Q40461

Bachata Bands and Artists List

Bachata Bands and Artists List

Bachata is a genre of Latin American music that originated in the Dominican Republic in the first half of the 20th century. It is a fusion of European influences, mainly Spanish guitar music, with some remnants of indigenous Taino and African musical elements, representative of the cultural diversity of the Dominican population.

The first recorded compositions of bachata were done by José Manuel Calderón from the Dominican Republic. Bachata originates from bolero and son (and later, from the mid-1980s, merengue). The original term used to name the genre was amargue ("bitterness", "bitter music" or "blues music"), until the rather ambiguous (and mood-neutral) term bachata became popular. The form of dance, bachata, also developed with the music.

Bachata arose in the working class areas of the country. During the 1960s and early 1970s, it was seen as music of the lower class by the Dominican elites, when it was known as amargue music. The genre's popularity arose from the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the rhythm began to reach the mainstream media. The genre was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity by UNESCO.

The earliest bachata originated in the countryside of the Dominican Republic in the first half of the 20th century. José Manuel Calderón recorded the first bachata song, "Borracho de amor" in 1962. The genre mixed the pan-Latin American style called bolero with more elements coming from son, and the troubadour singing tradition common in Latin America. During much of its history, bachata music was disregarded by Dominican elite and associated with rural underdevelopment and crime. As recently as the 1980s, bachata was considered too vulgar, crude and musically rustic to be broadcast on television or radio in the Dominican Republic.

In the 1990s, however, bachata's instrumentation changed from nylon string Spanish guitar and maracas of traditional bachata to the electric steel string and guira of modern bachata. Bachata further transformed in the 21st century with the creation of urban bachata styles by bands such as Monchy y Alexandra and Aventura. These new modern styles of bachata became an international phenomenon, and today bachata is one of the most popular styles of Latin music.

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