COUNTRY: Dominican Republic
Over the last several decades another music of the people, bachata, a form of bolero-based Dominican blues, has developed in neighborhood bars and brothels. BACHATA musicians sing about pain, struggle and the troubles of daily life, most often with a hearty string of double entendres. The original Dominican bachata dance involves a lot of hip swaying and emphasizes the 1-2-3 and 5-6-7 counts of an eight count pattern, with the hips “popping” on beats 4 and 8.
See the King of BACHATA, Luis Vargas, performing a song called “Venom”
“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 a simple style of bolero (lead guitar instrumentation using arpeggiated repetitive 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 güira. The change in the 1980s from maracas to themore versatile güira was made as bachata was becoming more dance oriented.”