Calypso Music and Culture Analytical Essay by Peter Pen

Calypso Music and Culture
This paper discusses the evolution of calypso music and looks at how this low class music became a worldwide phenomenon.
# 115784 | 3,011 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2009
Published on Aug 11, 2009 in Anthropology (Cultural) , Ethnic Studies (Africa) , Sociology (General) , Music Studies (General)

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In this article, the writer examines the roots and origins of calypso music. The writer maintains that calypso, as a musical form, arose as a response to various societal injustices faced by a people who fought to be heard. The writer identifies how this form of music served as a ride to freedom, and as a mechanism for unifying class and race, paying particular attention to Trinidad, the birthplace of calypso, and later soca. The writer concludes that calypso music and soca have proven to be invaluable mechanisms that not only lifted a broken people out of dark times, but also served as a tool to ease tension and brutality between races and social class.

From the Paper:

"Several European ideologies and traditions remained on the islands, and as black people were finally able to freely express themselves, they set to work on creating some of the richest culture the world has to offer. On the island of Trinidad, a cultural and musical revolution was on the horizon.
"European musical traditions have developed as a classical means to critique and interpret music. Calypso finds its roots in West African musical traditions, traditions that man scholars argue fall on the other end of the classical European musical spectrum. Therefore to appreciate and understand calypso and soca music is to interpret the musical form with framework of knowledge that falls outside of European conventions. With the creation of calypso music comes a colorful story of spirit, resistance and finally emancipation, told through thunderous drumming and a penetrative rhythm. The birthplace of calypso is undoubtedly Trinidad, dating as far back as the year 1838; the year slavery was abolished among the African population of the island."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brown, Ernest D., "Carnival, Calypso, and Steelband in Trinidad." The Black Perspective in Music 18.1/2 (1990): 81-100.
  • Dudley, Shannon, "Judging 'by the beat': Calypso versus soca." Ethnomusicology: Journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology 40.2 (1996): 269-298.
  • Leu, Lorraine, " 'Raise yu hand, jump up and get on bad!': New Developments in Soca music in Trinidad." Latin American Music Review 21.1 (2000): 45-58.
  • Rohlehr, Gordron, " 'We Getting the Kasio That We Deserve': Calypso and the World Music Market." TDR 42.3 (1998): 82-95.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Calypso Music and Culture (2009, August 11) Retrieved August 19, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Calypso Music and Culture" 11 August 2009. Web. 19 August. 2019. <>