I know one of the first things I like to now about an area is what type of music they listen to. To understand a Dominican’s taste in music you first to understand a Dominican’s mentality towards music.bongos

There are few things in this world that Dominicans love more than music and dancing. Both music and dancing are heavily ingrained in the day-to-day life of a Dominican.
Unlike the US and many other countries, you are not going to find too much music that you can’t dance here.

I have several times tried explaining to different Dominicans that much of the music in the US is not meant for dancing, but they don’t seem to understand that thought. Right about at that point in the conversation, I get a look of pure confusion. They are thinking, Music without dancing? What’s the Point? With that being said pretty much all the music here has a heavy beat.

The music that you will probably hear the most of is Merengue and Bachata. Below is a brief description of each.


Merengue is a music that has historical record back to the 1840’s and started becoming popular in the 1930’s. It is deeply rooted in both African and Spanish music. Using instruments from both cultures. The instruments typically used are the accordion, guitar, tambora, guira, and marimba.

Like all other music in the Caribbean has a distinct Latin feel and is very upbeat. It is a very fast music and has a strong 2/4 beat, making it a music you can’t help but dance to.


Bachata was first recorded in the 1960’s, but it did not become mainstream until the 1980’s . The typical instruments of a Bachata band were guitar, bongos and maracas. Modern Bachata has adopted the electric guitar and electric bass guitar instead of the typical Spanish style acoustic guitar and replaced the maracas with the guira.

Bachata is a much slower beat music than Merengue, and typically uses a distinct 4/4 beat. It’s subjects are often romantic and usually incorporates lyrics that feature sadness and heartbreak.

To see more information on Bachata and Merengue you can go to Bachata and Merengue.