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It is thought that Merengue music originated on the caribbean island of the Dominican Republic in the 1920's. The music is typically played in 2/4 meter and consists of 3 main instruments: the accordion, guira and tambora, the latter of which is a two sided drum played in one's lap. The guira is a metal cylinder with holes in it which is scraped or brushed with a stiff brush in a downward motion to provide percussion.
The music itself is upbeat, fast and one of the most famous dances throughout Central and Latin America today.