A Study of the Music of Selected Traditional Folk Dances of St. Lucia

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. TABLE OF CO TE TS

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ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................................... 3 ACK OWLEDGEME TS .............................................................................................. 4 CHAPTER 1 ...................................................................................................................... 5 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 5 Significance of the study.............................................................................................. 6 CHAPTER 2 ...................................................................................................................... 8 LITERATURE REVIEW ....................................................................................................... 8 CHAPTER 3 .................................................................................................................... 10 THE SHAPING OF ST. LUCIAS FOLK CULTURE ............................................................... 10 The folk music of Saint Lucia .................................................................................... 11 The Origin of St. Lucias Traditional folk Dances .................................................... 12 The Revival of St. Lucias Folk Music ...................................................................... 13 The St. Lucian Folk Band .......................................................................................... 15 The Folk Musicians ................................................................................................... 16 CHAPTER 4 .................................................................................................................... 18 METHODOLOGY.............................................................................................................. 18 Limitations................................................................................................................. 18 CHAPTER 5 .................................................................................................................... 20 A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TRADITIONAL FOLK DANCES OF ST. LUCIA ............................ 20 The La Konmet .......................................................................................................... 21 The Moulala .............................................................................................................. 21 The schottische .......................................................................................................... 22 The Weedova ............................................................................................................. 23 The Italian Polka ....................................................................................................... 23 The Kwibish ............................................................................................................... 24

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. CHAPTER 6 .................................................................................................................... 25 ANALYSIS OF THE MUSIC OF SELECTED TRADITIONAL DANCES..................................... 25 Lakonmt Pitj .......................................................................................................... 25 Lakonmt Mazouk ..................................................................................................... 26 The Schottish (Shoddish) ........................................................................................... 28 The Moulala .............................................................................................................. 29 The Weedova ............................................................................................................. 31 The Polka .................................................................................................................. 32 The Kwibish ............................................................................................................... 34 CHAPTER 7 .................................................................................................................... 36 CO CLUSIO ................................................................................................................ 36 RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................................................................................... 37 APPE DIX A .................................................................................................................. 38 EXCERPTS OF TRADITIONAL FOLK MUSIC ...................................................................... 38 APPE DIX B .................................................................................................................. 48 TRADITIONAL FOLK WEAR OF ST. LUCIA........................................................................ 48 GLOSSARY ..................................................................................................................... 49 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................................................... 50 I TER ET SOURCES .................................................................................................. 51 LIST OF RECORDI GS CO SULTED ..................................................................... 51

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Abstract

The traditional dances of St. Lucia are all adaptations of European dances, which have remained a part of the folk culture of the island from since the emancipation of slavery. At present, there is little interest among average St. Lucians in the traditional dances and folk music, despite efforts by various groups and folk activists to revive what was once a dying culture.

The selected dances lakonmt, moulala, schottische (shoddish), polka, weedova and kwibish are all partnered, ballroom-type dances and are usually accompanied by a folk or string band. The main instruments used in a folk band are the violin, banjo, chak chak, guitar and occasionally the tanbou. Those instruments are played by men who are over forty years of age and who generally possess no formal or theoretical training.

In the limited repertoire of dance music that is used, both European and African influences can be found. The simple harmonies, syncopated rhythms and short, repetitive melodic phrases are some of the features associated with the music. Each dance has its own characteristic rhythm, which is played by the two main instruments the banjo and the chak chak.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Acknowledgements

The writer would like to express sincere gratitude to George Fish Alphonse at the Department of Culture in St. Lucia and Kennedy Boots Samuel at the St. Lucia Folk Research Centre for their guidance and advice, which helped to clarify the focus of this research. In addition, the writer would like to acknowledge Minetta Plummer, the librarian at the St. Lucia School of Music, for her patience, and Satanand Sharma, a senior lecturer at the Department of Music, University of the West Indies, for his assistance with the Finale music notation software. To all the musicians, dancers and informants (Frank Norville, Theresa Hall, Augustin Charlie Julian, Joan Hyacinth), who willingly gave of their time, your valuable contribution towards the preservation and development of St. Lucias folk heritage, then and now, is greatly appreciated.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Chapter 1Introduction

Prior to about 1970, the folk dancing tradition of St. Lucia was popular mainly in the rural communities at special functions and kwadril evenings.1 With the assistance and perseverance of various groups and cultural activists there has been a revival in the tradition to a point where it is acknowledged on a national level. Performances of these traditional dances can now be seen at hotels and official government functions. Classes and workshops are occasionally held to train the younger members of society in an attempt to ensure the perpetuation of the art form.

