Label: Horizonte - CDH - 23 • Format: CD Album • Country: Portugal • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: African
Merengue is a type of music and dance originating in the Dominican Republicwhich has become a very popular genre throughout Latin Americaand also in several major cities in the United States which have Hispanic communities. Merengue was first mentioned around the middle of the 19th century and has locally been very popular since then.
The genre Merengue Sto. António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 later promoted even more by Rafael Trujillothe dictator from towho turned it into national music and dance style of the Dominican Republic. It was during the Trujillo era that the merengue "Compadre Pedro Juan", by Luis Albertibecame an international hit and standardized the 2-part form of the merengue.
Milly Quezada is known as the Queen of Merengue. The popularity of Merengue is growing fast in Venezuela. Merengue is also popular in the coastal city of Guayaquil in Ecuador. The merengue produced in New York City has become very popular among Merengue Sto. António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 lovers of this rhythm. Although the etymology of the name can be disputed, there are only a few theories about where the word might have derived from.
The word Cibao was a native name for the island, although the Spanish used it in their conquest to refer to a specific part of the island, the highest mountainous range. Another theory includes Western African words related to dance and music, based on the fact that Merengue has African elements Merengue Sto.
António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 it. Merengue was first mentioned in the mid 19th century with the earliest documented evidence being newspaper articles.
Some of the articles inform about a "lascivious" dance, and also highlight Merengue displacing the Tumba. The genre had originated within the rural, northern valley region around the city of Santiago called the Cibao. It later spread throughout the country and became popular among the urban population. Anecdotal evidence suggests that one of the first merengue song was written inthe year of the Dominican Republic's Independence from Haiti. The song was written as a satire, to mock one Thomas Torres who had deserted his troops in the Battle of Talanquera.
The lyrics of the alleged first merengue as follows:. This account first surfaced inas the merengue was beginning to carry favor as an emblem of national identity. However, the song's role as the first emergence of merengue has been often refuted, being cited as a patriotic song or ballad instead. The oldest form of Merengue was typically played on stringed instruments. When the accordion came to the island in the s, introduced by German traders, it quickly became the primary instrument, and to this day is still the instrument of choice in Merengue tipico.
Later If Its Fact, Its Fair Game - The Endless Bummer - Modern American Calypsos For Voice And Computer, the piano and brass instruments were introduced to the genre. Three main types of merengue are played in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico today. The other two types are merengue de orquesta big band merengue and merengue de guitarra guitar merengue.
Merengues are fast arrangements with a 2 4 beat. It is Merengue Sto. António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 sheet of metal with small bumps on it created Ländlerkapelle Oberalp & Mykonos Trio - Spiel Bouzouki! hammer and nailshaped into a cylinder, and played with a stiff brush. Caballito rhythm, or a quarter and two eighths, is also common.
The double headed drum is played on one side with a stick syncopation and on the other side with the palm of the hand. The traditional some say fundamental signature rhythm figure of merengue is the quintillowhich is essentially a syncopated motif whose pattern is broken by five successive drumhead hits at the transition between every second and third beat, alternating between the hand and the stick.
To purists, a merengue without quintillo is not truly a merengue, a viewpoint that has gradually disappeared as other alternate figures are used more frequently as the one traditionally called jaleoalso known as merengue bombawrongly identified as a mixture of merengue and Puerto Rican bomba music, and which actually also has its roots in traditional merengue.
Three main types of merengue are played in the Dominican Republic today. In English perico ripiao means "ripped parrot", which suggests controversy but which is said to be the name of a brothel where the music was originally played. In the s—50s a bass instrument was also often used.
He was a skilled improviser who could compose songs on the spot, by request. But he has also been likened to a journalist, since in his precomposed songs "he commented on everything with his accordion" Pichardo, in Austerlitz His compositions discussed current events such as Cuban independence, World War I, the arrival of the airplane, and US occupation of the Dominican Republic.
This popular song was composed in or as an advertisement for the Brugal rum company, who were then selling a rum of the same name. A prolific composer, Tatico's influence cannot be overestimated: nationally broadcast radio and television appearances brought his music to all parts of the country, leading to widespread imitation of his style and dissemination of his compositions.
Many of today? The (Reprise) Sandblasted Skin - Pantera - Original Album Series section is rhythmically straightforward and is used to introduce the song's melodic and lyrical material; here, verses are sung and the only improvisation heard occurs at the end of song lines, when the accordion or saxophone fills in. The second section is dominated by improvisation, more complex rhythms, and hard-driving mambo, or the part of the song where melody instruments sax and accordion unite to play catchy, syncopated riffs or jaleos which help motivate and stimulate dancers.
Pambiche or merengue apambichao is similar but usually slower, and can be recognized by the double slap rhythm on the tambora. Guinchao is a third rhythm combining the first two that is commonly heard in the second section of a merengue.
Mangulina and guaracha are now seldom heard; the latter is a clave-based style in 4 4 originally from Cuba, while the former is a 6 8 dance native to the DR. Paseo was a slow introduction to a merengue song during which couples would promenade around the dance floor in stately fashion.
Orquesta or big band merengue became the merengue of choice for the urban Dominican middle and upper classes in the twentieth century. Although merengue had been played in upper class salons as early as the s, moralists like then-president Ulises Espaillat succeeded in banning the dance from such locations only two decades later, causing the merengue to effectively die out in the cities.
While these early efforts in orchestrated merengue generally succeeded only in scandalizing their audiences, the political changes that occurred in the Dominican Republic over the next few years made a resurgence of the merengue possible.
