I have discovered a lot about Haitian music in French 124 class, and I noted a similarity between their Merengue music and the Dominican Merengue music. I then decided to explore the music and dance of the Dominican Republic, and this is what I found;


Dominican Music

The Merengue and Bachata music have their accompanying dances referred to with the same names, and are primarily influenced by West African traditions, with some minor European, and native Taino influences.These genres have deeper significance culturally as the lyrics reflect social aspects of life and can talk about love, politics, humour and everyday struggles. Merengue the dance and music, is distinguished from the pastry meringue only by spelling as both mean whipped egg whites and sugar in Spanish.

The most famous Merengue artist is Juan Luis Guerra and most renown Bachata artist is Prince Royes.


The Merengue is a mixture of African and European elements and is accompanied by a three-piece band consisting of a melodeon (accordion-like instrument), a guiira (cheese grater-looking instrument that is scraped), and a tambara (double-headed drum).

Merengue Band: From left to right the instruments; Guiira, Melodeon and Tambara.

I noted that the Dominican Merengue is sung Spanish while the Haitian Merengue is sung in Haiti’s native Creole; as I managed to understand the Haitian songs but not the Dominican songs. You guys can check the Haitian Merengue song by clicking on this link; https://youtu.be/tJLdngKn23s, and the Dominican Merengue song by clicking on this link; https://youtu.be/_0lMMRAobLE.

Haitian Merengue
Merengue Dance in Haiti


The Bachata music is mostly popular on the countryside or more rural areas of Dominican Republic, and it has a more melancholic beat. The Merengue music is mostly danced to during the festive seasons of life, while the Bachata is more reflective and romantic in nature.

Bachata Dance

There are different types of Bachata dance such as Bachata Moderna, Traditional Bachata, Urban Bachata and Bachata Tango more info on these types of Bachata can be found by clicking on this link; http://forums.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/t/different-kinds-of-bachata-dance/22729.

I love the way the Dominican people cherish their music to the extent of dedicating 26th of November as National Merengue Day and creating memes appreciating both Bachata and Merengue.

Vivid illustration of how the Merengue and Bachata dance are an intricate part of Dominican Culture.

This class has made me more optimistic about my goal of visiting the Caribbean islands in the near future. I now truly look forward to visit the Dominican Republic for an experience of the Merengue and Bachata music and dance. For more information on the history of the genres of music and their dance tutorials, kindly click on the YouTube video links provided in the table below or you can even check out this blog by Suga Shey; http://vivadominicanrepublic.blogspot.co.ke/2009/03/music-and-dance-culture.html.



Topic Merengue YouTube Link
Bachata YouTube Link
History https://youtu.be/fautemcgU48


Dance Tutorial https://youtu.be/RNNFnihlv70




Most Famous Song https://youtu.be/b4i7tbqKWp4 https://youtu.be/bdOXnTbyk0g