Salve and Gagá


            Both Salve and Gagá are not as well known as the Merengue and Bachata, partly because the latter two are widely known as being Dominican Republic's national dance/music genre. However, both Salve and Gagá are enjoyed by a handful of Dominican Republic citizens, thus cannot be overlooked. Both are similar in that the music is played at ceremonial or spiritual events, however the sound of the music as well as the ways in which it is played is significantly different.

            Salve is much more ceremonial, mainly played at pilgrimages and at parties dedicated to saints.  It is characterized by call and response singing accompanied by African instruments, such as the panderos and atabales. 55  

Salve performers, imported from Kiskeya Alternativa

            The Gagá is a spiritual genre of music, usually played at baptisms and other religious ceremonies.  It developed on the plantations as the workers carried on with their daily duties.  This form of music developed in conjunction with the Haitian rara, and usually associated with individual sugarcane settlements. 56 Gagá is characterized by a processional style played on interlocking single-note brass instruments. 57  

Gagá performer, imported from Kiskeya Alternativa