Bachata music began in the Dominican Republic in the early 20th century. It was influenced by the Cuban and Caribbean cultures as well. The genere was originally called amargue which translate to bitter music. Eventually it evolved into a mood-neutral name now know as bachata which means party. During the 1970's, bachata was mainly played in bars in poor neighborhoods because it was in a lull for the genre. After the lull, around the 1980's, it became extremely popular and was found in high class venues and on television. This genre still remains very popular. Bachata was most popular with people who lived in the countryside and rural neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic.
Bachata music is developed out of a large variety of different beats, such as those from merengue, and a varient of the bolero. The main instruments in this genre are guitar, bass, bongos, and the güira(shown at right). When the genre was first introduced, it was commonly associated with parties and festivities around very nice towns. When people dance to bachata, it is commonly with a partner and in a more formal situation. The dance is shown below in a video.
How to Do a Bachata Basic Side-to-Side | Bachata Dance
Many people outside of the Dominican Republic were very unfamiliar with the genre bachata. Now, globally famous musicians, such as Usher, sing and dance to bachata music. Thus, this genre is associated with all types of people, all around the world. More and more artists are are coming out with music featuring the traditional bachata style making it a common genre. You've probably listened, and loved, and bachata song and didn't even know it!