Chapter 2- Caribbean Music

Chapter 2- Caribbean Music - Chapter 2 The Music of the...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 2: The Music of the Caribbean (Class 5: Thursday, September 3) Caribbean Counterpoint: The Author: Dr. Geredes Fleurant Professor Emeritus, Wellesley College Focuses on Applied Ethnomusicology Humanocentrist (his term) I. Caribbean Counterpoint: Folk, Ritual, and Dance Hall Music in a New Mode. A Soundscape from West Africa and Europe The notion of soundscape, a term which emerged in Ethnomusicology in the past two decades to refer to the integration of music in the geographical landscape, serves as a good tool to grasp the diversity of music and culture in the Caribbean. In spite of the triple cultural origin of the population - Amerindian, African, and European - it is the African element that most significantly marks the music. The Amerindian dimension is all but lost, and the European attributes in the melody and harmonic structure are often overshadowed by the overpowering presence of the African rhythms and sensibilities. It is therefore in the context of Africa that one will find continuity in the diversity of the Antilles, also referred to as the "West Indies." Due to forced migration from the 16th to the 19th centuries, the majority of the population of the Antilles is of African descent. In spite of dire restrictions, the Africans, brought to the region to provide free labor in the sugar, coffee, and cocoa plantations, retained their culture and passed it on to their descendents. The music and the dance, the most vibrant manifestations of African-derived culture in the Caribbean, follow the principles of the West African soundscape. Shared all over the continent, they are commonly accepted as being the following: the call and response or antiphony; the predominance of percussion; complex rhythms, poly-rhythms, and polyphony; the use of a bell pattern as the underlying foundation of the musical structure; the three drum chorus; the cyclical or open-ended form involving one or more melodic lines; the functional nature of the music which is integral in the life cycle; the kinetic nature of the music which forms a unit with dance; the participatory nature of the music with hand clapping, foot stamping, and dancing; and improvisation as a direct result of the valorization of individual styles within a communal setting. This chapter presents the music of the Caribbean in a new mode as it probes the African antecedents retained in the region's religious rituals. The chapter further contends that in the African-derived context, no distinction is made between sacred and secular, and that popular festivals like carnival, rara, junkannu, or gumbay are rooted in an Afro-religious mode. In this respect, one finds commonality of themes, the major ones being: cultural affirmation; aspirations to freedom; and resistance to oppression as expressed in rituals such as Vodou, Santeria, Candomble, Kumina, or Shango; popular dance-hall styles like "rasin" in Haiti, reggae in Jamaica, samba-reggae in Brazil; and carnival musics like calypso and soca in Trinidad & Tobago. Finally music, as the most potent dimension of the oral tradition, provides a space where conflicting interests meet to produce eloquent models of acculturation and cultural affirmation like Pan-Africanism, Indigenism, Negritude, and Humanocentrism. In this respect, a voyage into the music of the Caribbean can be a rich experience that brings the student face to face with the drama of human existence. Haiti, the Essence of Africa in the Caribbean: Indigenism, Negritude, Humanocentrism Haiti is known as one of the most Africanized places in the Americas. This is largely due to its early independence (1804) and a European embargo (1804-1825) that isolated the country from world ideas and commerce until late in the 19th century. The US did not recognize Haiti's independence until 1865, and did not trade officially with the country until that date. Moreover, the rigid class and caste structure that exacerbated the dichotomy between urban areas (principally the capital city of Port-au-Prince dubbed, "the republic of Port-au-Prince") and the countryside, account for the fact that the mountainous interior retained, almost intact, the cultural legacy brought by the African captives from 1502 to 1791. By the time of the "Bwa Kay Iman" (The Imam's compound) socio-political congress of August 14,1791, where the captive leaders of the northern plains plantations gathered to launch the revolution that ended in the country's independence, St Domingue, the former Haiti, counted some 700,000 Africans, 40,000 mixed race people, and 40,000 Frenchmen. The Africans, largely from West and Central Africa, were from ethnic groups such as the Fon/Ewe and Yoruba of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey (Benin, Togo, and parts of Ghana and Nigeria) or Kongo from the larger Kongo-Luango-Angola region. In total there were some 101 ethnic groups that Haitians reduced traditionally to 21 nations or "nanchon". The essence of Haitian culture is Vodou retained in the "lakou," the socio-economic compound that sustains an extended family. Presided over by an "oungan" (priest) or a "manbo" (priestess), the "lakou" evolved independently from the rest of the country, but their influences were paramount in the formation of the Haitian mindset. Three of these"lakou" located in the fertile Artibonite Valley irrigated by the Artibonite River, the largest on the island, constitute a compelling model of African retentions in the country. Lakou Badjo, of Nago persuasion (Yoruba), traditionally headed by a woman; Nan Souvenance, of Rada persuasion (Fon); and Nan Soukri, of Kongo persuasion (Kongo-Angola), where leadership is paternal with significant input from leaders of both sexes. Non sexist, non racist, and non class conscious (which is true of all the African-derived religions in the Americas), Vodou, embodying the concept of African hospitality, is tolerant of all human and cultural expressions, as life emanating from Mawu-Lisa, Bondye, or God shares in the pristine Nature of the universe. The essence of Vodou is therefore "Humanocentric", as it puts the person in the center of the discourse (Fleurant, 1996). A family religion that focuses on the health and welfare of its practitioners, Vodou is a holistic and danced religion. Music is central to its rituals and ceremonies which are veritable congresses of "nanchon", whose specific musics are performed in a liturgical order respecting the "regleman" or rules of diplomatic traditions and protocol when dancing servants are transcended by ancestral spirits. Called "Lwa", these spirits are said to mount the person like a rider rides a horse. The documentary, "Divine Horsemen: the Living Gods of Haiti" (Maya Deren/Teiji Ito, 1978), illustrates this aspect of Vodou. Vodou is practiced according to rites or styles of worship. At once a dance and the generic denomination for the socio-cultural practices retained from West Africa, Vodou religion is divided by its practitioners into two major categories: the Rada rite (Arada, Fon, Mahi, and Ewe) and the Kongo-Petwo rite (from Kongo/Luongo-Angola and the crucibles of the plantation system). The Rada musics/dances are the "yanvalou", "mayi", and "Zepl" which form an obligatory trilogy to welcome Fon spirits, and the "nago gran kou", "nago cho", and "mazoun", a sequence to salute Yoruba spirits. Yanvalou means invocation, mayi means dance of the Mahi people, and Zepl (shoulder) is a fast dance structurally linked to the fast "agbekor" (clear life) of the Ewe. The Kongo-Petwo musics/dances consist of the "kita" and "boumba" (respectively dance of the Kita and Bumba people). Other musics/dances, such as "Ibo" (Ibo people) and "kongo fran" (basic kongo), are performed during the Rada rite or at separate ceremonies. "Dyouba/Matinik" (Djouba people via Martinique) performed for "Azaka", the spirit of agriculture, also appears during the Rada rite. Finally, the "banda" (Banda people in Central Africa) is performed at the end of ceremonies in all rites to salute the"Gede" (Ghede people from the plateau of Abomey) spirits of life and death. As in West Africa, and indeed most of Africa, drums are organized in a chorus of three according to size. The largest, "manman", or mother drum, the medium, "segon", and smallest, "boula", are played in counter rhythms that produce the soundscape characteristic of music in the African idiom. [Frame8] Rada drums are made of hollowed out tree trunk sections covered with stretched cowhide attached with pegs inserted around the head. Rada drums are played with sticks and one hand (the boula is played with two small sticks). [Frame9] Kongo-petwo drums also employ hollowed out tree trunk sections, but are covered with goat skin attached with