This has resulted in an increased awareness of the dances among the public. However, there are many who are still unable to recognize even the more popular of the dances, like the Lakonmt Pitj.2 The folk dances and folk music are still viewed today as belonging to the older generation and according to Joan Hyacinth, a dance activist, it is only when students travel to universities they see the importance (of the folk dances).3 The folk bands still consist of mainly middle aged or elderly musicians who are underpaid for their services in comparison to other pop bands. The teaching of the folk instruments, the music, and the dances at schools, is generally non-existent and folk music is rarely played, even during cultural activities and celebrations.

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Jocelyne Guillibaut. Events in the Lives of the People of a Caribbean Island, St. Lucia. University of Michigan 1984. pg 92 Kwadril evenings were dance sessions at which the kwadril and other traditional dances were danced. Earl Agdoma Interview. 16th January 2006. Earl Agdoma is a founding member of the Helen Folk Dancers

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Joan Hyacinth Interview. 23rd December 2005. Joan Hyacinth is one of the early members of Les Danceurs Tradicionale de St. Licie

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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There are many who believe that the folk music on the whole is grossly neglected and only receives lip service from the relevant authorities.4 The American Country and Western music, on the other hand, has become increasingly popular, even among the youth, and dances are held almost every weekend throughout the country.

Significance of the study The writer, being a folk enthusiast, has always held the view that the popularity of the folk dances would increase and the music would be better appreciated if new music was discovered and created. The limited repertoire of music, which is currently used for folk dancing, has remained the same for many years and one would naturally get tired of hearing the same songs and the same recordings being played. In some instances, there is only one known song for certain dances an example of this being the kwibish.

Although there have been many attempts by local musicians to fuse folk rhythms with their compositions and arrangements, very little has been done in the way of composing new material in the styles of the various traditional dances. One of St. Lucias renowned Jazz musicians, Ronald Boo Hinkson, admitted to using some stylistic features of the dances only in a subtle manner in his strumming patterns.5 The lakonmt seems to be the only dance, which has received attention from composers, leading the writer to the belief that local musicians are generally unfamiliar with the other dances.

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Earl Agdoma Interview. 16th January 2006 Ronald Boo Hinkson Interview. 23rd December 2005.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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It is hoped that this research will be of value, particularly to music educators and local musicians, in stimulating the exploration and development of St. Lucias traditional dance music.

There are about nine known traditional dances of St. Lucia. Six of them will be discussed in the subsequent chapters: lakonmt, moulala, schottische, weedova, polka and kwibish. These dances were selected because the music to which they are danced each has its own unique style and musical features. Other traditional dances, like the gwan won and orwegian, are not associated with any particular style of music and can be danced using any type of up-tempo music. Therefore, they were not selected. The kwadril, which is another popular folk dance, is complex and contains four figures or sections. In order to analyse this dance it would be necessary for both the writer and the reader to understand the intricacies of the dance patterns. For this reason, it was omitted. There are a number of other dances commonly referred to as ethnic dances, which are also part of St. Lucias folk culture. These include Solo, Belair Kont, Kutumba, Dbot and Piquant. These dances are accompanied by mainly drums and lack the form and instrumentation of the traditional European dances. Hence, they were also omitted.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Chapter 2Literature Review

There is currently some research by Jocelyne Guilbault on several aspects of St. Lucias musical folk traditions.6 The thesis contains a detailed analysis of the kwadril and some general characteristics of the lakonmt Pitj. These two dances are categorized in her research as musical styles of St. Lucia, along with other styles, such as omans. manpa and the March. Some ethnic songs and dances, including dbt, yonbt, solo song, jw pt and chant kont are also discussed.

The thesis also explores many other facets of St. Lucias folk culture, such as the La Rose and La Maguerite seyances, the folk instruments and musicians, and the various categories of St. Lucian folk music.

Jocelyne Guilbaults research has served as a main source of reference for another related thesis by Anne Marie Small-Biroo, a graduate of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. In her undergraduate thesis7, Biroo (2004) examines the work of Charles Cadet a prominent St. Lucian composer who has been credited for his contribution towards the development of folk

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Jocelyne Guilbault. Events in the Lives of the People of a Caribbean Island, St. Lucia. University of Michigan, 1984.

Anne Marie Small-Biroo. Biography of Charles Cadet and his Contribution to the Music of St. Lucia. University of the West Indies, 2004

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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music in St. Lucia. In Biroos thesis, references to the lakonmt Pitj and other musical styles outlined by Guilbault are also made.

A publication by one of St. Lucias folk musicians and folk activists, Frank Norville, contains valuable research on the folk dances of St. Lucia.8 In this document, Frank Norville makes a distinction between St. Lucias traditional and ethnic dances a distinction that is also adhered to in this thesis.

Previous research has also been done on St. Lucias traditional wear in the form of a handbook compiled by the Helen Folk Dancers of St. Lucia.9 In this unpublished book, the two main traditional dresses the wb dwiyt and the jip, are described.

In the following pages, the writer of this thesis also draws several references from previous research of individuals mentioned in this chapter. The work of Jocelyn Guilbault, in particular, was very useful and served as a foundation for this thesis.

