Bachata is a genre of music that originated in the Dominican Republic in the early parts of the 20th Century and spread to other parts of Latin America and Mediterranean Europe. It became popular in the countryside and the rural neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic. Its subjects are often romantic; especially prevalent are tales of heartbreak and sadness. In fact, the original term used to name the genre was amargue (“bitterness,” or “bitter music”), until the rather ambiguous (and mood-neutral) term bachata became popular. The form of dance, Bachata, also developed with the music.
The earliest bachata was originally developed in the Dominican Republic around the early part of the 20th century, with mixed Cuban boleros and, which originated from Son. With African elements, it combined with traditional Latin/Caribbean rhythms, and is a guitar based music which recently evolved from bolero and it was also influenced largely by Puerto Rican jibaro music and baladas/boleros. During much of its history Bachata music was denigrated by Latino/Caribbean society and associated with rural backwardness and delinquency. As recently as 1988 Bachata was considered too vulgar, crude and musically rustic to enter mainstream music. In the 1990s, bachata’s instrumentation changed from acoustic guitar to electric steel string. The new electric bachata soon became an international phenomenon, and today bachata is as popular as salsa and merengue in some Latin American dance-halls.
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