laces to the head. Kongo-petwo are played with bare hands, thus the use of the softer goat skin. The smallest of the three drums of the kongo-petwo ensemble is called "kata", and played like the "boula", with two sticks. The "kata", is sometimes omitted, and this led to the confusion in Vodou music literature that kongo-petwo uses only two drums. From a structural stand point, these drumming patterns generally appear in the ternary or 12/8 time signature, with the exception of the "kongo" which favors the binary form or 4/4. These rites constitute the foundation on which many folk and dance-hall musics are based; more specifically, the "kongo" which spawned the various types of meringues in Haiti, calypso in Trinidad and Tobago, reggae in Jamaica and zouk in Martinique. With the advent of the "Freedom Culture" (1970s), and the "rasin" or roots music movements (1980s), young people opposed to 200 years of dictatorship, poverty, and oppression, have explored, in greater depth, the musical possibilities of all the rites of Vodou, instead of just the predominant "meringue" and "konpas dirt", both offshoots of the "kongo". [Frame10] While Vodou practitioners have always understood its basic tenets, the Haitian educated class discovered Vodou ethics and potential through the work of Jean Price-Mars, who, in response to the first US Occupation (1915-1934), expressed the resentment of the intelligentsia by calling for a return to the African tradition that the elite had forsaken in favor of cosmopolitan values. Moreover, the US Occupation and the Roman Catholic Church attacks on Vodou prompted responses from many writers like Jacques Roumain and musicians like Occide Jeanty and Werner Jaegerhuber. Known as Indigenism, and spearheaded by Price-Mars who became its father, the movement called for a local interpretation of the cultural patrimony. [Frame11] Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico Three islands in the Caribbean - Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico - share both an African and a Spanish heritage. While the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are known for the vivacity of their modern music - the meringue, the salsa, and bachata, Cuba, with the largest African population (40% in the 1840s), is usually seen as the cradle of Afro-Latin music. The interpenetration of modern music among these Caribbean island societies accounts for the continuity in their contemporary musical and dance styles. This section of the chapter will focus on Cuba as a model that sets the tone for Afro-Latin music, and exhibits the strongest retention of Africanisms in the Spanish speaking /Creole-Caribbean. The largest among the islands of the Greater Antilles, Cuba developed as a plantation society producing sugar, tobacco, and cattle; the driving force of which was the slave trade. According to Fernando Ortiz, one of the country leading folklorists, some 100 different ethnic groups were brought to the island, and their members formed the basis of plantation organization by forming the "cabildos", or mutual aid societies. There were Arrara, Yoruba, Kongo, and Karabali cabildos, for example, organized according to the cultural tenets of the various West African ethnic groups or "nations" present on the island. As mutual aid and burial societies, the cabildos owned properties and assets which they were forced to give up to the Catholic Church when Cuba abolished slavery in 1886. They were also mandated to register with local authorities and to choose a patron saint as their spiritual guide. Like the "lakou" in Haiti, the cabildos that survived were the incubators of the country's socio-cultural ethos, just as the sugar factories, where some 80% of the late arrivals from Africa ended up, helped to Africanize the Creole culture. The ritual music of Cuba lived through the Santeria, a religion that combines Yoruba spirituality with Catholicism. One of the fastest growing African religions in the Americas (Miguel A. de La Torre, 2004), Santeria means to "make saint". [Frame12] In Cuba, the Yoruba known as Lukumi (my brother), serve the Orishas (African ancestral spirits), who as in Vodou, dance in the body of their faithful at community rituals held in "casas de Ocha" or Orisha temples. Each Orisha is associated with a particular drum pattern that permits practitioners to communicate with them. Among the many spirits, Cubans recognize eight major Orisha or Powers who are saluted in a well defined order at ceremonies. The first to be honored is Eleggua, the opener of the cosmic gates, whose rhythm is known as "latopa". Music for the other powers can be found in John Amira, "The Music of Santaria" where he presented 32 rhythms from the "Oru del Igbodu", drumming without chants dedicated to all the Orishas, played before the ceremony proper. Elements of Santeria music form the basis of most of the folk and popular musics of Cuba, and for that matter, that of the other Creole/Spanish societies in the Caribbean. The Music of the Caribbean Caribbean Counterpoint: Folk, Ritual, and Dance Hall Music in a New Mode. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico Three islands in the Caribbean - Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico - share both an African and a Spanish heritage. While the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are known for the vivacity of their modern music - the meringue, the salsa, and bachata, Cuba, with the largest African population (40% in the 1840s), is usually seen as the cradle of Afro-Latin music. The interpenetration of modern music among these Caribbean island societies accounts for the continuity in their contemporary musical and dance styles. This section of the chapter will focus on Cuba as a model that sets the tone for Afro-Latin music, and exhibits the strongest retention of Africanisms in the Spanish speaking /Creole-Caribbean. Castillo del Morro in Cuba The largest among the islands of the Greater Antilles, Cuba developed as a plantation society producing sugar, tobacco, and cattle; the driving force of which was the slave trade. According to Fernando Ortiz, one of the country leading folklorists, some 100 different ethnic groups were brought to the island, and their members formed the basis of plantation organization by forming the "cabildos", or mutual aid societies. There were Arrara, Yoruba, Kongo, and Karabali cabildos, for example, organized according to the cultural tenets of the various West African ethnic groups or "nations" present on the island. As mutual aid and burial societies, the cabildos owned properties and assets which they were forced to give up to the Catholic Church when Cuba abolished slavery in 1886. They were also mandated to register with local authorities and to choose a patron saint as their spiritual guide. Like the "lakou" in Haiti, the cabildos that survived were the incubators of the country's socio-cultural ethos, just as the sugar factories, where some 80% of the late arrivals from Africa ended up, helped to Africanize the Creole culture. The ritual music of Cuba lived through the Santeria, a religion that combines Yoruba spirituality with Catholicism. One of the fastest growing African religions in the Americas (Miguel A. de La Torre, 2004), Santeria means to "make saint". Click to Listen Sacred Rhythm of Cuban Santera: Oru de lgbud para Yemay - Eleggu In Cuba, the Yoruba known as Lukumi (my brother), serve the Orishas (African ancestral spirits), who as in Vodou, dance in the body of their faithful at community rituals held in "casas de Ocha" or Orisha temples. Each Orisha is associated with a particular drum pattern that permits practitioners to communicate with them. Among the many spirits, Cubans recognize eight major Orisha or Powers who are saluted in a well defined order at ceremonies. The first to be honored is Eleggua, the opener of the cosmic gates, whose rhythm is known as "latopa". Music for the other powers can be found in John Amira, "The Music of Santaria" where he presented 32 rhythms from the "Oru del Igbodu", drumming without chants dedicated to all the Orishas, played before the ceremony proper. Elements of Santeria music form the basis of most of the folk and popular musics of Cuba, and for that matter, that of the other Creole/Spanish societies in the Caribbean. Bata Drums in Cuba As in West Africa, the instruments of Santeria, also known as "La regla de Ocha" (rites of the Orisha), are the drums, the rattles, and the bells. Called "bata", the drums are double headed, covered with animal hide, and have chimes and jingles attached to them. The bata drums are consecrated to Shango who is said to "own" them. They are played in a chorus of three with bare hands. The largest, named the "Iya" (mother drum), leads the ensemble in dialogue with the middle drum "Itotele" (response), and