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Frank Norville. Folk Dances of St. Lucia Traditional and Ethnic: The Voice Press. Helen Folk Dancers. Perpetuation of Culture for the Future

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Chapter 3The Shaping of St. Lucias Folk Culture

Each islands cultural traditions are shaped not only by the traditions of the original island peoples (the Indians and the African tribes from which the slaves were taken), but also by the nationalities of the colonizers and the length of the colonizing period. 10

St. Lucia has a unique history of being one of the most sought after islands of the Caribbean. Several battles were fought between colonies to gain ownership of the island. From as early as 1642, the French West Indies Company established a colony on the island and eventually took over the Caribs in 1660.11 From then on it became a regular see-saw between the British and French.12 It is said that St. Lucia changed hands for the 14th and final time in 1814 when it was ceded to Britain by the treaty of Paris.

During the 150-year period of French ownership (1600 1750), St. Lucia began to form a distinctive culture and the patois language, also known today as kwyol, developed.13

Olive Lewin. Banana Boat Song Forever? Come Make Me Hol Yuh Han: The impact of Tourism on Traditional Music. (Jamaica: Jamaica Memory Bank 1986) pg1911

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John H. Pilgrim, Snippets of St. Lucias History. (Castries: The Standard. 1975) pg 1 Ibid pg 2 Education

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Collin Brock, Caribbean Communities: A Social studies series for secondary schools. (Mac Millan Ltd. 1976) pg 29

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Like other Caribbean islands, Africans who were brought to St. Lucia during the slavery period also brought with them their way of life. Despite attempts by the European slave masters to preclude the cultural expressions of the slaves and to promote their own culture, the slaves still persisted, maintaining a strong tradition of music and dance. It was only after the abolition of slavery, however, that the folk tradition was allowed to unfold openly and become part of a common heritage.14

The folk music of Saint Lucia Saint Lucias folk music has been categorized into four main groups:15 1. Songs, which are sung at the countrys two unique flower festivals La Rose, celebrated on 30th August and La Maguerite, celebrated on 17th October. Those songs, usually sung by a chantwel (leader) and choir, are of various styles and bear the stamp of AfroAmerican music.16

2. Jw Songs. These are mainly recreational or work songs but also include love songs and some of the ethnic dances.

3. The music of the traditional folk dances played during kwadril evenings.

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John H. Pilgrim, Snippets of St. Lucias History. (Castries: The Standard. 1975) pg 25

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Jocelyne Guilbaut, Events in the Lives of the People of a Caribbean Island, St. Lucia. (University of Michigan 1984) pg 92 John H. Pilgrim, Snippets of St. Lucias History. (Castries: The Standard. 1975) pg 27

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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4. Wake celebrations. These include songs and dances, which are done during a wake, such as hymns, the kutumba dance, and an extemporized folk form referred to as konte.

The Origin of St. Lucias Traditional folk Dances The term folk dance is used to describe a wide variety of dances, which share similar characteristics. Folk dances were originally done somewhere around the 19th century and they are considered an inherited tradition.17 There was little innovation in the dances and common people danced them. Those dances are not owned by any governing body, neither have they been copyrighted. In many cases their origin cannot be discovered.18

European folk dances were egalitarian events and public affairs 19 and most of the dances were graceful in nature. Some were partnered dances, while others were danced in groups, usually in a square or circle. In much the same way that the Africans carried their traditions with them to the West Indies, so did the slave owners and European elite. The European dances were introduced into the new world by the elite, who made frequent trips to Europe, and also by their children who studied there.20

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Folk dance. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 15 Dec 2005, 08:53 UTC. 18 Dec 2005, 21:03 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=31446813 Theresa Buckland Traditional Dance in Dance History: an Introduction. 2nd ed. Ed Janet Adshead-Lansdale and June Layson. USA and Canada: Routledge 1994 pg 4519 18

Social Dances. http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/reah/html/ah_022802_iisocialdanc.htm Royce, Amy Peterson. The Anthropology of Dance (UK: Dance Books Ltd. 2002) pg 119

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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What is danced in St. Lucia nowadays is an adaptation of those European ballroom or court dances. These include the lakonmt, weedova, schottische, moulala, polka, gwan won, faci, orwegian, kwibish and the kwadril. During the post emancipation period, those dances were kept alive mainly in the rural areas of the island. The musicians used instruments that were popular among the slaves, such as the fiddle or violin, the banjo, the zoe (bones) and chak chak. At those kwadril dances, patrons were usually required to pay to dance the kwadril, which would be announced intermittently.21 This dance, which was the main attraction, required a certain level of competence and only the more erudite members of the community danced it. The other dances were free, for the enjoyment of everyone.

