Famous Bachata Musicians
is a style of Latin American music and dance originating from the
country and rural neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic. While the
term for this popular style and genre was “amargue" ("bitter music"),
the subjects of the lyrics in this music are often the romantic kind
dealing with the
realities of heartbreak and sadness in relationships. The now common
term bachata, is a more mood-neutral name for the genre. There is some
disagreement as to the use of the word, which means “garbage” in the
rural areas of the country, springing from the fact that players of the
used backyard objects of ordinary use such as trashcans and fences. On
the other hand, to most citizens it means “to party” and this is exactly
the music inspires! In addition, some suggest that bachata is derived
from the Italian Ballata which, centuries ago, was a popular form of
music in Italy.
Like Flamenco music was to the working class Gypsies of Spain, bachata
is to the working class servants emerging in the 1960s out of the
Republic. Since the 1990s, bachata music has gained world renown and
recognition and is now popular among people worldwide.
In can be said that bolero, another romantic Latin-American style, was
the foundation or bachata. Along time meringue, also from the Dominican
Republic, has added it’s fast paced dance music to influence bachata,
along with the variety of latin American guitar styles.
The structure of the music is 4/4, and most notably the use of an
amplified electric or acoustic guitar along with flanger, echo and/or
reverb, can be
heard. Arpeggiated chords in the melody are basic and standard, along
with syncopation provided by an additional guitar mixed at lower volume
Other instruments include the bass guitar, the guira (before the 1990s,
maracas were used), and bongos which further add to the basic beat.
The traditions of Latin American guitar music is where bachata derived
from, originally named for clubs and bars where singers and guitarists
According to Bachata: Music of the People, By Giovanni Savino in 2003,
the Beatles “Till There Was You” from 1963 further inspired the genre.
Salvador had bachata-like music prior to the early 1960s and some would
lay claim to this as an influence as well.
Merengue and salsa music gained much popularity, and bachata musicians
were faced with a grass roots production and distribution until the
gained popularity. Bachata is usually performed by male vocalists. Some
of the early bachateros are José Manuel Calderón (musician), Eladio
Santos, Edilio Paredes, Luis Segura, Ramon Cordero, and Rafael
Today’s bachata uses more electric guitar and rhythmatic and goove-like
phrasing than the earlier form. Some artists today are Aventura (who has
international renown including in Europe), Juan Luis Guerra, Monchy y
Alexandra, Luis Vargas, Andy Andy, Antony Santos, Ramon Torre,s Sonia
Silvestre, Richie Ortega, Domenic Marte, Xtreme, Elvis Martinez,
Leonardo Paniagua, Los Toros Band, and Joe Veras.
As a dance, bachata has the footwork of 3 simple steps taken to 4 beats
of music that produce a back and forth or sideways motion, along with
hip and body movements. As the tale of the songs tell of romance and
heartbreak, the dance is often romantic and sentimental as well.