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Bachata Music

The Dominican Republic is known for many rich cultural things and now you can add to them Bachata music. Until 10 years ago bachata music was a relatively unknown genre of music only heard on the streets of the Dominican Republic. The truth is that those who love and created the style of Bachata music have been playing it for over 40 years.

The Evolution of Bachata Music

There is a long evolution period for Bachata music. It first began to take root in Santo Domingo and was performed in bars and areas not know for the moral high ground. Music in the Dominican Republic was repressed and controlled by the ruling dictator Rafael Trujillo and his family. With his death in 1961 many of the musicians that were not allowed to express themselves before headed for the capital to record their music.

At this point and time bachata music was called "bolero campesino". Bachata is actually a word that refers to an impromptu party where music, most notably guitar music, is played. It took many years for the word to actually mean a specific genre of music. The musician who first took advantage of the musical freedom created by the death of the dictator was José Manuel Calderón. His claim to fame is that he recorded the first Bachata music single. The songs on the record were "Borracho de amor" and "Que Será de mi (Condena)."

When Calderón recorded his first record the Bachata style was still evolving. It was still sounding like bolero and had very few distinctions between the music found in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador. Through the advancement of technology Bachata music began to have a unique sound all its own. Musicians began to use either electric or acoustic guitars. They would then alter the sound by using any combination of echo, reverb, or flanger techniques.

Bachata music has many different types of rhythms that derive from different types of music such as the blues and meringue. The roots of Bachata music however is they style of music referred to as bolero. This is a very traditional type of music in the Latin culture and is romantic in nature. The inspiration for the music are generally topics that have to do with the emotions of love ranging from lost love and being deceived by love. It correlates very well to the blues as most of the songs deal with heavy emotions.

The sound of Bachata music now incorporates the electric guitar and an additional guitar called a segunda or rhythmic guitar. The rest of the instruments used include a bass guitar and a güira to help give the rhythm of the music a good base. Then to give the music an even more clear percussion base a bongo drum is thrown in the mix.

The Love of Bachata Music is Spreading

Bachata music has spread throughout the Latin world and is now gaining popularity in America. Some give credit to the rising popularity to the Grammy winning release in 1992 by Juan Luis Guerra called Bachata Rosa.
As the Bachata music genre is gain popularity one of the most notable rising stars is the rock band Aventura. They are the most highly recognized bachata music group in the United States and have fans as far away as Sweden. Aventura is taking the Bachata music to the international community but back in the Dominican there are two artists that are even more popular. They are Antony Santos and Luis Vargas.

Others that are now beginning to make a name for themselves on the Bachata music scene include, Xtreme, Joe Veras, Elvis Martinez, and Frank Reyes. Bachata music is an evolving genre of music as many musicians are finding that you can incorporate many different styles of music with it like vallenato and R&B very successfully.
Bachata Music even has its own Dance

Though it is a little difficult to describe the dance it is very easy to learn and execute. It really entails a few easy steps that ends up producing a back and forth motion with a lot of hip action. The dance works beautifully with the rhythm and timing of the music. It is a very sensual dance and tends to become quite risqué with couples that are very comfortable with each other.

Bachata music is beginning to be recognized worldwide. It has all the rhythm and feel of the rich Latin culture found in the Dominican Republic and if you love the soulfulness of the blues with the beat of the merengue then you will love bachata music.