Further reading on merengue

Austerlitz, Paul. 1997. Merengue: Dominican music and Dominican identity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
To date, this is still the definitive source on merengue.

Austerlitz, Paul. 2001. “From transplant to transnational circuit: Merengue in New York.” In Island sounds in the global city: Caribbean popular music and identity in New York. Ray Allen and Lois Wilcken, eds.

Brito Ureña, Luis Manuel. 1987. El merengue y la realidad existencial del hombre dominicano. Santo Domingo: Editorial Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo.
Mostly commentary on lyrics; doesn’t differentiate much between tipico, folkloric, or pop styles of merengue but says some interesting things about Dominican history and culture.

Castillo, José del, and Manuel A. García Arévalo. 1988. Antología del merengue. Santo Domingo: Banco Antillano.
A nice illustrated volume, gives a good overview of the music’s development. But like most sources, has only a short section on tipico that basically ends at about 1930.

Chaljub Mejía, Rafael. 2002. Antes de que te vayas … trayectoria del merengue folclórica. [Santiago, DR]: Grupo León Jimenes.
The only book so far to deal exclusively with tipico, it’s a huge volume filled mostly with biographical information on important tipico musicians. Written by a musical preservationist, it expresses concern that old-style tipico is disappearing. The information on Tatico is great, since the author was his brother-in-law.

Convite. 1976. Apuntes sobre el merengue. Santo Domingo: Casa por la Cultura Antillana.

Written by the famous folk music/research group of the 1970s, this monograph expresses their own beliefs about merengue and its history based on their performance and fieldwork experience. Went against the flow of the dominant views of the Trujillo-era writers that had preceded them..

Coopersmith, J.M. 1949. Music and musicians of the Dominican Republic. Washington: Division of Music and Visual Arts, Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Pan American Union.
The first source to deal with the subject, it gives a general survey of Dominican musical styles of the 1940s in both English and Spanish.

Davis, Martha Ellen. 1994. “Music and black ethnicity in the Dominican Republic.” In Music and black ethnicity: The Caribbean and South America, Gerard H. Behague, ed. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
A nice essay on how race informs musical practices and tastes in the DR.

Encuentro con el merengue. 1979. Santo Domingo, [s.n.] Conference organized by Gloria Guerrero Bonetti.

Anthology of talks given at this 1979 conference. Contributors include Fradique Lizardo, Johnny Ventura, and others.

Gill, Hannah E. 2002. “Querido emigrante: Musical perspectives of Dominican migration.” University of Oxford Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Transnational Community Programme Working Paper #WPTC-02-12. <http://www.transcomm.ox.ac.uk/working%20papers/gill.pdf>
An analysis of pop merengue lyrics in the Dominican diaspora.

Hutchinson, Sydney. 2004a. “Merengue” Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture, Cordelia Chávez-Candelaria et al, eds. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishers. pp.538-541; sentences on Fulanito added by editor. (“Fulanito” or “fulano” means something like “what’s-his-name” in English.)

My general survey of merengue in all styles, written encyclopedia style. I’m still annoyed about the added sentences, which add nothing but confusion to the article and were completely off-topic.


Hutchinson, Sydney. 2004b. “Rural merengue in urban Queens: Típico communities in Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Corona, Queens.” Urban Folk. Read it online at <http://www.queenscouncilarts.org/guides/URBFLK-V2N1.pdf>

My survey of tipico clubs and groups in Queens, with info on the history of Dominicans in Queens.


Hutchinson, Sydney. 2006. “Merengue típico: Transnational regionalism and class transformations in a neotraditional Dominican music.” Ethnomusicology 50(1).
My probably too lengthy treatment of the transnational tipico scene between Santiago and New York, and the transformations in class position and regional identities that have accompanied its journey.

Lizardo, Fradique. 1975. Danzas y bailes folklóricos dominicanos. Santo Domingo: Fundación García-Arevalo.

A survey of all the dances in the repertoire of Fradique’s Ballet Folklorico Dominicano, which were many.


Pacini Hernandez, Deborah. 1995. Bachata: A social history of a Dominican popular music. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
A great work on the development of bachata (the “other” Dominican music), it also includes some discussion of merengue tipico, as the two styles have often accompanied one another.

Tejeda, Dario. 1993 La historia escondida de Juan Luis Guerra y los 4:40. Santo Domingo: Amigos del Hogar.
All about the popular and well-respected composer and singer of orquesta merengue.

Tejeda, Dario. 2002. La pasión danzaria: Música y baile en el Caribe a través del merengue y la bachata. Santo Domingo: Academia de Ciencias de República Dominicana.
General synthesis of popular music of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, with special attention to how merengue and bachata fit into that complex.

Van Buren, Thomas and Leonardo Ivan Dominguez. 2004. “Transnational music and dance in Dominican New York.” In Dominican migration: Transnational perspectives. Ernesto Sagas and Sintia E. Molina, eds. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Not really about the music per se, but gives lots of data on what kinds of music Dominicans play in New York, how, and why.


Wald, Elijah. 1999. “Fulanito.” Available online at <http://www.elijahwald.com/latar99.html#fulanito>
Interview with the innovative group that combined tipico accordion riffs with rap vocals.

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