The Revival of St. Lucias Folk Music

There is little doubt that during the 1970s, trailing on the heels of political independence, there was a rising tide of nationalism in the Caribbean. This in turn stimulated a desire by Caribbean peoples to unearth and learn about their own history and culture. 22

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Augustin Charlie Julian Interview. November 5th 2005

Olive Lewin. Banana Boat Song Forever? Come Make Me Hol Yuh Han: The impact of Tourism on Traditional Music. (Jamaica: Jamaica Memory Bank 1986) pg3

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Around 1970, several attempts were made by various groups and cultural activists to revive a folk culture, which enjoyed prominence only in the rural areas of St. Lucia. In 1969, a group called the Helenites led by Clement Springer cut the first folk record. In 1970, another group called the Hewanorra Voices made a record called Authentic songs of Saint Lucia23 containing a compilation of nine of the more popular St. Lucian folk songs.

Interest in the folk culture of St. Lucia was stimulated greatly by the performance in 1972 of Roderick Walcotts play Banjo Man.24 The theme of the play was centred on the islands two festivals La Rose and La Maguerite, and featured several folk songs composed by Charles Cadet, one of St. Lucias more prominent composers. The performance of Banjo Man that year at a Caribbean festival called Carifesta was reportedly successful and the popularity of the songs spread throughout St. Lucia.

During that same period of time (1970) about thirty teachers embarked on a project to learn about the traditional folk dances at a time when the dances (and the music) were relegated only to the old country folks. At that time, many (of the dancers) had forgotten the steps and some used to quarrel when dancing the figures.25 Many times, a fight would erupt as a result.

Several groups emerged as a result of this project, some of which were directly responsible for increasing the popularity of the dances. The main groups are The Helen Folk Dancers, Les23

Collin Brock, Caribbean Communities: A Social Studies series for secondary schools. (Mac Millan Education Ltd. 1976) pg 6224

Ibid pg 62 Theresa Hall interview. November 4th 2005. The figures refer to the kwadril dance.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Danseurs Tradicionale de St. Licie, and The Island Creole Dancers which are all currently still functional, and Frank Norville and the Lucians which is no longer active.

Folk dancing was later introduced to the schools in the form of an annual folk dancing competition. Rivalry between the organizing folk groups and the lack of support from government ministries26, among other factors, later led to the dissolution of the festival. By then, St. Lucias folk music and folk dances were being exposed to the national community as well as overseas.

The St. Lucian Folk Band A typical St. Lucian folk band consists of a violin, guitar, banjo, chak chak and/or mandolin.27 Those are the core instruments used, however, it is not uncommon to see a gwaj (scratcher/guiro), zoe (two bones), or African drums, which are referred to locally as tanbou.

The violin normally plays the melody and provides introductions and improvisatory passages. In some cases other lead instruments, depending on the composition of the band, provide the melody. These instruments include the flute and the accordion. The guitar functions as a bass guitar and provides bass lines while the banjo plays chords and provides strumming patterns which coincide with the various dance steps. It is sometimes plucked and used as a lead instrument.

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Joan Hyacinth Interview December 23rd 2005 Frank Norville, Folk Dances of St. Lucia: Traditional and Ethnic

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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A local chak chak is made with a cylindrical metal container in which pebbles, beads or seeds are placed. The container is perforated in order to amplify the sound. The chak chak and banjo are the main instruments of the band and provide the pulse and rhythms, which the dancers rely on.28 The chak chak in particular maintains the tempo and adds life to the performance.

The Folk Musicians The majority of folk musicians are over forty years of age. These musicians learn to play by ear, by listening to and looking at other players. There is no formal instruction between the players and the learners, except in very rare cases.29 They generally have a very limited knowledge of harmony and they are only familiar with a few major chords. Only a few major keys are used and some musicians dont always know the names of the chords that they play. They have their own language30 and terminology. It is not unusual, therefore, for the lead instrument to play four or eight bars of the melody, unaccompanied, to allow sufficient time for the other musicians to find the key. This unaccompanied section is known today as the introduction.31 With their good ear for music, most musicians will join in comfortably. On occasion, however, particularly when attempting to play an unfamiliar piece, musicians have been known to simultaneously begin playing in different keys for a few measures before finding the right key. This scenario

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Augustin Charlie Julian Interview November 5th 2005

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Jocelyn Guilbaut, Events in the Lives of the people of a Caribbean Island, St. Lucia. (University of Michigan 1984) pg 7 Joan hyacinth Interview December 23rd 2005 Frank Norville Interview November 2nd 2005

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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also occurs in cases where individual band members are familiar with the same song but in different keys.32

Very few (folk) musicians play minor33 and use minor chords. Traditionally, the musicians concept of minor was any up-tempo and aggressive piece of music. This notion emanated from the 1940 1950 period when meringue was the popular music of the day. Many meringue songs were up-tempo and in a minor tonality.34

Folk musicians, even today, are still rejected socially in most islands because of his lowerclass background and limited education35

