The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138380   Message #3246295
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
28-Oct-11 - 04:51 PM
Thread Name: ADD: Songs from Trinidad
Subject: RE: ADD: Songs from Trinidad
Since the music of Trinidadian Carnival is considered in this book, it is very briefly reviewed here, excerpted from the review by Katherine Borland in Jour. American Folklore, Fall, 2011, Vol. 124, No. 495, pp. 335-336.
G. L. Green and O. W. Scher, 2007, Trinidad Carnival: The Cultural Practice of a Transnational Festival, Univ. Indiana Press, 254 pp.

The book is a collection of essays on Trinidad festivals and festival arts. "Emphasizing the particularly forceful way in which local and global histories are intertwined in the Carubbean, the editors identify crisscrossing cultural influences operating between trinidad Carnival and the related festivals and activities that have emerged wherever large populations of Trinidadians have settled. The strength of the collection is its attention to patterns of outmigration and return, changes in the social identities of revelers, and questions of nationalism, heritage tourism, and commercialization.
These matters are discussed in the first six chapters. Skipping to chapters 7 to 9 which deal with the music, topics discussed are experimentation in the steel band repertoire, "a genre mythologized as the creative invention and expression of an industrial working class." The contribution of middle class composer and bandleader Ray Holman in promoting musical originality and re-imaging the "panman" as a complete musician.
In chapter eight, "Ray Funk and Donald Hill trace the meteoric rise and rapid fall of the calypso music fad in 1950s United States, due in large part to ..... Harry Belafonte."

"Despite a variety of marketing attempts, this most carnivalesque island music had limited appeal outside the West Indian context." Chapter nine (Robin Ballinger) "considers intellectual property legislation as it affects the circulation of Trinidadian music." ..... "Enforcement criminalizes producers and consumers operaing in the informal economy, who view carnival music as their collective property."

I wonder if this enforcement has caused the almost complete disapppearance of carnival music heard outside of the West Indies.