Bachata is a popular guitar music from the Dominican Republic. Now overwhelmingly successful among Latinos in the United States, bachata took shape over a period of about forty years in the bars and brothels of Santo Domingo, not gaining acceptance in its native land until about ten years ago. Young groups like Aventura have a similar relationship to original bachata as rock and rollers do to the blues, which has languished in the shadow of its more commercially viable descendant. In fact, the parallel between bachata and the blues is marked. Although bachata developed out of, and bachateros play, a variety of different rhythms, notably including merengue, the music which is specifically called bachata is a variant of the bolero. The bolero in Latin culture has traditionally been a romantic music, dealing with themes like deception and lost love. The bachatero, like the bluesman, sings about pain and trouble; one difference, though, is that while the bluesman hops on a southbound freight and keeps moving, the bachatero gets as far as the neighborhood bar and looks for solace in a bottle of rum in a dark corner!
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