the smallest "Okonkolo" or "Omele" (the child). The rattles are beaded gourds called "abws" or "chekere" that accentuate the rhythms played by the drums, while the bell known as "clave" functions as pace setter. Santeria, like Haitian Vodou, is a danced religion , shunned by the elite, but the power of the music became manifest in the 1940s and 1950s in the recordings of then emerging singers like Celia Cruz, Gina Martin and Mercedes Valdes. Cuban music is expressed also through other rites such as the "Arrara", the "Abakwa", and most significant to the evolution of modern dance-hall musics, the "kongo". The Arrara from Dahomey (present-day Benin, Togo, Ghana, and part of Nigeria) are from the town of Allada where the major ethnic groups are the Fon and Ewe. A minority in Cuba, their cabildos such as Dagime, Savalu, and Magino (place names in Africa) were among the first on the island. The Mahi people who inhabited the town of Savalu were captured and sent into slavery in the Americas, and as a result their descendents can be found in Haiti and Brazil, as well as in the smaller islands of Carriacou and the Grenadines. In Haiti, known as Rada, their music became part of the obligatory "yanvalou trilogy" to salute the Dahomean spirits. In Cuba, their drummings are preserved in Camaguey, where Haitians arrived with their owners fleeing the 1791 revolution, and brought with them the "Tumba Francesa" (French/Haitian drums), with dances like "mason" (mazoun) and "yuba" (dyouba) in the Dahomean style of drumming. The Abakwa, from the word "abakpa" to refer to the Egangan or Ejanghan (ancestral spirits) of Calabar (Southeastern Nigeria and Southwestern Cameroon), are one of the major elements of Cuban culture and folklore. The "Ireme", or masked Leopard, is an important figure at rituals as well as during parades held at feast days. The institution that nourished the tradition was the "comparsas", and its function was to hold parades on January 6, the Day of the Magis. The Egangan can be found also on the island of Itaparica, off the coast of Salvadore, Bahia, in northeastern Brazil. The Kongo from the Angola/Loango area are an important ethnic group in Cuba, as their practice, the "Mayombe", passes their music, popularized at feast days, down to modern times. They are an important link in the evolution of "rumba", the dance-hall music of Cuba. The roots of rumba music are to be found in the "yuka" drums, played in a chorus of three, made from hollowed out tree trunk sections of various sizes and nailed on cowhide heads. The yuka drums are the model for the modern congas. Caja Drum The largest drum is the "caja" held between the legs, the middle is called "mula", and the small one is "cachimbo". Metallic chimes are attached to the sides of the drums, and a musician may use two sticks to create a rhythm by beating on the side of the caja, a style of playing found in other islands in the Caribbean, such as the "tibwa", in Guadeloupe and Martinique, and the "dyouba" in Haiti. A bell, the "guataca", provides the time line for the music. A characteristic element of yuka dance, the "vacunae", a pelvic thrust symbolizing fertility, is found in kongo-derived dances throughout the Caribbean. In Haiti, it is known as "gouyad" (gyration) and "pwent" or "dk". Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago Known as a tourist destination in the sunny Caribbean, Jamaica is associated with reggae, a musical style that emerged in the late 1960s. The sequels of the slave trade are apparent in the unequal distribution of the country's resources, and the subsequent violence that residents of the slums of Kingston, the capital city, are subjected to. As in the rest of the Caribbean, the music of Jamaica is a tributary of the African origin of the majority of the population, and it shows a great deal of diversity and continuity due to its colonial past. Among the many styles such as "mento", "maypole dance", "quadrille" and the "Revival music" that emerged in the past centuries, this chapter will cover the music of Kumina, the roots of the Rastafarian genres of the contemporary scene. Kumina is preserved among the "marrons" who escaped to the mountains of Jamaica during slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries. The maroons, a French term which means wild, were Karomanti from Ghana in West Africa, or Kromanti as they are called in Jamaica, who did not take well to the regime of the plantation. Similar to Cacique Henri (Arawak leader) of Saint Domingue in the 1620s, and "Zumbi" (African warrior) of Northeastern Brazil in the 1600s, the Jamaican maroons resisted slavery by pursuing guerilla tactics which consisted of harassing the plantations located in the plains below. They were so successful that the British government had to sue for peace in the 1730s, and a treaty was signed granting them land and autonomy. These fierce people resisted the government forced assimilation on the rural population of the island in favor of their way of life. Today, their descendents are to be found in four major communities: Accompong, in the Cockpit, a rugged mountain area in the western part of the island, and the Blue Mountains villages of Moore Town, Charles Town and Scott's Hall in the eastern region. Kumina today, like the Vodou of Haiti and other African derived traditions in the Americas, is an amalgamation of styles of many of the ethnic groups brought to Jamaica. For an understanding of the modern musical scene, one has to go back to the emergence of the Kongo styles as a powerful force in Caribbean music. In an article on "Revival Cults in Jamaica", Edward Seaga contends that the Afro-Christian rituals known as "Poccomania", which many folklorist have translated as "a little madness", should instead be spelled "Pukkumina" to refer to its African origin. Kumina is practiced primarily in the eastern regions of the island, and shows strong retentions of the Bantu-speaking people of the Kongo Angola region of West Africa. A danced religion, it incorporates a variety of musical and dance styles throughout Jamaica, the common denominator being spirit possession. The main focus of possession, that some Caribbean scholars (Marc Chrisophe in particular) associated with KOSANBA (The Congress of Santa Barbara, a scholarly association for the study of Vodou, founded in 1997 in Santa Barbara, CA) insist should be called "epiphany", is communication for community healing. Through music and dancing, the community renews its link with the ancestors and affirms its identity. The roots of reggae are to be found in Rastafarism through Kumina and its variants. It was the dimension of community healing, cultural affirmation, and resistance that appealed to the rural poor and the young people living in the depressed areas of Kingston. Rastafarism, which goes back to the heart of maroon resistance, is also linked to Garveyism, a Pan-African self-help movement of the 1920s, which advocated a return to Africa. Marcus Garvey, inspired by this Bible passage, predicted the rise of Africa from colonialism when a Black King will be crowned and come to redeem the people. Haile Selassie Ras Tafari Makonnen When Haile Selassie was crowned in 1930, and took the name of Ras Tafari Makonnen, the downtrodden of Jamaica took it as a sign that the prophecy of deliverance has been fulfilled. Rastafarism emerged overtime as a coherent socio-cultural movement with a message of deliverance, resistance and aspirations to social justice. Three major tendencies, known as "Mansions of Rastafari" can be identified: "Bobo Ashanti" "the Twelve Tribes of Israel" "Nyabinghi" The chants of Nyabinghi (an early 20th century resistance movement against colonialism in Uganda, Africa) influenced the popular ska, rocksteady, and of course reggae, a fusion of mento, calypso, and R&B. Nyahbinghi The drumming of Nyabinghi consists of the traditional three drum chorus. These drums, known as "harps", are the "bass", the middle-pitched "funde", and the "akete", or "repeater", which plays a series of improvised cross-rhythms. The funde plays a regular one-two pattern, while the bass accentuates the first beat of the 4/4 measure. This style of drumming, which is common to all Rastafarians, became the basis of the heavy bass driven form characteristic of reggae, a music in which the melody is transferred to the bass. a Biblical passage... "Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God" the Bible (Psalm 68) Reggae emerged as one of the most powerful mediums of Pan-African resistance in the 1970s. Its social message and music are adopted in Black communities around the world, particularly by youth who aspire to justice and peace. The Music of the Caribbean Caribbean Counterpoint: Folk, Ritual, and Dance Hall Music in a New Mode. Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago Known as a tourist destination in the sunny Caribbean, Jamaica is associated with reggae, a musical style that emerged in the late 1960s. The sequels of the slave trade are apparent in the unequal distribution of the country's resources, and the subsequent violence that residents of the slums of Kingston, the capital city, are subjected to. As in the rest of the Caribbean, the music of Jamaica is a tributary of the African origin of the majority of the population, and it shows a great deal of diversity and continuity due to its colonial past. Among the many styles such as "mento", "maypole dance", "quadrille" and the "Revival music" that emerged in the past centuries, this chapter will cover the music of Kumina, the roots of the Rastafarian genres of the contemporary scene. Kumina is preserved among the "marrons" who escaped to the mountains of Jamaica during slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries. The maroons, a French term which means wild, were Karomanti from Ghana in West Africa, or Kromanti as they are called in Jamaica, who did not take well to the regime of the plantation. Similar to Cacique Henri (Arawak leader) of Saint Domingue in the 1620s, and "Zumbi" (African warrior) of Northeastern Brazil in the 1600s, the Jamaican maroons resisted slavery by pursuing guerilla tactics which consisted of harassing the plantations located in the plains below. They were so successful that the British government had to sue for peace in the 1730s, and a treaty was signed granting them land and autonomy. These fierce people resisted the government forced assimilation on the rural population of the island in favor of their way of life. Today, their descendents are to be found in four major communities: Accompong, in the Cockpit, a rugged mountain area in the western part of the island, and the Blue Mountains villages of Moore Town, Charles Town and Scott's Hall in the eastern region. Kumina today, like the Vodou of Haiti and other African derived traditions in the Americas, is an amalgamation of styles of many of the ethnic groups brought to Jamaica. For an understanding of the modern musical scene, one has to go back to the emergence of the Kongo styles as a powerful force in Caribbean music. In an article on "Revival Cults in Jamaica", Edward Seaga contends that the Afro-Christian rituals known as "Poccomania", which many folklorist have translated as "a little madness", should instead be spelled "Pukkumina" to refer to its African origin. Kumina is practiced primarily in the eastern regions of the island, and shows strong retentions of the Bantu-speaking people of the Kongo Angola region of West Africa. A danced religion, it incorporates a variety of musical and dance styles throughout Jamaica, the common denominator being spirit possession. The main focus of possession, that some Caribbean scholars (Marc Chrisophe in particular) associated with KOSANBA (The Congress of Santa Barbara, a scholarly association for the study of Vodou, founded in 1997 in Santa Barbara, CA) insist should be called "epiphany", is communication for community healing. Through music and dancing, the community renews its link with the ancestors and affirms its identity. The roots of reggae are to be found in Rastafarism through Kumina and its variants. It was the dimension of community healing, cultural affirmation, and resistance that appealed to the rural poor and the young people living in the depressed areas of Kingston. Rastafarism, which goes back to the heart of maroon resistance, is also linked to Garveyism, a Pan-African self-help movement of the 1920s, which advocated a return to Africa. a Biblical passage... "Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God" the Bible (Psalm 68) Marcus Garvey, inspired by this Bible passage, predicted the rise of Africa from colonialism when a Black King will be crowned and come to redeem the people. Haile Selassie Ras Tafari Makonnen When Haile Selassie was crowned in 1930, and took the name of Ras Tafari Makonnen, the downtrodden of Jamaica took it as a sign that the prophecy of deliverance has been fulfilled. Rastafarism emerged overtime as a coherent socio-cultural movement with a message of deliverance, resistance and aspirations to social justice. Three major tendencies, known as "Mansions of Rastafari" can be identified: "Bobo Ashanti" "the Twelve Tribes of Israel" "Nyabinghi" The chants of Nyabinghi (an early 20th century resistance movement against colonialism in Uganda, Africa) influenced the popular ska, rocksteady, and of course reggae, a fusion of mento, calypso, and R&B. Nyahbinghi The drumming of Nyabinghi consists of the traditional three drum chorus. These drums, known as "harps", are the "bass", the middle-pitched "funde", and the "akete", or "repeater", which plays a series of improvised cross-rhythms. The funde plays a regular one-two pattern, while the bass accentuates the first beat of the 4/4 measure. This style of drumming, which is common to all Rastafarians, became the basis of the heavy bass driven form characteristic of reggae, a music in which the melody is transferred to the bass. Click to Listen Nyabingi by Accompong Marrons Reggae emerged as one of the most powerful mediums of Pan-African resistance in the 1970s. Its social message and music are adopted in Black communities around the world, particularly by youth who aspire to justice and peace. Bob Marley in Concert Zurich In this regard, Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" summarizes the epic struggle and history of Black resistance and affirmation, not only in Jamaica, but in Africa, America, and the Islands of the seas. The international appeal of reggae accounts for its success as a musical genre. With spiritual roots in West Africa reggae incubated in the maroon communities of Jamaica and the slums of the Caribbean, and returned to fertilize the cultural productions of the motherland. Shango in Trinidad and Tobago In Trinidad and Tobago, the African derived ritual is known as Shango, though other ethnic groups like the Mandingo and the Arada were also brought into the islands during slavery. The fourth king of Oyo among the Yoruba, Shango is one of the most popular Orishas in the Caribbean and the Americas. The spiritual entity of thunder and lightning, he is also worshipped in Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Argentina. Shango is the embodiment of justice and the symbol of resistance to enslavement. He also embodies the principle of double vision, as symbolized in the "oshe" (double-headed axe) that he carries, endowing him with the ability to see the past and the future. As lightning and thunder, his voice resonates in the double-headed bata drums that he "owns", and since he traded his gift of vision with Ifa for the ability to dance, he is also said to be the owner of music and dance. In the Americas, Shango is one the anchors of the religion. Conflagrated with Santa Barbara, his initiation rituals, based on the traditions of the Ancient Oyo, are among some of the most complete. In 2001, in the village of Sangre Grande in Trinidad, I was fortunate to participate in an impressive Shango celebration at a temple whose babalorisha (priest) had worshipped with Cuban and Haitian practitioners in New York. The ceremony, attended by hundreds, lasted most of the night. The priest, representing Shango, did most of the dancing while the drumming and singing were provided by a chorus of worshippers. In the Americas, Shango is one the anchors of the religion. Conflagrated with Santa Barbara, his initiation rituals, based on the traditions of the Ancient Oyo, are among some of the most complete. In 2001, in the village of Sangre Grande in Trinidad, I was fortunate to participate in an impressive Shango celebration at a temple whose babalorisha (priest) had worshipped with Cuban and Haitian practitioners in New York. The ceremony, attended by hundreds, lasted most of the night. The priest, representing Shango, did most of the dancing while the drumming and singing were provided by a chorus of worshippers. Shango drumming follows the West African model of the three drum chorus, bell, and rattles. The lead drum is called "kongo mother drum", the middle-sized is "bembe", and the small drum is "umele" and is played with a curve stick similar to the one used for the armpit talking drum. The ensemble features rattling gourds called "shack-shack", the "ogan" bell, and hand clapping by the choir of "hunsi", members of the "palais" as the temple is called. Overt and positive recognition of African-based forms of spiritually is of recent date in Trinidad and Tobago which became independent in 1962. The Black Power revolt in the 1970s brought a better climate for African culture, and upper middle class people became less embarrassed by African cultural practices. Due to pressure