Caribean History Essay

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THE HISTORY OF CARIBBEAN MUS The history of Caribbean music begins with the Native Americans, the first inhabitants of the islands. Traditional tribal music which featured percussion instruments developed but perished along with most of the Native Americans in the 1600s. Subsequent Caribbean music emerged as a result of new relationships between African slaves and European settlers. The settler communities, as opposed to the plantation towns, attracted large numbers of very different people and harbored a very lively music culture. The next key development came in the twentieth century with the advent of mass media, particularly phonograph records and radio broadcasts. This stimulated the creation of popular dance styles. During the mid-twentieth century, the immigration of Cubans to lager cities played a major role in spreading music of the region. New York, in particular, emerged as a lager center for Latin and West Indian popular music. Distinctive Styles Most Caribbean styles may be grouped into the categories of folks, classical or commercially popular music. Folk styles were derived primarily from African music and tend to be dominated by percussion instruments as well as call and response vocals. Including in the category are the traditional Cuban rumba, the Puerto Rican bomba as well as music associated with Afro-Caribbean religions (such as Haitian, voodoo, and Cuban Santeria). A few styles, however, reflect a more European influence. The Puerto Rican jiharo music and Cuban punto are two key examples. Local forms of classical music were created in the nineteenth century in Cuban and Puerto Rico as formally trained composers began to infilitrate the area. The most prominent styles in this category are the Cuban contradaza and habon (a lighter and more rhythmic but also Cuban style). The best known forms of Caribbean music are

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