Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dominican Music and Dance: Introduction

It is impossible to speak about Dominican music without discussing dance; they are seamlessly intertwined with each other. The two developed alongside one another, drawing from the same Taíno, European, and African influences and roots. Over the next several weeks, we’ll go  into detail about several types and style of music and dance.

Merengue dancing
Few records remain of early colonial culture, but music was a pastime among slaves and free mulattoes, who blended vestiges of Taino culture, African rhythms brought by slaves in the 16th century, and the melodies of European string instruments. It was not until the mid-19th century that the first true Dominican musical institutions,  especially merengue, began to take shape. Today, the scene is broad and diverse, as the airwaves and the Internet bring notes and moves to the island, and bands like Aventura introduce Dominican song and dance to the rest of the world.  Partner up!

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