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Ibid Ibid Ibid

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Janie Millington Robertson, Traditional Music: Its Place in Caribbean tourism Come Mek Me Hol Yuh Han: The Impact of Tourism on Traditional Music. (Jamaica Memory Bank 1986) pg 31

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Chapter 4 Methodology

The collection of data for this thesis was achieved mainly through the analysis of audio recordings of the various dances and personal interviews with folk musicians and dancers. In an attempt to capture the authenticity of the folk sound, only examples of live recordings on compact disc and audiocassettes were used. For each of the dances comparisons were made, where there was more than one example available, and an analysis of the piece of music was done. The general form of each piece as well as the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and textural components was individually examined. The analysis was mainly of a descriptive nature with some synthesis where possible.

Examples of the various dances, where available, were recorded off the Internet using a digital audio player in an attempt to establish any similarities in the music of the original European dances and St. Lucian traditional folk dances. All musical examples had to be transcribed since no scores were available. A thorough knowledge of the dance steps was also necessary and folk dancers were asked to demonstrate the various dances.

Limitations Some of the views presented in this thesis are not necessarily unanimous among all folk musicians and dancers in St. Lucia since the research was based mainly in the Castries region.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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The writer, being a full time student in Trinidad and Tobago and faced with logistic and time constraints, was unable to locate and interview individuals from the southern, rural areas of the island at a time that was convenient for both parties.

Since very little documentation exists on the development of St. Lucian folk music and dance, there was no way of determining the accuracy of some of the information received from the respondents.

There were only one or two available examples of some of the dances, leaving little or no room for comparison. It was also difficult to accurately transcribe some of the music since the musicians had a tendency to be inconsistent in their playing. It was not always clear whether they were improvising or making errors, particularly where the chak chak was concerned.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Chapter 5

A Closer Look at the Traditional Folk Dances of St. Lucia

In order to fully appreciate the music of the dances, it is necessary to have a general idea of how they are danced. It must be noted that the traditional dresses of St. Lucia, reminiscent of the elegant European costumes, are still worn by the women at performances. Those dresses include the Jip and the Wb Dwiyt. The Jip is a three-piece outfit consisting of a white blouse, an outer skirt made of madras material, a headpiece and a brightly coloured triangular cloth (foulard) pinned to the shoulder. The Dwiyt is a long dress with a long back trail. The trail is usually thrown over the left hand to reveal the long, satin petticoat. A headpiece is also worn.36 The gentlemen usually wear a long sleeved shirt and/or jacket and pants, often with a waistband.

In this chapter, the following dances will be briefly discussed and illustrated: lakonmt, moulala, schottische, weedova, polka and kwibish.

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Helen Folk Dancers. Perpetuation of Culture for the Future. Pg 1

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. The Lakonmt

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The lakonmt is believed to be indigenous to St. Lucia and was derived from the French Minuet. The minuet was a complex dance with many rules and though it was often ridiculed, it attained the greatest popularity and degree of importance over all the other dance forms. 37

There are three types of lakonmt dances in St. Lucia: lakonmt Pitj (or pique), lakonmt woul and lakonmt mazouk. They are all in time with similar musical characteristics. The lakonmt Pitj is of a moderate tempo and is danced to six beats in every bar instead of three. The couple steps from side to side alternately for the first five beats and on the sixth beat one leg is raised slightly off the floor. The raising of the leg is called a Pitj. The routine is repeated, this time starting on the other leg and the couple moves freely about the floor in different directions. The lakonmt woule is similar to the lakonmt Pitj in movement and music, except there is no Pitj. It is danced in a continuous side-to-side movement. The lakonmt mazouk is usually livelier and faster than the lakonmt Pitj and the basic steps remain the same. The main difference is that a Pitj is done on the third and sixth beat and then again on the sixth beat. The pattern would then be, one two pitj - one two pitj- one two three four five pitj.

The Moulala The moulala is in 4/4 time and of a moderate tempo. It is believed that there are two types of moulala: moulala yonn de and moulala yonn de twa or twa fasad,38 the latter of which is not very

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Louis Horst, Pre-Classic Dance Forms. (New Jersey: Princeton Book Company 1987) pg 62 Joan Hyacinth Interview. December 23rd 2005. The dances literally mean moulala one two and

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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popular and danced only in a few parts of the island. While no European equivalent was found to this dance, it bears similarities in footwork to the weedova. In this moulala dance, the gentleman extends his left leg to the side, touching the floor with his heel. He then brings the leg back in, touching the floor with his toe. This heel and toe movement is done three times; he shuffles to change legs and repeats the pattern starting with the right leg. The pattern would then be as follows: heel toe - heel toe -heel toe - step step step - heel toe heel toe heel toe - step step step, and so on. His partner mirrors his movements, as in all the dances.

