Bachata is a popular guitar music from the Dominican Republic. Now overwhelmingly successful among Latinos in the United States. Bachata music emerged as a form of romantic guitar music during the 1960s in the Dominican Republic.
This form of music was different to simple guitar playing music. Bachata accelerated its rhythm with time, and an innovative dance step was introduced.
Thus, Bachata that once began as romantic sounding guitar music, transformed into dance music. Bachata music was defined as merry and fun, however, in the Dominican Republic Bachata not only refers to music but includes food as well, and is celebrated in the form of a get together. Since these parties used guitar as the instrument for music playing, it later became known as Bachata.
Since Bachata music first came into being, it has faced several phases. When this music was first played it was by musicians from rural areas with low sounding quality. The music was looked down upon and the musicians were referred to as Bachatero.
The reputation of Bachata became worse with time. The unhealthy conditions of the musicians began to have a negative impact on Bachata's reputation. While guitar playing was still the primary instrument, the lyrics and tempo started including womanizing and drinking.
Consequently, the association of Bachata was linked to alcohol, violence and other unacceptable social norms.
In fact, the parallel between bachata and the blues is marked. Although bachata developed out of, and bachateros play, a variety of different rhythms, notably including merengue, the music which is specifically called bachata is a variant of the bolero.
The bolero in Latin culture has traditionally been a romantic music, dealing with themes like deception and lost love.
The genre has passed through several phases since José Manuel Calderón recorded what is generally recognized as the first bachata single ("Borracho de amor" and "Que será de mi (Condena)") in 1961. Indeed, long before Calderón, guitar music was the music of choice in the places of ill repute which became home to bachata.
The guitar and guitar music like bolero and son were also the staples of the campo, the countryside, and with the death of dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961 a number of musicians left the campo to record in the capital.
The word bachata originally denoted an informal party where guitar music was generally played-only later did it come to signify the music itself, and then in a denigrating manner.
Musicians who practice this form of music got their inspiration from several music genres. Cuban bolero was perhaps the most influential genre.
Other such influences included Dominican meringue, Mexican racneros, Cuban guaracha, Colombian Vals campesino and Puerto Rican jibaro. Meregua is Dominican Republic type of fast paced dance music that also played a role in influencing Bachata.
In the last 40 years however, Bachata has refined itself and made several changes; with Jose Manuel Calderon recording Bachata's first ever single known as 'Borracho de amor'.
By the 1990s musicians who were middle class, attended school and formally studied other genres were included in Bachata. This concept allowed Bachata music to be accepted by a wider audience.
Article about: History of Bachata music