Bachata

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Origin of the name


The original term used to name the genre was amargue or "bitterness", until the rather the term bachata became popular. The style of dance, bachata, was created with the music.

Ethnicities that listen

This type of music is successful among Latinos in the United States, bachata took shape over a period of about forty years in the families of Santo Domingo, not gaining acceptance in its native country until about ten years ago.

History of the genre

The earliest bachata originated in the Dominican Republic in the 20th century. Jose Manuel Calderon recorded the first Bachata song, "Borracho de amor" in the Dominican Republic in 1962. The genre mixed the pan-Latin American style called bolero with more African elements coming from Son, and the troubadour singing tradition common in Latin America.


The word bachata originally was created from an casual party's where guitar music was generally played—only later did it come to signify the music itself, and then in a denigrating manner.

Characteristics of the music

The typical bachata has five instruments: Requinto (lead guitar), Segunda (rhythm guitar), bass guitar, bongos and güira. The Segunda serves the purpose of adding syncopation to the music. Bachata groups mainly play a straightforward 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.


Some famous bachata artists include:

Connection to the dance

The lead partner can decide whether to perform in open, semi-closed or closed position. Unlike salsa, bachata dance does not usually include many turn patterns.

The authentic dance is today danced in the Caribbean and all over the world, nowadays also faster in accordance to faster music, adding more steps, turns and free style moves

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Partners dancing bachata in the semi-closed position