from the colonial legacy, many people in Trinidad and Tobago converted to Christianity, but they retained their African identity through combining Shango traditions with Protestantism. They are known as Shango Baptist, and their rituals are not unlike those of the Sanctified Churches in the US whose music they blended with local percussion practices. (Class 6: Tuesday, September 8) The Continental Counterpoint The Northeast of Brazil and the Guyanas, though geographically attached to the South American continent, are generally considered culturally as part of the Caribbean. The heavy African presence in the former British Guyana, French Guiana, and Surinam accounts for such a classification. This chapter will present the most important aspects of Candomble and Macumba as the main links to samba, the national dance of Brazil. Africanisms are expressed in Brazil through its dance, music, and the world's most colorful carnivals in Rio de Janeiro in the south and Bahia in the northeast. The African-derived religion of Brazil takes the names of Candomble in Bahia, the Macumba in Rio, and Batuque in the northeast. Candomble, which means "house of drums," is retained from the Fon and the Yoruba, as in Cuba and Haiti. In Brazil, the Fon are also known as "Gege," and in Bahia the religion took shape in the 1940s from the original houses of Casa Branca, Gantois and Axe Opo Afonja which became the models for most "terreiros" or "barracaes" (public dancing rooms). The officers of Candomble are known as "babalorixa" (the male) and "iyalorixa" (the female). While both terms mean respectively father and mother of the Orixas (African Deities), such persons are better viewed as "schooled" in the ways of the Orixas. Atabaque Drums The music and dance of the Orixas, like that of the African tradition from which it comes, consist of the three drum chorus, bells, and rattles. The drums, called "atabaque" are the "rum", the largest, the "rumpi", the middle, and there is a smaller one. The rattles or "afox" accentuate the cross-rhythms provided by the drums, and the clapperless double bell, "agogo", sets the pace. Drums, as in Haiti and Cuba, are consecrated and baptized, and are given a godmother and godfather. The energies are renewed annually according to ritual traditions by "feeding" them with animal blood, oil, honey, and holy water. The agogo, the foundation of the ensemble, is called "base". The rumpi and the smallest drum which play an identical pattern are the "primero" base, and the rum is conceived as the "variacion". Master drummers in Brazil, called "alab", participate in an exchange of energy with dancers and audiences whose main purpose is to call on the Orixas for their blessings and bring about community healing. Similar to Cuba, the Orixas emanated from over 100 ethnic groups brought to the New World during the slave trade, but some eight main powers are traditionally worshipped at ceremonies. Each Orixa has his or her particular music, but one must always begin by saluting Elegua or Exu, the ambassador between the spiritual entities of the universe. The Brazilian ceremony is in two parts, one in which the "yawos" or the initiates dance to welcome the spirits in their heads, and the other after the orixas have taken center stage. The "avaniha" is the music played for the entrance of the yawos who retired to an interior room to be dressed in the appropriate apparel of the Orixas. After the Orixas have been dressed in their respective costumes, and handed their emblems, arms, and ritual tools, they make their grand entrance into the dancing area to the music of "agolona". In Rio de Janeiro, the African-derived ritual is known as Macumba, and is divided into two major branches: Umbanda and Quimbanda. A fusion largely of Kongo-Angola, Yoruba, Amerindian, and Roman Catholicism, Macumba constitutes a direct link to samba, the national dance of Brazil. It uses mainly barrel-shaped drums, covered with soft animal skin, which are played with bare hands in rhythms largely in duple meter. Its rituals are varied, and take on the characteristics of many of its constitutive parts; for example Kongo, Yoruba, and Amerindian (Cabloco or native spirits). Its officers are called, "pai and mai de santo", mother and father of the saints or spirits. Transcending the notion of "sin", like Candomble and all other African-derived religious cultural manifestations found in the Caribbean, and putting the emphasis on the present, the main focus is community healing and well-being. Dancing the Macumba is indeed a meditation of the body (Deren/Ito, 1978). Major Caribbean Popular Dance-Hall Musical Styles in Historical Context The styles in this section focus on some of the most popular genres of Caribbean dance-hall music that people often associate with the area. My intention here is to attempt to set the music in its historical and cultural context which is the result of the interplay between the African continent and European colonial encounters. Meringue: the National Dance of Haiti The meringue, national dance of Haiti, goes back to colonial times in St.Domingue. It evolved from the music of the Kongo-Luongo-Angola people brought to the New World during the 15th - 17th centuries. In St. Domingue, the 2/4 time (short, short, long) music beat danced with lateral movements from side to side, was known by names such as "chica", "kalinda", "bamboula", or "carabinier" which became the "krabiyen", a folk dance found in the North and Central Plateau of present day Haiti. The national dance of Haiti until the 1960s, when the "konpa dirk" took over, the meringue was subdivided into slow or "salon" (the "polite" living room version), fast dance-hall, and faster yet carnival meringue, suitable for reveling. A Haitian saying goes, "meringue ouvri bal, meringue fmen bal" (meringue opens the dance, meringue closes the dance). Played on various instruments from solo piano to small combos, some of the leading exponents of meringue were ensembles like Jazz Guignard, and composers like Occide Jeanty and Ludovic Lamothe who wrote music in the Western European tradition. A medium for exposing gossip and political ribaldry, the meringue was the genre par excellence in a country where the oral tradition holds center stage. A study of the meringue should reveal an interesting segment of the colorful history of Haiti with its "revolutions" and power struggles. One famous exponent of meringue in the 1930s was Auguste "Candio" de Pradines, whose composition "Fanm se Larn Soley" (Women are Sun Queens), expressed a modern view of human relations, quite in advance of his time. Instead of the traditional gossip and politics, Candio pointed out the reprehensible behavior of many men in a patriarchal and macho society. Men who abuse women and children are not worthy to wear pants, he told us in a succulent meringue. Candio also wrote meringues critical of the American Occupation of 1915-1934, as he was one of the leading exponents of Indigenism, a movement that advocated a return to the African traditional roots that the Haitian literate elite had forsaken in favor of European ways. The 1950s saw the rise of three seminal women composers of traditional Haitian music. Emerante de Pradines Morse, the daughter of Candio and the mother of RAM, one of the leading "rasin" bands of the 1990s, Emerante de Pradines Morse Martha Jean-Claude, who was forced to take refuge in Cuba Martha Claude Lumane Casimir, who performed with the "Jazz des Jeunes" (founded in 1942), the greatest ensemble in the first half of the 20th century in Haiti. Lumane Casimir All three women performed songs inspired by the Vodou repertoire. Emerante and Martha, both from the educated elite, were pioneers in their own right, as nobody from their class, and especially women, dared to promote Vodou in the days when the popular religion was openly persecuted by both the Catholic Church and the government. Lumane Casimir, an uneducated peasant, who became the voice of Haiti during the tourist boom of the 1949 Bicentennial Expo of Port-au-Prince, died in poverty and obscurity. The 1960s saw the rise of the "konpa dirk", a style that evolved from the meringue. The mounting influence of the Cuban "guaracha" and Dominican "meringue" (music which later would be called salsa) prompted a reaction from Haitian musicians who felt the need to produce a music of their own. In the early 1960s, Haitian youth almost exclusively danced the Dominican merengue, the craze of Port-au-Prince. People did not always know the meaning of the lyrics, but the rhythms resonated with them. Nemours Jean-Baptiste Nemours Jean-Baptiste, one of the major dance-hall band leaders, slowed down the fast Dominican rhythm, and the "compas direct" (as it was spelled then) was born. Weber Sicot soon responded with his version of "cadence rempas." Of