Merengue music

Merengue [ meɾeŋɡe ] ( Spanish for " meringue ", " meringue" ) is a Latin American music style from the Dominican Republic and the accompanying dance.

History and distribution

Originally intended the " meringues ", a sweet dish made ​​of whipped egg whites and sugar, have been invented in the Swiss town of Meiringen. The French court of Louis XV. they were very popular and were called " meringues ". French colonialists brought them into the western part of the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti) with. Why the dessert of the music gave the name is unknown. However, the name corresponds to the character of Hispaniola: Sugar was one of the main export products of the colonial island. The origins remain obscure - a long time he remained unnoticed on the island. Middle of the 19th century, the Merengue only among the rural population at home, however, the exclusive salons of the cities it failed to do so with their dance orchestras. That changed abruptly with the era Rafael Trujillo. The Dictator discovered in the 1930s, the merengue as a means of propaganda and became a great patron of music. However, the Merengue it was not " European" enough. He therefore instructed the composer to absorb more orchestral instruments in the arrangements, let the music in the public radio programs play, he staged magnificent balls, which he opened as a dancer, and initiated several merengue festivals, especially in Santo Domingo (which he in " Ciudad Trujillo " renamed ).

The development could no longer be held back by that time: even after the death of Trujillo 1961, the Merengue was downright can identify with a national treasure, all Dominicans. The famous " Festival del Merengue " in July in Santo Domingo is still the most important music competition of the merengue, next to the Christmas celebrations in December, the Merengue Festival in Puerto Plata in October or the carnival celebrations in Santo Domingo, La Vega and Santiago de los Caballeros. The date of the " Festival del Merengue " is coordinated with the national holiday in Puerto Rico, July 25. Apart from the fact that the Puerto Ricans crown the adoption of its constitution with four holidays in which they can travel to the neighboring island to the festival, the Merengue in Puerto Rico is not only extremely popular, Puerto Rico has also produced many well-known merengue musician. More merengue festivals there are in Miami, where the Merengue in the famous "Premio Lo Nuestro " takes different categories, as well as in Venezuela. In the English-speaking Caribbean islands, there are rhythmic echoes in the Calypso, but because of the cultural differences took a different development.

Music and style

Merengue is played in two- four time. Each beat is clearly emphasized by a drum beat, which makes the rhythm catchy and simple. The pace of the pieces varies from 120 to 180 bpm.

The instrumentation was originally rural in character: Tamboras, Güiras and later in the 20th century the accordion. These traditional merengue combos, which consisted of only two to four musicians were also called " perico ripiaos ". They were mobile and could play at fiestas in the home or outdoors. With the increasing popularity in the urban dance salons and on the international music market, including piano, bass, brass and saxophones were added to merengue groups. In the techno age of nightclubs, the merengue mixed even with hip hop and house elements, played on synthesizers. The traditional tripartite division of a merengue song (formerly Introduction - main part - Crescendo ) has been preserved in part even today: in addition to verse and chorus there is often an initiation process, which prepares the dance and consists of an often slow -borne rhythm. Choruses are often repeated several times in succession. Merengues are mostly love songs, the lyrics refer to women, longing, disappointment in love, etc. Basically, however, the issues can be gained from the entire life, played with a lot of Latin American wit and sometimes with socially critical undertones.

Merengue dance as

The origin of the dance is often associated with stories about pirates in connection with the attacks, the island in the 17th century suffered and which should have marked with their " club feet " dance. More likely, however, that 1838-49 a dance from Havana, called " URPA " or " Upa Habanera " on Puerto Rico to Santo Domingo has arrived. This dance had a set that was called " merengue ". On the whole, can be about the beginnings of dance but nothing definite to learn more.

Merengue is danced as a couple dance. Each beat is danced evenly with a step forwards, backwards or sideways. Characteristic of the dance style is a distinctive hip movement with every step. Thus, the dance gets a strong sensory component. This is supported by a very physical dance tune - an open dance attitude is rather the exception. Play an important role in the rotations of the arms which individual, very elaborate figures and combinations produce ( " curling figures "). Please note there is that Dominicans install with little or no characters in their dance usually. It is usually explained on the grounds that each figure in this body-hugging dance the dance partner take you away from each other.

The International Dance Organization ( IDO ) is intended for some time already World and European Championships and World Cups from the merengue.

Stylistic elements of merengue dance can be found in the films Dirty Dancing and My Blue Heaven.

Musicians and groups

Most members of the merengue come from the Dominican Republic. Her most famous representative is surely Juan Luis Guerra. Previously had already Wilfrido Vargas gained international fame in the 1980s, the merengue. The most famous Puerto Rican singer Elvis Crespo is.

Among the Merengue-Hip-Hop-/Merengue-House-Gruppen particularly Los Ilegales, Proyecto Uno, Sandy y Papo and Fulanito have made ​​a name. They mixed the traditional style with pounding rhythms and hip-hop -like chanting and so celebrated the end of the 1990s great success throughout Latin America, but also in the U.S. and Canada as well as in the Latin clubs in Europe.

Within the Dominican Republic, Merengue Hip Hop could not enforce properly. The Dominicans most prefer the traditional and somewhat rough, and above all very fast variant of merengue típico, which they also call Güiri güiri or merengue caliente ( hot merengue ). All over the country, even in small towns, found mainly on weekends fiestas held with groups and artists such as El Prodigio y su Super Banda, Fefita la Grande, José el Calvo, María Díaz and La India Canela.

Tourists in the area of Puerto Plata can such Fiestas in Montellano ( on the main road ), in Nuevo Car Wash in Sosúa ( at the exit to Cabarete ) or in the discos in Sabaneta de Yasica, Gaspar Hernández or Río San Juan experience, occasionally also in the nightclub "Surf Town" near Cabarete.

One of the most popular and most gecoverten merengue songs is El Venao - the story of a cuckolded husband.

In summer 2005, the Dominican Papi Sanchez came with the merengue title " Enamorame " the entry into European, the German charts.

Merengue festival

Two-week merengue festivals found in, inter alia, Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata instead. These include markets, parades, beauty pageants and folklore.

Known merengue representatives

  • Agapito Pascual
  • Aguakate
  • Antony Santos
  • Alex Bueno
  • Amarfis y la Banda de Atakke
  • Andy Peña
  • Angel Viloria
  • Anthony
  • Charlie Valens
  • Dionneh
  • DL1
  • Eddy Herrera
  • El Jeffrey
  • El Prodigio y su Banda Super
  • Elvis Crespo
  • Fefita la Grande
  • Francisco Ulloa
  • Fulanito
  • Grupo Manía
  • Guandulito
  • Olga Tañón
  • Omega y su Mambo Violento
  • Oro Solido
  • Papi Sanchez
  • Peña Suazo
  • Pochy y su Cocoband
  • Raffy Matias
  • Rikarena
  • Rubby Pérez
  • Señales de Humo
  • Sergio Vargas
  • Tatico Henriquez
  • Tony Tun Tun
  • Toño Rosario
  • Tulile
  • Wilfrido Vargas
  • Yoskar Sarante
  • Zafra Negra