Final Research Paper
The sensual dance known as “Bachata” was developed in the Dominican Republic during the 1960s (beginning of 20th century), but did not officially emerge until the 1980s. Bachata in the Caribbean is not only a popular music style, but a famous dance style as well. This dance form is very emotional and includes romance and heatbreaks. Bachata, a word thought of as too vulgar or extremely rustic had a negative connotation. Dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo of the Dominican Republic was different than the rest because he did not take control over people or simply concentrate on political, economic, and military activities, but got involve with his people through music. His favorite genre was merengue. With that said, the development of bachata was severely influenced because of him, even if it did not develop until after his death (Hernandez). His love for merengue was a bit extreme when he established merengue as the country’s national music; therefore if one did not dance merengue was not Dominican. In result, he repressed all type of music that had African characteristics. Many factors contributed to bachata being viewed as a negative. Upper-class Dominican individuals looked down upon the lower-class and bachata because it was dance during gatherings; the gatherings included nothing but bachata music drinks, laughter, and good times (Jim). However despite its negativities, censorship, to denigration and into (almost) extinction, it became a great phenomenon.
After Trujillo’s assassination in 1961, bachata songs were recorded, however it was still not heard outside the Dominican Republic. Bachata is made up of guitar and percussion instruments such as maracas, clave, and guira. It is a mix of Bolero music with much African influences. Bachata music was, and still is, a form of expressing feelings; it is a way of explaining fights, expressing love, jealousy or any related topic. Because bachata tells real-life situations it is considered...
References: D. Jim. The History of Bachata Dance and Music. 2013. 7 Feb. 2014
Digital Gravity Media. A Brief History of Bachata. 2014. 7 Feb. 2014
Hernandez Pacini Deborah. Bachata: A Social History of Dominican Popular Music.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.
Ross, Karl. "The Other Dance Music." Billboard Vol. 113, No. 17: 36.
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