Music from behind the Bridge: Steelband Aesthetics and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago

Music from behind the Bridge: Steelband Aesthetics and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago

by Shannon Dudley
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0195175476

ISBN-13: 9780195175479

Pub. Date: 10/26/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA


A symbol of Trinidadian culture, the steelband has made an extraordinary transformation since its origins-from junk metal to steel orchestra, and from disparaged underclass pastime to Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument. Now, Shannon Dudley gives the first discerning look at the musical thinking that ignited this transformation, and the way it articulates

Overview


A symbol of Trinidadian culture, the steelband has made an extraordinary transformation since its origins-from junk metal to steel orchestra, and from disparaged underclass pastime to Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument. Now, Shannon Dudley gives the first discerning look at the musical thinking that ignited this transformation, and the way it articulates with Afro-Trinidadian tradition, carnival, colonial authority, and nationalist politics. Music from behind the Bridge tells the story of the steelband from the point of view of musicians who overcame disadvantages of poverty and prejudice with their extraordinary ambition. Literally referring to the poor neighborhoods nestled in the hills bordering Port of Spain to the East, "Behind the Bridge" is also a metaphor for conditions of social disadvantage and cultural resistance that shaped the steelband movement in the various Afro-Trinidadian communities where it first took root.

The book further explores the implications of the steelband's "nationalization" in post-independence Trinidad and Tobago, and contemporary steelband musicians' preoccupation with the formally adjudicated annual Panorama competition. In discussing the intersection of musical thinking, festivity, and politics, this book connects important questions about the history of the steelband to general questions about the relation between popular culture and nationalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195175479
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/26/2007
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents


Illustrations     xi
Introduction     3
The Steelband Movement and Music     29
An Unlikely Instrument     57
The National Instrument     81
Dropping the Bomb     113
A Showcase for Pan     137
The Rise of the Arranger     151
Community Participation     173
Contest and Control     201
Writing Their Own Tunes     223
From Panman to Pannist     243
Popular Culture and Nationalism     263
Steel Pan Instruments     275
Repertoire     287
Panorama Winners, 1963-2007     291
Bibliography     293
Discography     303
Index     305

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >