Music in the Dominican Republic: Bachata
Bachata is a unique style of music and dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. The music is often about heartbreak and may have a very slow beat, or one that makes you want to get up and dance. The dance can be very romantic, or very sensual.
The typical bachata group consists of five instruments: lead guitar, rhythm guitar, electric bass guitar, bongos and güira.The rhythm guitar is also known as a Segunda and serves the purpose of adding syncopation to the music. Bachata groups mainly play an evolved style of bolero (lead guitar instrumentation using arpeggiated chords is a distinctive characteristic of bachata), but when they change to merengue based bachata, the percussionist will switch from bongo to a tambora drum. In the 1960s and 70s, maracas were used instead of guira. The change in the 1980s from maracas to the more versatile guira was made as
bachata was becoming more dance oriented.
Popular bachata artists are Prince Royce, Aventura, Elvis Martinez, Kiko Rodriguez, Xtreme, and Monchy y Alexandra. Prince Royce, Aventura, and Xtreme are fusion bachateros- meaning they blend traditional bachata with pop and R & B to create a new age sound that is very appealing to the younger generation.
The bachata dance has 8 counts. You move 3 steps to one side, then pop your hip (ladies) or tap your foot. The tap and/or the pop is done to the rhythm of the music because it occurs at the same time that the beat drops.
Bachata has many variations. La bachata dominicana, or the Dominican bachata, may seem daunting and intimidating at first. It’s like the standard bachata, only with more footwork.
No matter how you dance it, have fun doing it!
Happy dancing =D
A few of my favorite bachata videos:
Posted on January 28, 2012, in Entertainment, International and tagged Aventura, Bachata, Bass guitar, Dominican Republic, Elvis Martinez, Monchy y Alexandra, Prince Royce, Toby Love. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.