Music of Saint Lucia
The music of Saint Lucia is home to many vibrant oral and folk traditions and is based on elements derived from the music of Africa rhythmically, Western Europe, dances like the quadrille and waltz. The banjo and cuatro are iconic Lucian folk instruments a four-stringed banjo called the bwa poye. Celebratory songs called jwé show lyricism, rhythmic complexity; the most important of the Afro-Lucian Creole folk dances is the kwadril. Music is an integral part of Lucian folk holidays and celebrations, as well as the good-natured rivalry between the La Rose and La Marguerite societies. There is little Western classical music on Saint Lucia, the country's popular music industry is only nascent. There are few recording opportunities, though live music and radio remain a vital part of Lucian culture. Popular music from abroad Trinidadian styles like calypso and soca, is widespread. Music education has long been a part of Lucian public education in the primary school age groups. More it has been introduced to older students, many of whom now participate in String Orchestras, wind ensembles, steelpan bands and other musical enrichment opportunities.
There is a well-known government assisted non-profit music school, the Saint Lucia School of Music. The Ministry of Education sponsors a variety of other special events; the island is home to the prestigious Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and the Creole celebration Jounen Kwéyòl. Saint Lucia, is an island in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean. St. Lucional flower is the rose. A typical Saint Lucian folk band is based around the fiddle, banjo and chak-chak; the banjo and cuatro are regarded as important in Saint Lucian culture the small, four-stringed bwa poye, or skroud banjo. Saint Lucian dances include moulala and comette, it is a stylized and formalized dance that derives from the European quadrille. Jwé is a more informal form of Lucian folk music, is performed at dances and other social events. Music plays a role in the La Rose and La Marguerite tradition of two rival societies that compete in celebration and form a fundamental part of Lucian culture. Jwé is a form of rural Lucian folk music associated with beach parties, wakes, débòt dances and full moon gatherings.
Jwé is performed as an informal, social event that provide the chance for Lucians to show off their verbal skills, communicate their comedic and political commentaries without offending people. Jwé includes both songs for men and women, both of which can be singers, though most Lucian folk instrumentalists are male. A jwé performance is considered good if the audience participates enthusiastically by clapping, responding to the leader and singing and dancing; some Lucians avoid jwé altogether because of atmosphere. Musical elements of jwé include gém, listwa, jwé chanté and jwé dansé; these forms are united by their use of the Creole language, their use of call-and-response singing between a leader and a chorus, with the exception of listwa, the use of improvisation. Jwé chanté and listwa are purely any traditional dance. Sung jwé, jwé chanté or chanté kont, is part of the funeral wake tradition. A jwé chanté leader uses pantomime to enact scenes from a story, or sometimes just the ribald double entendres from it.
The gém are based around a leader who uses his own flourishes on a choreographed dance and improvises witty lyrics, while the audience participates in the performance. Jwé dansé includes four traditional dances; the solo is a couple dance, the débòt, yonbòt and jwé pòté are all circle dances. The blòtjé is a musical movement found in all jwé dansé styles, for example, every four beats in the débòt dance. Quadrille is a Lucian Creole folk dance derived from the European quadrille, it is performed at private parties which are organized by a host in a private home or rented hall, with musicians paid by the host. Kwadrils are held except during Lent; the modern kwadril has declined in popularity. More some aspects of Lucian society have come to promote the quadrille as a symbol of Lucian culture. Quadrilles are unlike other Lucian dances in that they must be memorized and choreographed, with only slight room for personal interpretation and improvisation. Learners act as a sort of apprentice for more established performers.
A successful performance brings respect and prestige for all participants who dance the correct steps which are traditionally said to "demonstrate control over behavior and skills" and "symbolize... a set of special values linked with a higher social class". Kwadril music is provided by an ensemble consisting of a four-stringed instrument, the cuatro, a rattle, the chakchak, bones called zo, a violin, banjo and guitar. A kwadril consists of five separate dances: the pwémyé fidji, dézyèm fidji, twazyèm fidji, katwiyèm fidji and gwan won; the musicians may use a lakonmèt, schottische or polka.