course, in spite of the statements to the contrary, there were little structural differences between meringue, compas direct, and cadence rempas, as they all stemmed from the same Kongo-Angola source. Yet "konpa dirk" has flourished to the point where it now displaces all other genres and has become known internationally as the national music of Haiti. An interesting phenomenon is that all the musics of the Caribbean with roots in the Kongo tradition have been naturally fused, at one time or another, to give birth to vibrant forms. Samba: the National Dance of Brazil This is true in the case of samba, the national dance and music of Brazil. The origin of samba is multiple from a musical point of view, and its roots are to be found in the lundu, marcha, and maxixe. The lundu is an Angolan dance style brought in by the Bantu people during slavery, the marcha, a "one-two" Portuguese marching rhythm, and the maxixe, a fast dance-hall derived rhythmically from the tango and the habanera. Samba is more than a dance; it is a mood, a state of mind. It is at once solace, celebration, abandon, cultural reconnection, and a philosophy of life and the environment. To dance the samba, it has been said, is to be environmentally aware of one's biological and spiritual existence. Samba was born in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, but some of its roots are also in Bahia, the most vibrant center of African culture in Brazil. Tia Ciata (aunt Ciata), a matriarch whose home became a meeting point in Placa Once (square 11) in Rio de Janeiro, and consequently an incubator for samba, emigrated from the Northeast. One of the two vital centers in the development of samba, Praca Once along with Estacio, a nearby Rio neighborhood, is considered the cradle of samba. Ismael Silva It was in Estacio, however, that Ismael Silva, Nilton Bastos and others modified the maxixe by introducing longer notes to slow down the tempo, giving birth to samba. The Estacio style became the reference for modern samba. Nilton Bastos There are several types of samba, but we will focus on three major styles. The samba-enredo, played during carnival processions, the samba cancao, and the samba de morro. Favoring melody over rhythm, samba cancao features complex harmonies and sophisticated lyrics in a sentimental mood. It was promoted by middle class whites whose leaders were musicians like Dorival Caymmi, and others, who set the trends until the advent of the bossa nova of the 1950s. At the time that bossa nova was developing in the hills among the poor, the samba pioneered in Estacio, that had survived, continued to evolve. The samba de morro (samba of the hills) was too strong a cultural manifestation to remain a local phenomenon. It became national, and focused on the social conditions in Brazil, among other things. With some thousands of singers, dancers, and hundreds of percussionists, samba de morro became the classic form at carnival, the pre-Lenten street festival that the Caribbean inherited from Europe, but brought to heights never before seen. The instruments used in samba are the "surdo" or base drum that leads the ensemble and other percussions. The surdo is usually divided into a three drum chorus to simulate the African tradition. They are the surdo marcacao (marking), responsa (response), and cortador (cutting), that play in counter rhythms according to traditional patterns. Surdo Drums The other instruments of the battery are caixa, (snare drums), tamborino (cymbal-less tambourines), cuica (friction drum), reco-reco, (bamboo scrappers), agogo (bouble bell), cavaquinho(ukulele-like), and pandero (tambourines) that accentuate the foundation established by the base drums. Pandeiros Tamborims Caixa Snare Drum Cavaquinho Reco Reco with Scraper Cuica Agogo Bells Rumba: the National Dance of Cuba The Music of the Caribbean Caribbean Counterpoint: Folk, Ritual, and Dance Hall Music in a New Mode. Major Caribbean Popular Dance-Hall Musical Styles in Historical Context (continued) Rumba: the National Dance of Cuba Tambadoras The rumba, one of the most significant dances of Cuba, comes from the term "rumbear" which means to party. In keeping with its kongo derivation, it is a dance hall music in which couples improvise lively steps matching the complex rhythms provided by a battery of percussion. The instruments include the "quinto" (a high pitch drum) and the lower pitch "tumbadoras", as well as "palitos" which are sticks to play the time keeping cascara. The singing part, as well as the instrumental brass section, in the call and response form, is central to the topical nature of the genre, which like the "meringue"of Haiti, the "calypso" of Trinidad and Tobago, or the "samba" of Brazil covers the range of social concerns of the people. Rumba developed among the dockworkers of Havana and Matanzas, a proletariat that is central to the economic structure of the country. Congas Structurally, there are three basic types of rumba: The "yambu" The yambu, slow and in binary form or 4/4, known as the old people's rumba, is the precursor of the guaguanco. Yambu has almost disappeared as a dance form, and is performed by folkloric ensembles. The "guaguanco" The guaguanco, in binary form or 2/4, is also slow, but a bit faster than its predecessor, and is danced by one man and one woman. In the kongo tradition, guaguanco is a flirtatious couple's dance where the man chases the woman who plays hard to get. The "Columbia". The columbia in 6/8 time is fast - a male solo, acrobatic dance that displays the dancer's artistic talent. Palito Cuban music, a prototype of Afro-Latin musical culture, shows great diversity as a result of the island's status as a pole of attraction in the Caribbean. During the 20th century, great numbers of Haitians and Jamaicans went to cut sugar cane in Cuba where their descendents still live. (Class 7: Thursday, September 10) II. Caribbean Festivals: Selected Countries Rara in Haiti, Gaga in the Dominican Republic The Music of the Caribbean Caribbean Festivals: Selected Countries Rara in Haiti, Gaga in the Dominican Republic Rara Festivals are held all year long throughout the Caribbean, but the main one is the carnival or the pre-Lenten Mardigras. The most elaborate and colorful carnivals are the ones in Trinidad and Tobago and in Brazil. However, countries like Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica are also known for respectively their Rara, Gaga, and Jonkannu. In Haiti, Rara, which follows Mardigras, is known as gaga in the Dominican Republic, and Jonkannu, now held as a tourist attraction during the winter and spring months, is found not only in Jamaica, but around the English-speaking Caribbean from Belize to the Bahamas. In Haiti, rara which means "to make merry," and is inherited from the Yoruba people in West Africa, had, until the 1900s, been relegated to the countryside or the provinces. In counterpart, certain towns like Leogane, the capital of the Xaragua kingdom of Queen Anacaona at the time of the Arawaks, is reputed for its rara. With the demographic changes brought about by the migration of a large contingent of people from the countryside to the city of Port-au-Prince, the tendency is now to blend both Mardigras and rara in one long spring festival from January to Easter. Furthermore, with the rise of the Haitian Diaspora, several towns in the provinces have boosted their rara with the sponsorship of townspeople now working in the US or Canada. This is true in the case of Desdunes, a small agricultural town in the Artibonite valley, and Mirebalais in the Central Plateau where my wife and I have built a Cultural Center and school complex. The Gawou Ginou Foundation, Inc. Carnaval Vegano Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago "Carnival cultural activities were not the monopoly of any one Caribbean island: enslaved Africans from Cuba in the north to Trinidad in the south carried out such activities, and after enslavement ended they influenced one another... Africans on the main land including in the Guianas, Surinam, Belize, and Brazil also held masquerades and Christmas festivities." (Liverpool, p.97). However, in modern times, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago emerged as the two main centers of carnival in the Caribbean. So, let's take a quick look at the two countries. Central to carnival development in Brazil is the "escola de samba" (school of samba), the institution that nourished the samba. The first one appeared in 1928 in Estacio and Praca Onze, two neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, under the leadership of Ismael Silva, Nilton Bastos, and others. The main function of the groups that soon followed was to hold a parade at carnival time in their local communities. They were opposed by the elite class which did not take well to the African