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Encyclopedia > Calypso music
Music of Trinidad: Subjects
Canboulay Calypso
Chutney Steelpan
Calypsonian Calypso tent
Picong Parang
Soca Rapso
Pichakaree
Timeline and samples
Anglophone Caribbean
Anguilla - Antigua and Barbuda - Bahamas - Barbados - Bermuda - Caymans - Dominica - Grenada - Jamaica - Montserrat - St. Kitts and Nevis - St. Lucia - St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Trinidad and Tobago - Turks and Caicos - Virgin Islands
Other Caribbean
Aruba and the Dutch Antilles - Cuba - Dominican Republic - Haiti - Martinique and Guadeloupe - Puerto Rico
Calypso
Stylistic origins: West African kaiso, native and European music
Cultural origins: Late 19th century African slaves' Carnival on Trinidad
Typical instruments: Strongly vocal
Mainstream popularity: Early to mid 20th century
Subgenres
Oratorical calypso - Extempo - Young Brigade
Other topics
Carnival - Calypsonian - Calypso-like genres - Calypso tent - Picong


Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad at about the start of the 20th century. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of African slaves, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song. This forged a sense of community among the Africans, who saw their colonial masters change rapidly, bringing French, Spanish and British music styles to the island of Trinidad. The French brought Carnival to Trinidad, and calypso competitions at Carnival grew in popularity, especially after the abolition of slavery in 1834. While most authorities stress the African roots of calypso, in his 1986 book Calypso from France to Trinidad, 800 Years of History veteran calypsonian The Roaring Lion (Rafael de Leon) asserted that calypso descends from the music of the medieval French troubadours. The Caribbean state of Trinidad and Tobago is best known as the homeland of calypso music, including 1950s stars Lord Kitchener and Mighty Sparrow. ... Canboulay is a Caribbean Carnival celebration held on Trinidad. ... Chutney music is a form of music indigenous to the southern Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname) which derives elements from soca and Hindi film songs. ... Steelpan (also known as pan, steelpan, or steeldrums, and sometimes collectively with the musicians as a steelband) is a musical instrument and a form of music originating in Trinidad and Tobago. ... A Calypsonian is a musician, usually from Trinidad, who has studied calypso and memorised its traditional tunes and stanzas. ... Calypso tents are venues in which calypsonians perform during the Carnival season. ... Light comical banter, usually at someone elses expense. ... Parang is a musical style which fuses together Venezuelan and Calypso influences to create up beat tempos with a Spanish style and is popular in Trinidad & Tobago and various areas of Venezuela. ... Soca, or soul calypso, is a dance music that originated in Trinidad from calypso. ... Rapso is a formas of Trinidadian music that grew out of the social unrest of the 1970s. ... Pichakaree (or pichakaaree) is an Indo-Trinidadian musical form which originated in Trinidad and Tobago. ... 1966 in music Download sample of Alton Ellis rocksteady track Girl Youve Got a Date. Download sample of Cincinatti Kid by Prince Buster, a legendary ska artist. ... The Cayman Islands are a Caribbean island chain, currently a territory of the United Kingdom. ... Timeline and Samples Pop genres Calypso - Chutney - Dancehall - Dub - Junkanoo - Ragga - Rapso - Reggae - Ripsaw - Rocksteady - Scratch - Ska - Soca - Spouge - Steelpan Other islands Aruba and the Dutch Antilles - Cuba - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Haiti - Martinique and Guadeloupe - Puerto Rico - Saint Lucia The Turks and Caicos Islands are an overseas dependency of the... Aruba and the five main islands of the Netherlands Antilles are part of the Lesser Antilles island chain. ... The former French colonies of Martinique and Guadeloupe are small islands in the Caribbean. ... Kaiso is the term commonly used to refer to calypso music of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Carnival or Carnivale is an annual Christian festival season. ... Look up Trinidad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Extempo (also extempo calypso) is a lyrically improvised form of calypso and is most notably practised in Trinidad and Tobago. ... Carnival or Carnivale is an annual Christian festival season. ... A Calypsonian is a musician, usually from Trinidad, who has studied calypso and memorised its traditional tunes and stanzas. ... Harry Belafonte, a Jamaican-American pop-calypso singer The Caribbean music area is home to a number of music genres that share certain characteristics that are often compared to the calypso music of Trinidad, and can be considered calypso-like. ... Calypso tents are venues in which calypsonians perform during the Carnival season. ... Light comical banter, usually at someone elses expense. ... World map showing location of Africa A satellite composite image of Africa Africa is the worlds second_largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. ... West Indian redirects here. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Look up Trinidad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Carnival or Carnivale is an annual Christian festival season. ... Year 1834 (MDCCCXXXIV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Roaring Lion (born Rafael DeLeon, Aroquita, Trinidad, British Trinidad and Tobago, February 22, 1908; d. ... A troubadour composing lyrics, Germany c. ...


Over 100 years ago, calypso further evolved into a way of spreading news around Trinidad. Politicians, journalists, and public figures often debated the content of each song, and many islanders considered these songs the most reliable news source. Calypsonians pushed the boundaries of free speech as their lyrics spread news of any topic relevant to island life, including speaking out against political corruption. Eventually British rule enforced censorship and police began to scan these songs for damaging content. Even with this censorship, calypsos continued to push boundaries. Look up Trinidad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A journalist is a person who practices journalism. ... A Calypsonian is a musician, usually from Trinidad, who has studied calypso and memorised its traditional tunes and stanzas. ... Censorship is the removal or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body. ...