A disc jockey abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records; the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title DJ is used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk. DJs use audio equipment that can play at least two sources of recorded music and mix them together to create seamless transitions between recordings and develop unique mixes of songs; this involves aligning the beats of the music sources so their rhythms do not clash when played together or to enable a smooth transition from one song to another.
DJs use specialized DJ mixers, small audio mixers with crossfader and cue functions to blend or transition from one song to another. Mixers are used to pre-listen to sources of recorded music in headphones and adjust upcoming tracks to mix with playing music. DJ software can be used with a DJ controller device to mix audio files on a computer instead of a console mixer. DJs may use a microphone to speak to the audience; the "disc" in "disc jockey" referred to gramophone records, but now "DJ" is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, or digital audio files stored on USB stick or laptop. DJs perform for a live audience in a nightclub or dance club or a TV, radio broadcast audience, or in the 2010s, an online radio audience. DJs create mixes and tracks that are recorded for sale and distribution. In hip hop music, DJs may create beats, using percussion breaks and other musical content sampled from pre-existing records.
In hip hop, rappers and MCs use. DJs use equipment that can play at least two sources of recorded music and mix them together; this allows the DJ to create seamless transitions between recordings and develop unique mixes of songs. This involves aligning the beats of the music sources so their rhythms do not clash when they are played together, either so two records can be played at the same time, or to enable the DJ to make a smooth transition from one song to another. An important tool for DJs is the specialized DJ mixer, a small audio mixer with a crossfader and cue functions; the crossfader enables the DJ to transition from one song to another. The cue knobs or switches allow the DJ to listen to a source of recorded music in headphones before playing it for the live club or broadcast audience. Previewing the music in headphones helps the DJ pick the next track they want to play, cue up the track to the desired starting location, align the two tracks' beats in traditional situations where auto sync technology is not being used.
This process ensures that the selected song will mix well with the playing music. DJs may use a microphone to speak to the audience; the title "DJ" is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names as a title to denote their profession. Some DJs focus on creating a good mix of songs for the club dancers or radio audience. Other DJs use turntablism techniques such as scratching, in which the DJ or turntablist manipulates the record player turntable to create new rhythms and sounds. DJs need to have a mixture of artistic and technical skills for their profession, because they have to understand both the creative aspects of making new musical beats and tracks, the technical aspects of using mixing consoles, professional audio equipment, and, in the 2010s, digital audio workstations and other computerized music gear. In many types of DJing, including club DJing and radio/TV DJing, a DJ has to have charisma and develop a good rapport with the audience. Professional DJs specialize in a specific genre of music, such as house music or hip hop music.
DJs have an extensive knowledge about the music they specialize in. Many DJs are avid music collectors of rare or obscure tracks and records. Radio DJs or radio personalities introduce and play music broadcast on AM, FM, digital or Internet radio stations. Club DJs referred as DJs in general, play music at musical events, such as parties at music venues or bars, music festivals and private events. Club DJs mix music recordings from two or more sources using different mixing techniques in order to produce non-stopping flow of music. One key technique used for seamlessly transitioning from one song to another is beatmatching. A DJ who plays and mixes one specific music genre is given the title of that genre; the quality of a DJ performance consists of two main features: technical skills, or how well can DJ operate the equipment and produce sm
Music of the Bahamas
The music of the Bahamas is associated with junkanoo, a celebration which occurs on Boxing Day and again on New Year's Day. Parades and other celebrations mark the ceremony. Groups like The Baha Men, Ronnie Butler and Kirkland Bodie have gained massive popularity in Japan, the United States and other places. Other popular Bahamian artists include Stileet and Stevie S. Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad and Tobago; this form of music has spread through many parts including The Bahamas. Soca is a form of dance music which originated from many calypso music in Tobago, it combined the melodic lilting sound of calypso with insistent percussion and local chutney music. Soca music has evolved in the last 20 years by musicians from various Anglophone Caribbean countries including Trinidad, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Barbuda, United States Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Belize; the word Junkanoo is said to be derived from a Ghanaian leader, John Connu, or from the Qujo supreme deity and ancestral spirits.
