The Dominican Republic is known for merengue, which evolved from Dominican folk to become infectious, mambo-inspired dance music. Dictator Rafael Trujillo, an avid merengue dancer who, once of humble origins, had been barred from elite dance clubs, declared merengue as music of the people and required urban dance bands to include it in their shows.
Over the last several decades another music of the people, bachata, a form of bolero-based Dominican blues, has developed in neighborhood bars. Bachata musicians sing about pain, struggle and the troubles of daily life, most often with a hearty string of double entendres.
Visit AATW’s Caribbean Musical Genres page, or explore these Dominican musical genres: