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By Peter Manuel

The contradance and the quadrille, of their various types, have been the most well-liked and demanding genres of creole Caribbean tune and dance within the 19th century. during the sector, they have been websites of interplay for musicians and musical components of alternative racial, social, and ethnic origins, and so they turned crucibles for the evolution of genres just like the Cuban danzon and son, the Dominican merengue, and the Haitian mereng. Creolizing Contradance within the Caribbean, the 1st ebook to discover this phenomenon intimately and with a pan-regional point of view, comprises chapters at the Spanish-, French-, and English-speaking Caribbean. each one covers the musical and choreographic positive factors, social dynamics, historic improvement, and importance of the genres and discusses them in terms of the wider Caribbean old context.

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Extra resources for Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean (Studies In Latin America & Car)

Sample text

Quadrille ensembles in Dominica (the latter called “jing-ping” bands) are similar, with the accordion accompanied by tambourine, bamboo scraper (syak, gwaj), maracas (cha-chas), triangle, and perhaps a “boom-boom” bamboo tube blown more or less as a percussion instrument. The traditional Bahamanian “rake ’n’ scrape” ensemble features an accordion, a goombay drum, and a saw, with other instruments, such as guitar, banjo, or shak-shak (shakers), added if available. Jamaican quadrille groups might include fiddle, clarinet, flute, concertina, and various percussion instruments, such as tambourine, triangle, and scraped jawbone of a horse.

Repetition and extension patterns, not surprisingly, may vary, as in the loose and variable schemes found in St. Lucia quadrilles (see Guilbault 1985: 55). Forms of rhythmic creolization tend to differ; the rhythmic icons of Spanish Caribbean and Haitian contradance variants—the cinquillo, amphibrach, and habanera rhythms—are not typical of French or English Caribbean quadrilles. These latter, rather, tend to have their own characteristic syncopations, which may even suggest three-against-two polyrhythms in the case of quadrilles in 6/8 meter (Miller 2005: 415).

Most aspects of the dissemination and evolution of the contradance and quadrille throughout the region are discussed in the individual chapters in this volume; the following paragraphs attempt a very cursory overview of the peregrinations of the contradance and quadrille in the region. Uncertainty regarding the spread of the contradance commences from the very first stages of its introduction to the Caribbean in the early or mid-1700s. By that time the contradance, in longways style and other forms, was well established not only in its cradle of England and its strongholds of Holland and France but also in Spain.

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