The schottische The schottische is also in 4/4 time with a moderate tempo. It is a partnered country dance, Bohemian in origin39, and has many similarities to the original dance. The couple steps twice to the left side, twice to the right, and then does a waltz-like movement for two bars. The leaders footwork would be: left right left hop on left, right left right hop on right, step on left hop on left, step on right hop on right, step on left hop on left, step on right hop on right.40 The hop, as it is done in St. Lucia is a slight movement, which entails the lifting of the heel off the floor.

moulala one two three. Joan Hyacinth explained that she has only seen the moulala yonn de danced in Morne Repos, a southern community in St. Lucia.39

Schottische. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 28th Oct 2005, 09: 06 UTC. 18 Dec 2005, 20: 43 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Schottische&oldid=2669240140

Ibid

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. The Weedova

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There is currently no research that links the weedova to any particular European dance, except for a dance with a similar name called the Redowa, which (like the weedova) is a lively waltz in time.41 There is no evidence, however, to suggest that the Redowa was the precursor for the weedova, since there are no similarities in the steps. In the weedova, the first three beats are danced to a waltz pattern followed by a heel and toe step (left right left heel toe, right left right heel toe). The Redowa is described as being one long reaching step, which can be danced on either the first or second beat of each bar, followed by two short steps.42

The Italian Polka The polka is defined as a vivacious couple dance of Bohemian origin in duple timeit was originally a Czech peasant dance, developed in Eastern Bohemia.43 It is one of the few dances to have survived. There are many different types of polkas. The one danced in St. Lucia is said to be the Italian Polka44 and it resembles a hopping motion: left right left, right left right, and so on.

Redowa. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redowa. A basic redowa step contains one long reaching step and two small leap-steps.42 43

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Ibid Polka http://www.centralhome.com/ballroomcountry/polka.htm Frank Norville, Folk Dances of St. Lucia: Traditional and Ethnic (Castries: Voice Press 19)

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. The Kwibish

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The kwibish is reminiscent of animal imitation dances done mainly by the blacks during the slavery period such as the Buzzard Lope, Turkey Trot, Snake Hip and Pigeon Wing.45 Patterned after the crayfish in the river, this unique dance has two main sections. In the first section, the man faces his partner without holding and steps forward on the 1st and 3rd beats of the first two bars. He then steps back with the same timing for the next two bars. This whole pattern is repeated. His partner mirrors his movements throughout this section. In the next section they hold each other, dancing freely with a side-to-side movement to a lively change in the music.

45

Amy Peterson Royce, The Anthropology of Dance (UK: Dance Books Ltd 2002) pg 115

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Chapter 6

Analysis of the Music of Selected Traditional Dances

In this chapter, the musical features of the various dances will be described and analysed and the identifying characteristics of each dance will be discussed.

Lakonmt Pitj Although the lakonmt Pitj is in triple meter, the short, two-bar melodic phrases, which are characteristic of this dance, create a feeling of a six beat pattern. In most lakonmt music, there is a recurring section or refrain, which is contrasted, with one or two different sections, as in the rondo form of composition. Each section is eight bars in length. The melodies are heavily syncopated and contain many triadic or arpeggiated intervals (Ex. 6-1a). Only major chords I, IV and V are used with occasional dominant 7th chords. The banjo provides the main lakonmt rhythm in this example (Ex. 6-1a), which is reinforced by the continuous pattern of the chak chak:

The guitar generally follows the rhythm of the banjo or chak chak and plays a melodic and active bass pattern, moving unpredictably between 3rds, 5ths and octaves. The rhythms of the chak chak and banjo, in particular, clearly reflect the influences of the African culture on the music.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Lakonmt Mazouk The form and musical features of the lakonmt mazouk are similar to the lakonmt Pitj. The main difference, however, is the feel of three beats in every bar as compared to six. This is achieved by the rhythm of the chak chak and the even, simple, triadic bass pattern (Ex. 6-1b). Most mazouks are more up tempo than the lakonmt Pitj and tend to accentuate the first two beats of the last bar at the end of each section, which is another identifiable trait of the lakonmt mazouk. This pattern is also found in the menuet form from which the lakonmt dance is said to have originated. (Ex.6-2). While there appears to be similarities in form between the two, the melody of the menuet is less syncopated and there are extended and minor chords which are not found in the lakonmt.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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The lyrics in Ex. 6-1b can be translated to mean: Aunties Po, please talk to Edward for me. Warn him. The next time I will throw hot water on him. Many songs in the style of the lakonmt talk about love and relationships.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. The Schottish (Shoddish)

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Schottische music has a march-like rhythm, which differentiates it from the other dances. This rhythm, sometimes with slight variation, is played by the chak chak, banjo and tanbou (Ex. 3). There is a general feeling of inactivity on the last beat of every bar:

The schottische has two contrasting sections: AB or verse and chorus. Each section is eight bars in length and a harmonic contrast is achieved by beginning the second section with the subdominant IV chord. The melodies are generally less syncopated with longer note durations and are reminiscent of church hymns. The bass pattern played by the guitar can either be a simple country/western type rhythm or a pattern based on the chak chak rhythm.

