Photographer: Pedro Genaro Rodriguez
The German accordion that arrived in Puerto Plata in the nineteenth century made its way through the Cibao region and all over the country. Because of its rhythmical musical structure of expressing tonic and dominant, it became easy to learn how to play it by ear, without the need for formal training. Popular musicians knew how to play the accordion and they became so famous that one of them had a small identification sign in front of his house that read: “José Pérez, accordion player!”
The accordion of German origin arrived in the Dominican Republic in 1874 and in the Northern part of the island, the Cibao region, replaced traditional stringed instruments, taking over the merengue and together with the drums and the guira established the typical set for popular music which is now part of our national identity.
The merengue really comes from the soul and heart, since an accordionist expresses his deep sense of his being through his instrument, and the accordion becomes part of him.