Vallenato and Bachata

Throughout its history, bachata has been a remarkably adaptable genre. While the fusion of bachata with balada has not been met with widespread acceptance, fusions of bachata with certain other types of music have enjoyed a great deal more success. The generation of Dominicans who grew up during the 1990s listening to bachata is different from the bachateros who went before them. In the Dominican Republic, the new generation of bachateros are much more likely to be from the middle class than earlier musicians were, and many of them have studied music formally. In New York and other U.S. cities, young bachateros have been exposed to international styles which their predecessors had known only from a distance. The diversity of influences present in the work of U.S. based bachateros has provoked an interest in these other styles in the Dominican Republic as well.

Although not the best known, guitarist Martires de León has probably been the most influential figure in bachata from 1998 to the present. De León, a prodigiously talented guitarist, has dedicated himself to the study of a wide range of styles on the instrument—among them blues, trio music, and jazz harmony. As an arranger, he has dominated the genre as no one else, with the exception of Edilio Paredes before him; an astonishing number of the most popular acts in bachata use De León to arrange and record their songs, among them Monchy y Alexandra, Alex Bueno, Los Toros Band, Yoskar Sarante and El Gringo de la Bachata. De León and his talented group of musicians have also perfected the formula which Antony Santos and his contemporaries developed of a melodic introduction, verse, and a rhythmic “mambo” section marked by increasingly percussive bass parts and merengue-like patterns on the bongó and güira.

One of De León’s most commercially successful strategies has been the practice of recording Colombian vallenatos as bachatas. The first bachatero to successfully employ this practice was Luis Vargas, with “Cenizas frías” in 1994, and even more convincingly with “Volvió el dolor” in 1997, which became one of the most popular bachatas of the decade. After Vargas’ success, an increasing number of bachateros began recording vallenatos.

Vallenato and bachata are natural partners in both form and content. Vallenato, like bachata, has a history as music of bitterness and lost love, and the rhythms underlying the two styles are readily adaptable to one another. The elegant poetry of vallenato lyrics have, in De León’s view, brought bachata to a new level and forced even those bachateros who write their own songs to come up with a more polished product. In the process, bachata has lost some of its significance as an urban folk genre; at the same time it is now able to appeal to a wider and more diverse audience.

It must be added that when these songs are arranged by De León or one of his many imitators, they exhibit a whole spectrum of influences besides that of vallenato. Dissonant chords reminiscent of trio music, runs on blues scales, and mambos in the style of Puerto Rican jíbaro music are all hallmarks of Martires’ playing, giving bachata an international sound it has never had before. The refined style has lead to substantial commercial inroads into Mexico and Latin America, with Monchy y Alexandra, Martires’ own group, leading the way.

Other bachateros have looked for international appeal. Elvis Martinez, a singer who has used De León for many of his recordings, has given his songs and his image the feel of Spanish rock, along the lines of Maná; David Paredes, Edilio Paredes’ oldest son, had a hit in 2001 with a song called “No Speaki Spanish” whose mambos were straight out of rock and roll (Buddy Holly: “Not Fade Away”); and Zacarias Ferreira had some success with a song called “Amiga veneno” which featured a rock guitar sound, a sound which Ferreira has used extensively on the CD El amor vencerá.

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mlineguy91 December 1, 2016

Vallenatos nuevos < Bachata < merengue < Perico Ripiao < Vallenatos viejos (tradicionales)

ronaldo peley May 14, 2016

yo kiero cantar pero k nesecitare

alfredo December 19, 2015

quiero cantar

Emelin November 13, 2015

Mmmm buena la historia

Emelin November 13, 2015

Mmmm buena la historia

yandel May 13, 2015

es estupido todo esto no encuentro lo que busco

deici carolina guisao velez October 23, 2014

no me gusto para nada porque no entendi nada okeso es mas maluco

Edwin M. Ferreras October 4, 2014

Rey De Reyes, pregunta para ti... Tu escribiste, "cualquier ignorante que diga que el merengue o bachata fueron creados después de 1885 queda totalmente en ridículo y demuestra su falta de conocimiento..."

Te prometo que no soy un ignorante soy una persona que le encanta estudiar pero tengo mucha información que comprueba la Bachata fue creada en la primera mitad de los 1900s. Entiendo tu argumento sobre el Merengue y estoy en acuerdo pero a lo que dices de la bachata no estoy de acuerdo. Tienes alguna prueba o muestra de lo que reclamas sobre la bachata creada antes de 1885? De mi entendido la bachata provee de influencias de el Son, Merengue, y por lo general el Bolero. Ahora si te estas refiriendo a la creación de el Bolero (siglo 19a) esto cambiaría mucho.

Edwin M. Ferreras October 4, 2014

Aqui seria importante saber cuales musical desarrollaron primero y que nombre tenían en su desarrollo. No creo que hay una coincidencia que El Merengue es la música nacional de la tierra Quisqueyana con mas de 200-300 años de historia y que el Vallenato desde su establecimiento en lo que mucho consideran 1885 tenga un aire llamado Merengue... Quien provee la influencia? Es mi opinión que el Merengue es mas viejo que el Vallenato y por esa razón opino que el Vallenato fue una interpretación/adaptaciones de otros géneros como La Puya Colombiana , El Merengue Dominicano, y El Son Cubano.

para entender estas raises y influencias deberíamos salir de nuestro orgullos de ser Dominicanos o Colombianos y enfocarnos en la historia de el nuevo mundo antes y después de Cristobal Colon colonizando a la isla La Hispaniola y siguiendo su viajes por Las Americas

Edwin M. Ferreras October 4, 2014

Gracias a todos por sus opiniones y datos. Pregunta a Carman, Tienes alguna prueba de lo que dices de la música en los tiempos de Moises?

" el vallenato fue el primer genero musical conocido hecho por el hombre, es tan así que en la época de moisés" Esa frase es la base de tu argumento y hay que analizarlo porque si hay algo cierto ahí, esto cambiaría todo el aprendizaje que esta disponible en las universidades alrededor de el mundo. Nunca escuche algo como lo que dices y estudie la historia de la música en una universidad que hasta hoy en diatiene una de las bibliotecas mas intensas de los artes. Espero que me puedas responder. Gracias.