Merengue Music!

By Jaden Ziner

The Kind of Music

Merengue is listened to in the Dominican Republic more commonly than anywhere else. Merengue is particularly associated with the Dominican Republic and the Dominicans. It is played most often at Latin clubs where the citizens can laugh and dance and enjoy the music. It's dance music and it's often associated with a good time vibe. It’s a mystery how merengue got it's name. It’s said that It was born as a dominican melody after the dominican victory at the Talanquera battle.

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History of Merengue

Merengue was introduced in the mid 1800's. In the Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo, ( their dictator ) promoted merengue as the country's national music and dance style. Merengue is considered to be the pride of the Dominicans and it’s seen by their culture as their very own style of music. It’s very important to them and they love the two step beat. The music is party and festive like music, there are no specific costumes for this music but every so often there are salsa congresses held including merengue music. Some famous artists are Wilfrido Vargas, Juan Luis Guerra, and Elvis Crespo.

Connection to Dance!

Merengue has it's own dance associated with it also called merengue. Partners hold each other in a closed position. The leader holds the follower's waist with the leader's right hand, while holding the followers right hand with the leader's left hand at the follower's eye level. Partners bend their knees slightly left and right, thus making the hips move left and right. The hips of the leader and follower move in the same direction throughout the song. Partners may walk sideways or circle each other, in small steps.

Merengue Today!

Merengue is sadly becoming less and less popular as time goes on. Not as many folks enjoy this style of music anymore, and there's few remaining popular artists left besides Elvis Crespo and Juan Luis Guerra. It's said that Merengue is not supposed to make a comeback anytime soon or in the future, but one can only hope that this great cultural music will make its way back into society. The music today is still associated mainly with the Dominicans, mostly played as club and dance music. But that doesn't mean it can't be big once again!