion is the best way to describe basic salsa music. It is a combination of Spanish Caribbean music that incorporates African and French dance influences. The beat varies in salsa music from 100 beats per minute all the way up to 140 beats. This gives musicians a good range of speed for their particular dance audience. It also allows for variations in the melodic line. The emphasis of 4 beats repeated over and over remains throughout any salsa composition.
Variations of different salsa music are constantly being composed. The basic beat emphasis must stay the same, but the ability to vary the speed is an important component. It allows musicians to mix in extra notes in their performance or go for a simpler melody to increase the speed and offer a more challenging dance. Because it has spread throughout the world, salsa music is subject to wide variations from different musical influences. It will continue to grow and change as long as there are musicians to play it.