The music of Bachata is part of the Latin American tradition. It originated in the Dominican Republic, just like the merengue. Although Latin American music has a rich and varied history, the Cuban-derived Bachata has actually only been around since the early sixties.
The music can be traced back to the wonderful guitar tales of the Mariachi's of Mexico. Using the guitar the singer tells the story of love, heartbreak and failed romance. The literal meaning of Bachata is "musica de amargue", or music of bitterness.
Bachata was created by servants, who used to play it when they got off of work. They often used objects such as trashcans and fences as musical instruments.
In today’s Bachata music amplifiers and electric instruments are often used instead of the more traditional acoustic guitar. This evolution has given a more accessible and up-tempo feel to the music. Still the bittersweet subject matter remains. The music itself is played in 4/4.
Some of the important early bachateros are José Manuel Calderón (musician), Luis Segura, Ramon Cordero, Eladio Romero Santos, Edilio Paredes and Rafael Encarnación.
At present 2006, the Dominican group Aventura is probably the best known Bachata group worldwide. Their hit single "Obsesion" has dominated the Bachata music scene for a long time.
Although Bachata dancing is completely different from salsa or merengue, the intensity and sensuality is just as strong, if not more so. For those who wish to learn to dance Bachata, the actual basics are very easy to learn and understand.
The basic footwork is a series of simple steps that produce a back and
forth or sideways movement. Starting with the left foot (woman with the
right foot) moving to the left on counts 1,2,3.
On 4, tipping the right toe beside your left foot or in place. Then do the same from your right foot. The character of the dance is achieved through sensual hip and body movements.