influenced revelry. The beginnings were not easy. People had to fight for recognition which came late in the 1950s, when the carnival parade moved from their communities to down town Rio, when a samba route capable of accommodating some 100,000 people was constructed in 1990. The escola de samba did more than parade. They were and have become the center of community life, with elementary schools, nurseries, and medical assistance. Carnival in Brazil, which was resisted by the upper class, has become the world's biggest show-case, generating millions of dollars. Xequere Historically, carnival was the preserve of the upper-class parading societies, with masked balls modeled on Parisian styles, in which the notion of civility, politeness, good manners, and pedigree prevailed. After 1888, the date of emancipation, Blacks began to enter the festival with bands known as "charangas," playing atabaque, agogo, xequeres, and other African instruments. The upper class reacted by banning the Africanized carnival. The Africans responded with the creation of the "afoxe" (Yoruba priest), and asserted themselves by taking to the streets. In the 1920s, early afoxes had names such as "Lembranca Africana" (African memories), "Lutadores de Africa" (African warriors), or "Congo de Africa." In 1949, with the creation of Candomble houses like Gantois, Casa Branca, and Axe Opo Afonja, the afoxe "Filhos de Gandhi" was founded, and today it remains an institution.. Until the 1970s, Brazil had the reputation of a racial democracy, which in fact was the unstated national policy. The government's way of solving the country's racial problem was to declare that it did not exist. With the advent of de-colonization in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, the1960s Civil Rights movement in the US, and the world-wide Black consciousness movement, the afoxe re-emerged in Bahia, under the new name of "blocos-afro." "Ile Aiye" (house of life) founded in 1974, was the first blocos-afro of modern time to follow in the tradition of the 1920s, and to focus on socio-cultural and economic issues. In 1979, Olodum (Olodumare, Yoruba Supreme Deity) emerged as the most powerful among the many blocos-afro founded in the 1970s. In Pelerinho, a neighborhoor in Salvador, Bahia, Olodum developed a socio-economic program that included schools, stores, museums, art galleries, and cooperatives in an effort to contribute to the development of their community. The new afoxe spearheaded a movement of cultural validation, with the drums taking center stage, and in which each drum stands as a banner for negritude and the re-affirmation of a rhythmic tradition (Fryer ). Olodum, like all the other blocos-afro, form an important link in the evolution of Pan-Africanism, Indigenism, Negritude, and the Black Consciousness movement of the late 20th century. Musically, they blended the music of Candomble and Macumba with salsa, meringue, and reggae which became the powerful samba-reggae Rara in Haiti, Gaga in the Dominican Republic Rara Festivals are held all year long throughout the Caribbean, but the main one is the carnival or the pre-Lenten Mardigras. The most elaborate and colorful carnivals are the ones in Trinidad and Tobago and in Brazil. However, countries like Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica are also known for respectively their Rara, Gaga, and Jonkannu. In Haiti, Rara, which follows Mardigras, is known as gaga in the Dominican Republic, and Jonkannu, now held as a tourist attraction during the winter and spring months, is found not only in Jamaica, but around the English-speaking Caribbean from Belize to the Bahamas. In Haiti, rara which means "to make merry," and is inherited from the Yoruba people in West Africa, had, until the 1900s, been relegated to the countryside or the provinces. In counterpart, certain towns like Leogane, the capital of the Xaragua kingdom of Queen Anacaona at the time of the Arawaks, is reputed for its rara. With the demographic changes brought about by the migration of a large contingent of people from the countryside to the city of Port-au-Prince, the tendency is now to blend both Mardigras and rara in one long spring festival from January to Easter. Furthermore, with the rise of the Haitian Diaspora, several towns in the provinces have boosted their rara with the sponsorship of townspeople now working in the US or Canada. This is true in the case of Desdunes, a small agricultural town in the Artibonite valley, and Mirebalais in the Central Plateau where my wife and I have built a Cultural Center and school complex. Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago "Carnival cultural activities were not the monopoly of any one Caribbean island: enslaved Africans from Cuba in the north to Trinidad in the south carried out such activities, and after enslavement ended they influenced one another... Africans on the main land including in the Guianas, Surinam, Belize, and Brazil also held masquerades and Christmas festivities." (Liverpool, p.97). However, in modern times, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago emerged as the two main centers of carnival in the Caribbean. So, let's take a quick look at the two countries. Central to carnival development in Brazil is the "escola de samba" (school of samba), the institution that nourished the samba. The first one appeared in 1928 in Estacio and Praca Onze, two neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, under the leadership of Ismael Silva, Nilton Bastos, and others. The main function of the groups that soon followed was to hold a parade at carnival time in their local communities. They were opposed by the elite class which did not take well to the African influenced revelry. The beginnings were not easy. People had to fight for recognition which came late in the 1950s, when the carnival parade moved from their communities to down town Rio, when a samba route capable of accommodating some 100,000 people was constructed in 1990. The escola de samba did more than parade. They were and have become the center of community life, with elementary schools, nurseries, and medical assistance. Carnival in Brazil, which was resisted by the upper class, has become the world's biggest show-case, generating millions of dollars. Xequere Historically, carnival was the preserve of the upper-class parading societies, with masked balls modeled on Parisian styles, in which the notion of civility, politeness, good manners, and pedigree prevailed. After 1888, the date of emancipation, Blacks began to enter the festival with bands known as "charangas," playing atabaque, agogo, xequeres, and other African instruments. The upper class reacted by banning the Africanized carnival. The Africans responded with the creation of the "afoxe" (Yoruba priest), and asserted themselves by taking to the streets. In the 1920s, early afoxes had names such as "Lembranca Africana" (African memories), "Lutadores de Africa" (African warriors), or "Congo de Africa." In 1949, with the creation of Candomble houses like Gantois, Casa Branca, and Axe Opo Afonja, the afoxe "Filhos de Gandhi" was founded, and today it remains an institution.. Until the 1970s, Brazil had the reputation of a racial democracy, which in fact was the unstated national policy. The government's way of solving the country's racial problem was to declare that it did not exist. With the advent of de-colonization in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, the1960s Civil Rights movement in the US, and the world-wide Black consciousness movement, the afoxe re-emerged in Bahia, under the new name of "blocos-afro." "Ile Aiye" (house of life) founded in 1974, was the first blocos-afro of modern time to follow in the tradition of the 1920s, and to focus on socio-cultural and economic issues. In 1979, Olodum (Olodumare, Yoruba Supreme Deity) emerged as the most powerful among the many blocos-afro founded in the 1970s. In Pelerinho, a neighborhoor in Salvador, Bahia, Olodum developed a socio-economic program that included schools, stores, museums, art galleries, and cooperatives in an effort to contribute to the development of their community. The new afoxe spearheaded a movement of cultural validation, with the drums taking center stage, and in which each drum stands as a banner for negritude and the re-affirmation of a rhythmic tradition (Fryer ). Olodum, like all the other blocos-afro, form an important link in the evolution of Pan-Africanism, Indigenism, Negritude, and the Black Consciousness movement of the late 20th century. Musically, they blended the music of Candomble and Macumba with salsa, meringue, and reggae which became the powerful samba-reggae Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago quote... "Carnival cultural activities were not the monopoly of any one Caribbean island: enslaved Africans from Cuba in the north to Trinidad in the south carried out such activities, and after enslavement ended they influenced one another... Africans on the main land including in the Guianas, Surinam, Belize, and Brazil also held masquerades and Christmas festivities." (Liverpool, p.97) However, in modern times, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago emerged as the two main centers of carnival in the Caribbean. So, let's take a quick look at the two countries. Central to carnival development in Brazil is the "escola de samba" (school of samba), the institution that nourished the samba. The first one appeared in 1928 in Estacio and Praca Onze, two neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, under the leadership of Ismael Silva, Nilton Bastos, and others. The main function of the groups that soon followed was to hold a parade at carnival time in their local communities. They were opposed by the elite class which did not take well to the African influenced revelry. The beginnings were not easy. People had to fight for recognition which came late in the 1950s, when the carnival parade moved from their communities to down town Rio, when a samba route capable of accommodating some 100,000 people was constructed in 1990. The escola de samba did more than parade. They were and have become the center of community life, with elementary schools, nurseries, and medical assistance. Carnival in Brazil, which was resisted by the upper class, has become the world's biggest show-case, generating millions of dollars. Xequere Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago In Trinidad and Tobago, as on other islands of the Caribbean, the roots of carnival lay in both Africa and France. Originally the preserve of the planters' class who modeled their festivities on Parisian styles, and despite attempts to prevent Africans from participating, carnival, through a combination of historical circumstances, was taken over by the masses. By the 1960s, as the country became independent, and the middle class was able to assert its cultural identity, carnival became linked with calypso and steelband, known as "pan" among the common people. One of the most elaborate festivals in the Caribbean (please see the color plates), Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is a year long affair that begins with the opening of the "calypso tents" in December, and culminates in the three day bacchanal preceding Ash Wednesday. It is proverbially accepted that preparations for the next year's carnival begin on Ash Wednesday. The tents are venues where new compositions are played every night as a prelude to the main event that includes a series of song competitions. The three major contests are the "road march," the "calypso king," and the "calypso monarch." Most notable is the road march, the calypso composition that is played most often by all the bands during the carnival parade. Most road march compositions are simple melodies with few words, easy to remember catchy rhythms, and traditional harmonic progressions that make it easy to dance to by large numbers of street revelers. In the late 1970s, one of the most popular road march songs was "La la" with only those vocables as lyrics. Usually in AB form, carnival songs are often in the minor or pentatonic keys, though many are found in major keys as well. Early calypsonians took European historical or high sounding names like "King Radio," "Growling Tiger," "Lord Beginner," "William the Conqueror," "Attila the Hun," "Lord Executioner," or "The Roaring Lion." Among the hundred of composers in the genre, two of the greatest musicians are "The Mighty Sparrow" and "Lord Kitchener" Besides the Africans drums and European musical instruments, the steel drum, an invention of Trinidad and Tobago, is central to carnival. Made from an emptied 55 gallon oil barrel, cut in different sizes with the head hammered out to produce various pitches, the instrument was developed in the 1940s culminating in a full fledged apotheosis in the 1960s. They are usually played in a four part chorus called tenor, guitar, cello, and bass, corresponding to the traditional European parts of soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Steel Drums [Frame30] The names of its early promoters such as Ellie Manette, Winston "Spree" Simon, and Neville Jules are immortalized in famous calypsos. The steel drum that produces a sweet silver metallic sound is played all over the world, and constitutes the medium par excellence at carnival time. The carnival provides a space to express social commentaries and socio-political views. The calypso, and later the "soca" or soul calypso (also spelled "sokah" by Lord Shorty, its creator), the main music at that time, covers topics from gossip, risqu songs, to political dissent, and this make the calypsonian one of the most valuable treasures of the island. He/she is a trend setter, a critique, and an exponent of everyday life and concerns Finally, due to regional cross fertilization and an effort to stay fresh, calypsonians, like Lord Shorty produced the new sound in the 1970s which became "soca." During the past two decades, soca has evolved to become a pan Caribbean music, popular around the world. An analysis of the style, with its heavy bass and syncopated drumming, shows its connections to the Kongo-Angola form that spawned most of the dance-hall musics of the region. Summary & Conclusion The music of the Caribbean illustrates the soundscape of Africa and Europe, and this can be observed in the rhythms of Candomble, Santeria, Vodou, Kumina, and Shango, as well as the popular dance-hall styles of rumba, samba, meringue, reggae, calypso and soca. While the melodies show the soundscape of Europe in their major, minor tonalities, and harmonic progressions, they show also a marked tendency to simulate the percussive influence of Africa. Ritual as well as popular dance-hall melodies appear often in the pentatonic mode (five tones) characteristic of the African landscape. Participation is shown in the call-response styles of most melodies with the chorus leader improvising the lyrics of songs, at calypso tents for example, to comment on current events. In the ritual setting, traditional lyrics are modified at will to illustrate the procedure, thus becoming "songs of action-direction," in the sense that they indicate the proper course of action to all present at the ceremony (Fleurant, 1996). The music is intimately tied to the dance, as African-derived religions in the Caribbean are danced religions in which people offer their bodies to the Lwa and Orishas who transcend them to communicate important messages to the assembly. The experience of exile and alienation is transcended when the people sing and dance; they become "acts of memories" that bring them back to Africa, the land of their ancestors. Though in captivity, they sing a song to their "King" in a strange land. In sum, the Caribbean soundscape, offshoot of the African rhythms and sensibilities, and to some extent the Latin tinge (Spain, Portugal, and France), has evolved into a vigorous music that exhibits great regional continuity and diversity. The Caribbean has seen the rise of a variety of musical forms grounded in the African world view, from the ritual and ceremonial to the folk and popular dance-hall styles that incubated in the region, and from there invaded the rest of the world. The meringue, calypso, and rumba, traced to the Kongo-Angola region, which became predominant forms of popular and dance-hall musics until the 1960s, were fundamental in the formation of West and Central African musical styles such as "high-life" in the 1940s and 1950s and "soukous" in the 1970s. The U-shaped curve, whereby the music returns to its place of origin to spawn a new form, precedes the globalization which results from the pressures of the world market. The commodification of music and culture in the Caribbean has had a dual effect of weighing heavily on the aesthetic integrity of the arts, and at the same time disseminating it around the world. A beneficial occurrence for both the artists and the region economically, the pressures of globalization account for the fact that Caribbean musical styles such as konpa-dirk, soca, reggae, zouk, and rasin/roots are now leading competitors, for better or for worse, on the world market. The future of the music of the Caribbean lies in the ability and creativity of regional artists and music promoters to learn to negotiate the turbulent waters of globalization to preserve the integrity of the arts while ensuring that the artists survive. ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/01/2010 for the course MUS 250 taught by Professor Hansen during the Fall '09 term at San Mateo Colleges.

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