Example 6-3a. Schottische. Anon

The St. Lucian version of the schottische has similar form and harmonic structure as the European schottische (Ex. 6-3b). They are both in binary form and have similar chord 28

A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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progression. The military feel of the local adaptation, however, and its hymn-like melodies are quite different from the quick, European version.

Example 6-3b. Blacksmiths no.1 Schottische Couple Dance.

The Moulala The moulala is of a moderate tempo and is in 4/4 time. There is usually just one refrain, which is repeated throughout, sometimes with variation or improvisation, particularly in the instrumental pieces. In the songs, the verse and chorus are either the same or share the same chord progression. Two different moulala rhythms were identified. In the first one, the melodic phrasing, along with the chak chak, creates an ongoing five-beat pattern followed by little activity:

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. In the second rhythm, a seven beat pattern is felt with a rest on the eighth beat:

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No one seems to know the origin of the moulala and no equivalent was found. It is believed that the dance is indigenous to St. Lucia. While there may be similarities between the dance steps of the moulala and the heel and toe polka, the moulala is unique in its form and rhythmic characteristics compared to the other dances. It seems to be predominantly of African influence, with evidence of the European influences being found in mainly the dance steps and certain aspects of the melody.

Example 6-4. Moulala. Anon.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. The Weedova

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The music of the weedova is quite similar to an ordinary up-tempo waltz with a clear accent on the first beat. The distinguishing feature, however, is the accentuation of the first four beats of the last two bars in each section (Ex 6-5):

All the accompanying instruments simultaneously do this most of the time. The melodies are active, with mainly step-wise and triadic movements. The music is either in rondo form, where each section is repeated, or it contains improvised melodies, all based on the same chord progression.

Example 6-5. Weedova. Anon.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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The rhythmic patterns of the banjo and chak chak vary slightly from tune to tune but they are usually steady. The bass pattern played by the guitar is almost as active as the melody, using a walking bass style at the cadences.

The Polka The polka, also known by local musicians as the ordinary46 polka, is in 2/4 time and also in rondo form. Each section is eight bars in length and only the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords are used. The polka tunes tend to have similar harmonic qualities or use the same chord progressions: I V V I I IV V I. The melodies are simple and the melodic rhythms are mainly composed of quaver and semi-quaver patterns with lots of repetition and melodic sequences. The guitar plays, what is locally referred to as, a melody or an open chord47 bass. This describes a mixture of brief melodic patterns with bass runs played extemporaneously throughout the song. Both the chak chak and the banjo play the main polka rhythm:

A variation of the above rhythm can be seen in the banjo and chak chak parts in Ex.6-6a. Another unique feature of the polka is the rhythm, which is simultaneously played by the accompanying instruments at the end of every section:

46

Augustin Julian Interview 10th January 2006 Ibid

47

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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The Italian Polka (Ex. 6-6b) is also in 2/4 time but the dominant rhythmic pattern is different from the ordinary polka:

Example 6-6a. Ordinary Polka. Anon.

This rhythm is played by all the instruments except the guitar and is heard frequently as a response to every preceding phrase. This pattern of call and response occurs throughout the song.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-6b. Italian Polka. Anon

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The Kwibish The kwibish is in 2/4 or 4/4 time and has two main contrasting sections. The first is a noncontinuous 16-bar (8 bars in 4/4 time) section in which the first and third beats in every bar are emphasized. Not only is this achieved through the rhythms played by the chak chak and banjo, but also through the short, melodic fragments of that section (Ex. 6-7). The second section is a lively one, characterised by a repetitive motif played over a tonic dominant chord progression. The duration of that section varies within the song, which implies that the length of that section depends on the musicians. An impending change back to the first section is signalled by the following rhythm:

The guitars melodic bass pattern is again noticeable and tends to harmonize with the melody particularly in the second section.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-7. Kwibish. Anon.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Chapter 7 Conclusion

The music of St. Lucias traditional dances can be characterized by the simplicity of its harmonic structure, the syncopated and extemporaneous rhythms of the accompanying instruments, and the short, triadic phrases with step-wise (conjunct) motion which constitute the melodies. The melodic and often erratic bass lines are present in most of the dances and appear to be a subtle adaptation of the classical and sophisticated nature of some of the original dances. While the music has maintained much of its original form and melodic structure, the African influence is evident in the syncopated rhythms and melodies and the call and response nature of the songs.

Although several rhythmic variations can be heard in the same piece of music, each dance has one or two rhythmic features, which clearly distinguish one from the next. The chak chak and banjo are mainly responsible for establishing the style of the music and they are therefore the most important instruments of the folk band.