The junkanoo was practiced in North Carolina and remnants still exist in Belize. It is most well known, from Nassau and Freeport. Since the 1950s the influence of American culture has increased through TV and radio broadcasts from Florida stations, other Caribbean styles have made inroads: calypso and soca, from Jamaica, Cuba and other islands. Tourism has had an impact, bringing in Japanese and North Americans with their attendant forms of cultural expression. In this milieu more traditional Bahamas performers such as Joseph Spence, have still enjoyed successful careers playing junkanoo, Christian hymns and the ant'ems of the local sponge fishermen, which include "Sloop John B" made famous by The Beach Boys. Junkane. In 1973, the year the Bahamas achieved independence from the United Kingdom, black professionals of the middle and upper classes began to dominate junkanoo celebrations. Costuming and competitions became more complex and commonplace, soon became a tourist draw. Aside from being a type of drum, goombay is a percussion music made famous by Alphonso'Blind Blake' Higgs, who played to tourists arriving at Nassau International Airport for several years.
Rake-and-scrape music is a unique type of instrumental music made by bending a saw and scraping with a small object, most a screwdriver. Rake-and-scrape's popularity has been declining in recent years, but performers like Lassie Do and the Boys continue to keep the tradition alive. Christian rhyming spirituals and the ant'ems of sponge fishermen are now dead traditions, decimated by the arrival of pop music, a 1930s sponge blight and other causes. E. Clement Bethel's master's thesis on traditional Bahamian music was adapted for the stage by his daughter, Nicolette Bethel and Philip A. Burrows. Music of The Bahamas was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1991, was revived in 2002 for fresh Bahamian audiences. A recording of that show is available for sale from Ringplay Productions. Rake and scrape music is played traditionally with Concertinas, Goombay drums, a Handsaw. Rake and scrape is believed to have originated on the island of Cat Island but evidence suggest that it was emerging in many places simultaneously.
The earliest reference to usage of the accordion by Bahamians is in 1886 in an Article in the Nassau Guardian. The term rake and scrape became the norm in 1969 by Charles Carter although he claims the people of Cat Island were calling it that when he visited the Island. Membranophones: The Goombay drum is main rhythmic component in rake-n-scrape, it is referred to a goatskin drum, as the skin of a goat was stretched over a wooden barrel. It is decorated by complex geometric designs in bright colors; the drum is always heated over fire to retain its tone. In 1971, when manufacturers started shipping products in metal barrels, Bahamians switched the drum to metal changing the tone of the drum. Idiophones: The main component that makes Rake-N-Scrape unique is the use of the Carpenter's Saw; this instrument is scraped with a butter knife. Bent against the body of the player and flexed, various timbral effects are obtained. In more modern music, the saw is replaced with a guiro. Aerophones: The accordion is the component that adds the round form which enables dancers to dance the ring dance.
This is of European descent. In more modern bands, it is replaced by electronic keyboard. List of Bahamian musicians Kaliss, Jeff. "Junkanoo and Sloop John B.". 2000. In Broughton and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie and Duane, World Music, Vol. 2: Latin & North America, India and Pacific, pp 317–324. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0 Rommen, Timothy. "Come Back Home: Regional Travels, Global Encounters, Local Nostalgias in Bahamian Popular Musics." Project Muse: Latin American Music Review, Vol 30, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2009. University of Texas Press, 159-183. Ingraham, Veronica. 2007. “The Bahamas” in An Encyclopedic History: Music in Latin America and the Caribbean, vol. 2, Performing the Caribbean Experience, Ed. By Malena Kuss. Texas: University of Texas Press, 359-376. Http://www.bahamasentertainers.com/ The Bahamas: Islands of song and produced by Oete Reiniger, with introductory essays by Gail Saunders and Kayla Olubumni Lockhart Edwards. I CD, Smithsonian Folkways SF 40405. Audio clips: traditional music o
A griot, jali, or jeli is a West African historian, praise singer, poet, or musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition and is seen as a leader due to his or her position as an advisor to royal personages; as a result of the former of these two functions, they are sometimes called a bard. Griots today live in many parts of West Africa and are present among the Mande peoples, Fulɓe, Songhai, Tukulóor, Serer, Dagomba, Mauritanian Arabs, many other smaller groups; the word may derive from the French transliteration "guiriot" of the Portuguese word "criado", or the masculine singular term for "servant". Griots are more predominant in the northern portions of West Africa. In African languages, griots are referred to by a number of names: jeli in northern Mande areas, jali in southern Mande areas, guewel in Wolof, gawlo in Pulaar, iggawen in Hassaniyan. Griots form an endogamous caste, meaning that most of them only marry fellow griots and those who are not griots do not perform the same functions that griots perform.
