Dominican Music

To start talking about Dominican music it is necessary to specify what is the meaning of music in general. Music represents the art, culture and history of a people. Harmony, melody and rhythm make up some of the elements that stand out when making music.

A professional person, amateur or single improvises music, seeks to generate different sensations to the listener that can mean from relaxing the person who listens to the music as to create a full fun. In addition, music has an important influence on the human body because helps to stimulate many parts of the body.

Music in general combines sounds and silences, there is a wide range of sounds and musical mixes that go from intensity to softer mixes.

Based on the above definition, we can say that Dominican music seeks to describe its citizens, character, culture and customs. Among the music that stands out in this countries, despite the external rhythms that have had great influence in the region, the rhythms more popular in Dominican Republic are:

  • Traditional Dominican music
  • Bachata
  • Merengue


Traditional Dominican music

This musical style has its own and well-defined range of culture and customs of this country, oriented to the description of Dominicans. It has a clear influence of the other countries, firstly of the Spanish and African music, but without leaving out other musical styles that have arrived and influenced in the country.

The Dominican Republic has as part of its ethnic-cultural roots, an extraordinary variety and richness at a rhythmic, harmonic and instrumental level, unknown and ignored by many of its inhabitants and people from all over the world.


Bachata Artists

Bachata means “juerga”, being a kind of rhythm or popular dance song originally from the Dominican Republic, this rhythm allows people to have a little fun and at the same time strengthen bonds between couples, families and friends, creating a hostile environment to share with those you want.

Bachata usually addresses many themes, but romantic bachata, melancholy and abandonment stand out more. The massive interest in this rhythm arose from the 80s and expanded with the media, and the rise of tourism in the country. Among the Dominican bachata artists, we can mention:

Elvis Martinez

He is a composer, singer and guitarist. His music recordings include the following records on CDs that are distributed within the Americas:

  • Hope (2012).
  • The light of my eyes (2007)
  • I’m bigger than him (2005)
  • Uncontrolled (2004)
  • So I love you (2003).
  • Three words (2001).
  • Straight from the heart (1999).
  • To-do is paid (1998).

Jose Manuel Calderon

He is a bachata composer from the Dominican Republic. Calderón is considered the first Dominican musician to record bachata, with his songs “Borracho de amor” and “Condena”, on May 30, 1962 in the studios of Radio Televisión Dominicana.

Juan Luis Guerra

He is a Dominican singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, musician and producer, who has sold more than 30 million records, and has won numerous awards, including:

  • 18 Latin Grammies.
  • two North American Grammies.
  • two Latin Billboard Awards.


Merengue Artists

It’s a musical and dance style that originated in the Dominican Republic. In the beginning the merengue was played with guitars, but later the guitars were replaced by the accordion conforming, together with the güira and the tambora, the instrumental structure of the typical merengue ensemble. This set represents the synthesis of the three cultures that formed the idiosyncrasy of Dominican culture. Some of the Dominican merengue singers are:

Hector Acosta

He is known for having been the vocal leader of a popular Dominican merengue group of the 90s. He is a singer of merengue, bolero and bachata.

Bonny Cepeda

Dominican singer, musician, composer and arranger, recognized for his merengues in the United States, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Panama, Venezuela and Europe.

Las Chicas del Can

It’s a merengue group from the Dominican Republic that was characterized by being exclusively feminine.


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