The first calypso recordings came in 1914, and inaugurated the Golden Age of Calypso. By the 1920s, calypso tents were set up at Carnival for calypsonians to practice before competitions; these have now become showcases for new music. It has been suggested that Childrens gramophone records be merged into this article or section. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The 1920s is a decade that is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... Calypso tents are venues in which calypsonians perform during the Carnival season. ...


The first major stars of calypso started crossing over to new audiences worldwide in the late 1930s. Attila the Hun, Roaring Lion and Lord Invader were first, followed by Lord Kitchener, one of the longest-lasting calypso stars in history -- he continued to release hit records until his death in 2000. 1944's Rum and Coca-Cola by the Andrews Sisters, a cover of a Lord Invader song, became an American hit. The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... Attila The Hun was the name taken by the prominent calypsonian born Raymond Quevedo (March 24, 1892 - February 22, 1962). ... Roaring Lion (born Rafael DeLeon, Aroquita, Trinidad, British Trinidad and Tobago, February 22, 1908; d. ... Rupert Grant, more commonly known as Lord Invader, was a prominent calypsonian with a very distinctive, gravelly voice. ... For the First World War leader, see Horatio Kitchener Lord Kitchener (April 18, 1922 - February 11, 2000) was one of the most internationally famous calypsonians. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Rum and Coca-Cola is the title of a popular calypso song. ... The Andrews Sisters on the cover of the reissue collection The Best of the Andrew Sisters: The Millennium Collection. ... In popular music, a cover version, or simply cover, is a new rendition (performance or recording) of a previously recorded song. ...


Calypso, especially a toned down, commercial variant, became a worldwide craze with the release of the "Banana Boat Song", a traditional Jamaican folk song, whose best-known rendition was done by Harry Belafonte on his 1956 album Calypso; Calypso was the first full-length record to sell more than a million copies. 1956 also saw the massive international hit Jean and Dinah by Mighty Sparrow. This song was a sly comment as a "plan of action" for the calypsonian on the easy availability of prostitutes after the closing of the United States naval base on Trinidad at Chagaramas. The Banana Boat Song is a traditional Trinidadian Calypso folk song, whose best-known version was sung by Harry Belafonte and is the most well-known calypso. ... Harold George Belafonte, Jr. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Calypso is an album by Harry Belafonte, released by RCA Victor in 1956. ... Jean and Dinah is a calypso from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean sung by calypsonian Mighty Sparrow which became an international hit in 1956. ... Mighty Sparrow (real name Slinger Francisco) is a Calypso singer, songwriter, and guitarist. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... Modern Naval Tactics It is tempting to regard modern naval combat as the purest expression of tactics. ... Chaguaramas lies in the North West Peninsula of Trinidad west of Port of Spain; the name is often applied to the entire peninsula, but is sometimes used to refer to the most developed area. ...


In the 1957 Broadway musical Jamaica Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg cleverly parodied "commercial", Harry Belafonte style Calypso. Note on spelling: While most Americans use er (as per American spelling conventions), the majority of venues, performers and trade groups for live theatre use re. ... The Fantasticks is the longest-running musical in history. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Parody of Star Wars: Episode 1 Parody music, or musical parody, involves changing or recycling existing musical ideas or lyrics - or copying the peculiar style of a composer or artist, or even a general style of music. ... Harold George Belafonte, Jr. ...


Early forms of calypso were also heavily influenced by jazz such as Sans Humanitae, the extempo melody in which calypsonians lyricise impromptu, commenting socially or insulting each other, without humanity - once again the French influence. Many calypso chord progressions can be linked to twelve bar jams in jazz as demonstrated by Lord Kitchener, one of the most famous calypsonians and a melodic genius.


Elements of calypso have been incorporated in jazz to form calypso jazz. Jazz is a musical art form that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States around the start of the 20th century. ... Calypso jazz is a style of music and improvisation that combines elements of calypso music with elements of traditional jazz. ...


References

  • Quevedo, Raymond (Atilla the Hun). 1983. Atilla's Kaiso: a short history of Trinidad calypso. University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. (Includes the words to many old calypsos as well as musical scores for some of Atilla's calypsos.)
  • Hill, Donald R. 1993. Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music in Trinidad. University Press of Florida. (Includes a CD of early calypso music, also called "Calypso Calaloo".)ISBN 0-8130-1221-X (Cloth), ISBN 0-8130-1222-8 (pbk).
  • Manuel, Peter, with Kenneth Bilby and Michael Largey. Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae (2nd edition). Temple University Press, 2006. ISBN 1-59213-463-7. 

See also

Caribbean Carnival is an event that takes place in many of the Caribbean islands annually. ... This is a list of calypso musicians. ... Soca, or soul calypso, is a dance music that originated in Trinidad from calypso. ... Extempo (also extempo calypso) is a lyrically improvised form of calypso and is most notably practised in Trinidad and Tobago. ... Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that predates and has greatly influenced ska and reggae music. ... Harry Belafonte, a Jamaican-American pop-calypso singer The Caribbean music area is home to a number of music genres that share certain characteristics that are often compared to the calypso music of Trinidad, and can be considered calypso-like. ... Mighty Sparrow (real name Slinger Francisco) is a Calypso singer, songwriter, and guitarist. ... For the First World War leader, see Horatio Kitchener Lord Kitchener (April 18, 1922 - February 11, 2000) was one of the most internationally famous calypsonians. ...

External links


 
 

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