Christmas is an important event in the Caribbean.
Here are five musical genres that are/were rooted/routed to this time of year.
1. Tuk – Barbados
Tuk music is a fife and drum music. It is perhaps the only indigenous Afro-Barbadian genre to have survived colonialisation. At Christmas, Tuk groups would come through villages playing and drinking rum. Tuk music is hardly ever played at this time anymore and has moved into the realm of nationalist celebration.
2. Masquerade – Guyana
Masquerade is another fife and drum music with a strong musical similarity to Tuk. Like Tuk, the playing of it at Christmas has waned.
3. Plena – Puerto Rico
Plena is the one of the major indigenous Puerto Rican musical forms. The music is seen to have been created by English-speaking Caribbean migrants in the 1800s. It is also one of my personal favourites when it comes to Caribbean genres.
4. Parang – Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad is one of the more cosmopolitan islands in the Caribbean. Parang shows the Hispanic cultural influence as it was traditionally sung in Spanish and uses instruments found in other folk cultures of the Hispanic Caribbean. There is a Soca-Parang variant that is popular but here it is in its traditional form.
5. Parranda – Venezuela
To end, here is a popular genre from Venezuela. Parranda sounds like a more rhythmically complicated version of parang and I am sure they come from the same root. Here is one of my favourite groups, Maracaibo 15.
So I hope you have enjoyed this brief Christmas blog.
All that I am left to do is wish you a
Please enjoy it wherever you are.
Caribbean Music Man