Merengue (music)

Template:Genrebox Merengue is a type of lively, joyful music and dance that comes from the Dominican Republic. Merengue means whipped egg whites and sugar, just as it does in the English language. It is unclear as to why this name became the name of the music of the Dominican Republic, however it was promoted by Rafael Trujillo, the president in the 1930s, and became the country’s national music and dance style. World famous Merengue singers include Juan Luis Guerra, Wilfrido Vargas, Johnny Ventura, Josie Esteban y la Patrulla 15, Pochy y su Cocoband, Fernando Villalona,Cuco Valoy, The Freddie Kenton Orquestra and Conjunto Quisqueya. Other artists popular in the Dominican Republic as of 2004 include Krisspy, Toño Rosario, El Jeffrey and Tulile.


Meter: 2/4, tempo: fast.

The traditional instrumentation for an orquestra típica (traditional band), the usual performing group of folk merrengue, is a diatonic accordion, a two sided drum held on the lap called a tambora, a bass resonator of some kind, and a güira. A güira (Wee-ra) is a percussion instrument that sounds like a maraca but in fact is a sheet of metal-- in practice, often from a five gallon oil can-- evenly perforated with a nail, shaped into a cylinder, and played with a stiff brush. The guira is brushed steadily on the downbeat with a "and-a" thrown in at certain points, or played in more complex patterns that generally mark the time. The double headed drum is played on one side with a stick (one and two and with a strong syncopation) and with the downbeat marked on the other side with the palm of the hand.

In more urbane settings, merengue is played with all manner of instrumentation, but the drum beat and the guira are signatures. A saxophone is a popular replacement or addition to the accordion, along with electronic bass guitar and guitar. A proof of the great adaptability of the music can be found in the Dominican National Symphony's presentation in 2003 of a concert series entitled "Symphonic Merengue" in which the Symphonic Orchestra consisting of woodwinds, brass, strings, and the like played popular tunes. .

Related articles

External links

fr:Merengue de:Merengue tr:Merengue


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