Amongst the Yoruba people, the arokin is a near analogue of the classical griot. Francis Bebey writes about the griot in African Music, A People's Art: "The West African griot is a troubadour, the counterpart of the medieval European minstrel... The griot knows everything, going on... He is a living archive of the people's traditions... The virtuoso talents of the griots command universal admiration; this virtuosity is the culmination of long years of study and hard work under the tuition of a teacher, a father or uncle. The profession is by no means a male prerogative. There are many women griots whose talents as singers and musicians are remarkable." The Manding term jeliya sometimes refers to the knowledge of griots, indicating the hereditary nature of the class. Jali comes from djali; this is the title given to griots in regions within the former Mali Empire. Though the term "griot" is more common in English, such as poet Bakari Sumano, prefer the term jeli; the Mali Empire, at its height in the middle of the 14th century, extended from central Africa to West Africa.
The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita. In the Epic of Sundiata, Naré Maghann Konaté offered his son Sundiata Keita a griot, Balla Fasséké, to advise him in his reign. Balla Fasséké is considered the founder of the Kouyaté line of griots; each aristocratic family of griots accompanied a higher-ranked family of warrior-kings or emperors, called jatigi. In traditional culture, no griot can be without a jatigi, no jatigi can be without a griot. However, the jatigi can loan his griot to another jatigi. Most villages had their own griot, who told tales of births, marriages, hunts and many other things. In Mande society, the jeli was an historian, arbitrator, praise singer, storyteller, they served as history books, preserving ancient stories and traditions through song. Their tradition was passed down through generations; the name jeli means "blood" in Manika language. They were believed to have deep connections to spiritual, political powers. Speech was believed to have power in its capacity to recreate history and relationships.
Despite the authority of griots and the perceived power of their songs, griots are not treated as positively in West Africa as we may imagine. Thomas A. Hale wrote, "Another is an ancient tradition that marks them as a separate people categorized all too simplistically as members of a'caste', a term that has come under increasing attack as a distortion of the social structure in the region. In the worst case, that difference meant burial for griots in trees rather than in the ground in order to avoid polluting the earth. Although these traditions are changing and people of griot heritage still find it difficult to marry outside of their social group." This discrimination is now deemed illegal. In addition to being singers and social commentators, griots are skilled instrumentalists, their instruments include the kora, the khalam, the goje, the balafon, the ngoni. The kora is a long-necked lute-like instrument with 21 strings; the xalam is a variation of the kora, consists of fewer than five strings.
Both have gourd bodies. The ngoni is similar to these two instruments, with five or six strings; the balafon is a wooden xylophone, while the goje is a stringed instrument played with a bow, much like a fiddle. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica: "West African plucked lutes such as the konting and the nkoni may have originated in ancient Egypt; the khalam is claimed to be the ancestor of the banjo. Another long-necked lute is the ramkie of South Africa."Griots wrote stories that children enjoyed listening to. These stories were passed down to their children. Today, performing is one of the most common functions of a griot, their range of exposure has widened, many griots now travel internationally to sing and play the kora or other instruments. Bakari Sumano, head of the Association of Bamako Griots in Mali from 1994 to 2003, was an internationally-known advocate for the significance of the griot in West African society. Camille Yarbrough wrote a play called Tales and Tunes of an African American Griot, performed at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in 1973.
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Music of Guadeloupe
Main article: Music of Martinique and GuadeloupeThe music of Guadeloupe encompasses a large popular music industry, which gained in international renown after the success of zouk music in the 20th century. Zouk's popularity was intense in France, where the genre became an important symbol of identity for Guadeloupe and Martinique. Zouk's origins are in the folk music of Guadeloupe and Martinique Guadeloupan gwo ka and Martinican chouval bwa, the pan-Caribbean calypso tradition. Carnival is a important festival in Guadeloupe and Martinique. Music plays a vital role, with Guadeloupean gwo ka ensembles, zouk music and guadeloupean big bands marching across the island, travelling and performing music known as C in a manner akin to Brazilian samba schools. Carnival in both islands declined following World War II, bouncing back with new band formats and new traditions only in the 1980s. Both islands feature participatory, call-and-response style songs during their Carnival celebrations. Biguine vidé is an up tempo version of the biguine rhythm.
