Caribbean Music

Topics: Jamaica, Reggae, Bob Marley Pages: 3 (1076 words) Published: September 26, 2008

Caribbean music originated from the Caribbean Islands, also known as the West Indies, and is a mixture of West African and European predominantly Spanish influences. The music has its origin when West African slaves were brought to Caribbean Island. They composed music with the help of percussion instruments like drums, bells and shakers. The music had unique musical style elements with special tempo-setting rhythms created by claves or bells, multi-layered and syncopated rhythms and songs which were in the form of call-and-response formats. The European influence came through the usage of guitar, Spanish dance styles along with the use of Western European type of harmony.

There are different types of Caribbean music which vary from island to island like the `son’ is more common in Cuba which also includes mambo dance music. The finale of the most Cuban sones consists of quick undulation between a soloist who gives a `call’ and the rest of the group playing and singing give the `response’. Other forms of Caribbean music include the `rumba’ which also formed one of the popular ballroom dance forms in America.

One of the most popular Caribbean musician and his group, Bob Marley and the Wailers made Jamaican `reggae’ well-known among music lovers across the globe. Another popular music form which arose from such music was `Calypso’ which was more common in Trinidad and Tobago. It was a popular style of song that often contained comical social criticism and satire. A less well-known style was tamboo bamboo, which involves using stamping tubes made of bamboo.

Some of the Caribbean musical instruments are conga drums, a Cuban barrel-shaped, one-headed hand drums, played in sets of two to four; bongo drums, a set of two small one-headed drums held between the knees and played by hand; timbales, a set of two one-headed metal shelled drums played with a stick among other instruments like steel drums. Steel drums were made of...
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