Music & Dance in the Dominican Republic
The most popular form of music and dance in the Dominican Republic is called Merengue - easily identified by its unique beat pattern of 2/2 and 2/4 time. The sound combines a mixture of African and European elements and is created predominantly through a three-piece band consisting of a melodeon (accordion-like instrument), a güira (cheese grater-looking instrument that is scraped), and a tambora (double-headed drum). This is the music you'll see the Dominican people dancing to in bars, and listening, as well as singing to, in their cars, businesses and homes. Couples dancing merengue is somewhat of a practiced art and many Dominicans are more than happy to teach this exciting dance to anyone willing to learn. The other national music, especially popular in the countryside or more rural regions of the Dominican Republic, is Bachata . This is music with a more melancholy beat and 4/4 time, and it talks mostly about life in the country and relationships between men and women.