MUSC 133F will examine the history and development of three major genres of music from Trinidad and Tobago: Calypso, Soca, and Chutney music. In this course we will explore issues relating to culture, tradition, colonialism, gender, identity, religion, and sexuality in Trinbagonian party music. We will survey scholarly material as we listen and analyze the lyrical and visual components found in popular music videos, as well as the party/fete arena, to gain a better understanding of how these styles of writing and visual portrayals have shaped Carnival music today. Additionally, we will begin this course with an introductory examination of the musical traditions within some of the Spanish, French, Dutch, and English-speaking Caribbean, ending the course by probing the many ways Caribbean countries connect culturally and historically.
Although this is not a performance-based course, students would have a firsthand opportunity to play the steelpan and auxiliary percussion instruments as we learn about the invention of the instrument, as well as hear directly from Trinbagonian musicians and other Caribbean musicians via zoom.
Some styles of music explored in this course are: Tamboo bamboo, calypso, soca, chutney, chutney-soca, Jamoo, shango (orisha), tassa drumming, rhythm sections (folk drumming), steelpan, extempo, parang (parranda), parang-soca, zess, zouk, ska, rocksteady, reggae, reggaeton, afro-cuban, merengue, bachata, and vodou-jazz.
N.B. This course is open to ALL students and requires no prior knowledge of or experience in Caribbean music.