The resented North American invasion of seems to have made the general public more disposed to support autochthonous rhythms over imported ones, though the raucous rural accordion sound was still unacceptable to high-society tastes. Nevertheless, when Rafael Leonidas Trujillo took power inhe imposed the merengue upon all levels of society, some say as a form of punishment for the elites that had previously refused to accept him.
The soon-to-be dictator must also have realized the symbolic power of the rural folk music and its potential for creating support among the masses, since he took accordionists with Merengue Sto. António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 around the Republic during his campaign tours from the very beginning. Up until the s, the music was considered to be "immoral" by the general population.
Its more descriptive and colorful name, perico ripiao literally "ripped parrot" in Spanish was said to have been the name of a brothel in Santiago where the music was played.
Moralists tried to ban merengue music and the provocative dance that accompanied it, but with little success. Merengue experienced a sudden elevation of status during dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo's reign from to Although he was from the south rather than the Cibao, he did come from a rural area and from a lower-class family, so he decided that the rural style of perico ripiao should be the Dominican national symbol.
He ordered numerous merengues to Very Bari - Shawn Lee & Band of Frequencies - Under The Sun O.S.T. composed in his honor. With titles like "Literacy", Merengue Sto.
António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 is great and immortal", and "Trujillo the great architect", these songs describe his virtues and extol his contributions to the country.
Trujillo's interest in and Step On The Gas (Hit The Road Don) - Peter King - Step On The Gas (Hit The Road Don) / Ten Commandm of merengue helped create a place for the music on the radio and in respectable ballrooms.
Luis Alberti and other musicians began to play with "big band" or orquesta instrumentation, replacing the accordion with a horn section and initiating a split between this new, mostly urban style and mostly rural perico ripiao. New York City Latino radio is still dominated by orquesta merengue. Following his election, Trujillo ordered musicians to compose and perform numerous merengues extolling his supposed virtues and attractiveness to women.
They also composed lyrics free of the rough language and double-entendres characterizing the folk style. The first merengue to attain success at all levels of society was Alberti's famous work, "Compadre Pedro Juan. Merengue does not have as plainly strong African origins as other forms of Dominican music, and therefore did not conflict with Trujillo's racist ideology.
Trujillo promoted the music for political gain as a focus of national solidarity and political propaganda. It helped his efforts to unify a Dominican identity. After Trujillo's assassination inthe merengue orquesta underwent great change. During that decade, Johnny Ventura's Combo Show drove crowds wild with their showy choreography, slimmed-down brass section, and salsa influences. In the s, Wilfrido Vargas sped up the tempo and incorporated influences from disco and rock.
The term "orquesta," simply meaning a large musical ensemble, is now used to describe the pop merengue groups based on Ventura's and Vargas's models as well as the older Alberti style. In addition, a new rhythm called "merengue a lo maco" appeared and was popularized by groups including Los Hermanos Rosario and Cheche Abreu. Far less complicated than other merengue rhythms, it was particularly useful for adapting songs from other styles like bachataColombian vallenatoMexican rancherasand North American pop.
This process of remaking is called fusilamiento and continues to be a source for many merengue hits to this day. Merengue has been heard in New York since the s, Mountain South - Bergkapelle Mount Everest - Swing Your Thing Eduardo Brito became the first to sing the Dominican national music there before going on to tour Spain.
However, it wasn't until the massive migration of Dominicans in the s and s that the music reached a mass audience. Later, New York-based groups like La Gran Manzana and Milly, Jocelyn y los Vecinos, a group unusual for being fronted by women, gained a following in the diaspora as well as back on the island.
By the s merengue was so big it was even beating out salsa on the airwaves. That decade Merengue Sto. António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 also notable for a boom in all-female orquestas, and Las Chicas del Can became particularly popular. Perhaps for this reason, some pop merengue singers have gone to extreme lengths to attract attention, such as Chuncho (The Forest Creatures) - Yma Sumac - The Ultimate Yma Sumac Collection and Mala Fe's excursions into women's wear.
Today, merengue de orquesta is most popular. A proof of the great adaptability of the music can be found in the Dominican National Symphony's presentation in of a concert series entitled "Symphonic Merengue", in which the Symphonic Orchestra consisting of woodwindsbrassstringsand the like played popular tunes. Merengue music found mainstream exposure in other areas of Latin America in the s and 80s, with its peak in the s.
In the Southern Cone ArgentinaChile and Uruguaymerengue dance lost the characteristic of being danced close together, instead being danced separately while moving the arms. Merengue, from its conception and through time, has classically been a male-dominated genre. Several female artists and all-female bands have risen to relative stardom.
In the early s, trumpeter and singer Wilfrido Vargas furthered the modernization of merengue by including electronic elements and strengthening the focus of a visual stage presence. These two men modernized the merengue stage, thereby increasing the palatability of a Merengue Sto.
António - Unknown Artist - África Merengues Vol. 2 merengue presence. Merengue has ultimately been shaped into being a music style dominated by Latino men. Many songs focus on men sleeping with other women and men having several lovers as well. Merengue is a form of art that was intended to make men yearn for the respect of others. However, around the s there was a significant change in merengue music. More and more women began to learn merengue within their home.
Women were expected to be serious and earn respect, however, the change in gender norms allowed women to be able to learn the music that the men dominated over. One of the most influential women in merengue is Fefita La Grande. Her birth name was Manuela Josefa Cabrera Taveras. Her rise to fame led to a great demand for her performances in New York, the Dominican Republic, and even Europe. Yet, not many were fond of her accordion playing.
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