Merengue, the dance, is said to have originated in the early 1800's. It is thought to have originated as a blend of the African Dance and the French Minuet. Since these slaves liked a little more fun in their dancing they added some upbeat drum music along with a somewhat more animated dance step.
Bachata, or Música de Amargue/Music of Bitterness Also known as musica de guardia / soldier's music and musica baja/ lowlife.
This music originally was music created by the lowest of the low adrift in Santo Domingo. It was played in the cabarets and whorehouse's of the capital where these people frequented. Its forms, instrumentation and so on are originally derived from country music, but it developed as a result of the displacement of rural people to the cities.
Perico Ripiao is one of the three types of merengue played in Dominican Republic. This is considered the typical type of merengue and the oldest still played. It originated in the Santiago area in the Cibao Valley region of the country. It first appeared in recorded history in the 1840's. This type of music was attacked by the moral people of the country. Because of the sensual movements of the dance and the same type of lyrics that accompanied the music. Legend says that it was called Perico Ripiao (which means Ripped or Plucked Parrot) after a brothel where the music was played originally. The moral minority lost in their efforts and Perico Ripiao became more popular and it still is today.
Reggaeton in Dominican Republic became very popular very fast. The genre is Puerto Rico based but really originated in Panama (El General was one of the originals).
The beat is sort of a down, down, up close to the reggae beat.
It is Latin rap with a dance hall beat. Reggaeton is a mix of Hip-Hop and Reggae with a little Bachata, Merengue and other Latin rhythms thrown in to make a unique sound. The Boricuas have made this style of music their own.
Still, out of Dominican Republic has come some of the most popular bands.
Merengue de calle, Mambo, Merengue Urbano or just Merengue from the Street. Whatever you call it is the newest form of Dominican music to hit the airwaves and streets alike. Even if it does not sound anything like the mambo people are accustomed to. This style of music is fast gaining popularity. It is now a Dominican music staple. Even if you do not like it, since it can be heard almost everywhere in Dominican Republic, you will soon be singing along to the catchy lyrics even if you don't completely understand the words.
Dominican Republic cuisine is predominantly made up of a combination of Spanish, indigenous Taíno, and African influences, the first and last occurring over the last five centuries. Dominican cuisine resembles that of other countries in Latin America, those of the nearby islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba, most of all, though the dish names differ sometimes.