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Columbia College Chicago
Merengue - Méringue

Merengue - Méringue

Definition of Style

Two closely related musical styles that evolved on the adjoining island nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, both merengue and méringue are dance song forms in 2/4 time featuring singers and a chordal base supplied by accordion or other instruments. Like most Afro-Caribbean styles, these two musics also utilize a variety of hand percussion, including scrapers and, for merengue, the small, double-headed hand drums called tamboras.

Musical Example


"Loreta", composed by Diomedes Villadares. From Kalinda Kaliente by Ensemble Kalinda Chicago.

Introductory Bibliography

Austerlitz, Paul. Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity. Philadelphia: Temple University, 1997.

Averill, Gage. A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Pacini Hernández, Deborah. Bachata: A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music. Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University, 1995.

Selected Discography

Essential Merengue: Stripping the Parrots (Corason CORA 122)

Guerra, Juan Luis, y 4:40. Grandes éxitos (BMG 3232)

Méringue (Corason COCD 107)