It is participatory music, with the bandleader singing the audience responding. It allows one to join in. Traditionally, Carnival includes dances of African origin, including laghia, haut-taille, grage and bel-air. Traditional instruments include the chacha, maké, tanbou chan and tanbou bas drums. Aside from the biguine vidé bands, Vaval includes song and costume contests and zouk parties. Gwo ka is a family of hand drums used to create a form of folk music from Guadeloupe. There are seven basic rhythms in gwo ka, multiple variations on each. Different sizes of drums establish the foundation and its flourishes, with the largest, the boula, playing the central rhythm and the smaller, markeur drums embellishes upon it and interplays with the dancers, audience or singer. Gwo ka singing is guttural and rough, though it can be bright and smooth, is accompanied by uplifting and complex harmonies and melodies. Rural Guadeloupans still use. Gwo ka is played at Carnival and other celebrations. A modernized and popularized form of gwo ka is well-known on the islands.
Guadeloupean balakadri persisted into the 20th century and, despite disruption after World War II, made a comeback in the 1980s. The Guadeloupean-administered island of Marie-Galante has had a vital and well-documented balakadri tradition; as in Martinique, kwadril dances are in sets consisting of proper quadrilles, plus creolized versions of 19th-century couple dances: biguines and valses Créoles. Though Guadeloupe and Martinique are most known only for the internationally renowned zouk style, the islands have produced popular musicians in various updated styles of traditional biguine, chouval bwa and gwo ka; the world-famous zouk band Kassav' remains the most famous performers from the island, while the Guadeloupan Carnival band Akiyo has become the only group in that style to record commercially. In the 1970s, a wave of Haitian musicians, to Dominica and the French Antilles brought with them the kadans, a sophisticated form of music that swept the island and helped unite all the former French colonies of the Caribbean by combining their cultural influences.
These Haitians drew upon previous success from mini-jazz artists like Les Gentlemen, Les Leopards, Les Vikings de Guadeloupe. In the decade and into the 1980s, the French Antilles became home to a style of cadence music called cadence-lypso. Gordon Henderson's Exile One innovated this style, as well as turned the mini-jazz combos into guitar-dominated big bands with a full-horn section and the newly arrived synthesizers, paving the way for the success of large groups like Grammacks, Experience 7, among others. Drawing on these influences, the supergroup Kassav' invented zouk and popularized it with hit songs like "Zouk-La-Se Sel Medikaman Nou Ni". Kassav' formed from Paris in 1978. Mini-jazz was formed in the mid-60s characterized by the rock bands formula of two guitars, one bass, drum-conga-cowbell, some use an alto sax or a full horn section, others use a keyboard, accordion or lead guitar. However, all these small jazz or bands had their guitars with sophisticated styles; the 1970s were dominated by mini-jazz.
One of the mini-jazz groups, Tabou Combo, became the most popular ensemble of Haiti. From Haiti the mini-jazz formula replicated in the French Antilles in the 1970s; the most influential figure in the promotion of Cadence-lypso was the Dominican group Exile One that featured the cadence rampa of Haiti and calypso music from the English speaking caribbean. It was pushed in the 1970s by groups from Dominica, was the first style of Dominican music to find international acclaim. Dominica cadence music has evolved under the influence of Dominican and Caribbean/Latin rhythms, as well as rock and roll and funk music from the United States. By the end of the 1970s, Gordon Henderson defined Cadence-lypso as "a synthesis of Caribbean and African musical patterns fusing the traditional with the contemporary". Aside from Exile One, other bands included the Grammacks, Black Roots, Black Machine, Naked Feet, Belles Combo, Black Affairs, Liquid Ice, Midnighte Groovers and Milestone, while the most famous singers included Bill Thomas, Chubby Marc, Gordon Henderson, Linford John, Janet Azouz, Sinky