There are no modulations of any kind and the use of minor tonalities is virtually non-existent. The harmonies are limited only to the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords. Dominant seventh chords are sometimes suggested in the melody or the bass line but are rarely played by the banjo.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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The absence of minor chords, dominant sevenths and extended dominants may be typical of many folk songs, but this phenomenon can also be attributed, in this case, to the limitations of the local folk musicians. This is exemplified in their limited ability to improvise and develop melodic themes in order to avoid excessive repetition and monotony.

Recommendations It is hoped that the following recommendations will prove useful in stimulating further research into the folk music of St. Lucia and will also renew efforts to revive a dwindling culture: 1. In order to better understand and appreciate St. Lucias folk music, a study of the folk musicians should be done their history, rehearsal methods, terminology, and their musical strengths and weaknesses.

2. There is a dire need for the proper documentation of St. Lucias folk music transcriptions, recordings and the classification of music into the various styles. There is a strong possibility that the repertoire of folk music that exists is much wider than what is currently being used. In the process of carrying out this research, the writer came across two popular La Woz songs in the style of the schottische and lakonmt mazouk, which are not part of the current folk dance repertoire.

3.

A more contemporary approach to the folk music should be taken in order to appeal to a wider cross section of the public. This includes new compositions and arrangements in the various styles as well as the re-harmonization of old material.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Appendix AExcerpts of Traditional Folk Music

The following are transcribed excerpts of the music that has been analyzed in this thesis. It illustrates only a section of the melody, the bass patterns played by the guitar, and the characteristic rhythm of the music played by the chak chak and banjo.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-1a. Lakonmt Pitj (continued)

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-1b. Lakonmt Mazouk (continued)

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-4. Moulala (continued)

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Example 6-3a. Schottische. Anon.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-3a. Schottische (continued)

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-4. Weedova (continued)

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine. Example 6-7. Kwibish (continued)

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Appendix B

Traditional Folk wear of St. Lucia

From left to right: The Wob Dwiyet, a male outfit, and the Jip.

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Glossary

Chak Chak

A cylindrical metal can containing beads or seeds; a type Maracas.

Chantwl

A female lead singer

Foulard

A triangular, brightly-coloured cloth worn with the jip

Gwaj

A scratcher or guiro made of metal

Jip

One of the less formal, traditional dresses of St. Lucia

Jw Songs

Play songs

Kwadril

A four-figured, square dance of European origin

Pitj

The raising of the foot off the ground during the lakonmt Dance

Tanbou

An African drum

Wb Dwiyet

One of St. Lucias more formal traditional folk dresses

Zoe

Bones

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A Study of the music of selected traditional folk dances of St. Lucia by Jason C. Joseph (2006). UWI, St. Augustine.

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Bibliography

Boynick, Matt. The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music. Ed. Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1996. Brock, Colin. Caribbean Communities: A Social Studies Series for Secondary Schools. Mac Millan Education Ltd, 1975. de Stwolinski, Gail. Form and Content in Instrumental Music. University of Oklahoma. Iowa: WM.C.Brown Company, 1977. Guilbaut, Jocelyn. Events in the Lives of the People of a Caribbean Island, St. Lucia: A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of philosophy (Music Musicology) in the University of Michigan.1984. International Colloquium on Traditional Music and Tourism. Come Mek Me Hol Yu Han: The Impact of Tourism on Traditional Music. Papers presented at ICTIM colloquium in Jamaica. Kingston and Newcastle: Jamaica Memory Bank, 1986. Jesse Rev. C. F.M.I. Outlines of St. Lucias History. Castries: The Voice Publishing Company (1953) limited, 1964 Norville, Frank. Folk Dances of St. Lucia: Traditional and Ethnic. Castries: Voice press. Pilgrim, John H. Snippets of St. Lucias History. St. Lucia: The Standard, 1975. Scholes, Percy A. The Oxford Companion to Music. 10th ed. Ed. John Owen Ward. New York Toronto: London Oxford University Press, 1970. iroo, Anne Marie. Biography of Charles Cadet and his Contributions to the Music of St. Lucia. Caribbean Studies Project. Department of Musical Arts. University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, 2004. Todd, Larry R. The Musical Art: An Introduction to Western Music. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1990. White, John D. The Analysis of Music. 2nd Ed. London: The Scarecrow Press Inc, 1984.

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Internet SourcesCouple Dances. http://sca.uwaterloo.ca/cotsdca/CoupleDances.html. Folk dance. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 15 Dec 2005, 08:53 UTC. 18Dec 2005, 21:03 How to Dance a Minuet. The Colonial Music Institute: Bringing History of Life Through Music. http://www.colonialmusic.org/Resource/howtoMIN.htm. Sep.18, 2001. Mazurka. Wikipedia, The Free encyclopedia. 12 Dec 2005, 18:57 UTC. 18 Dec 2005,20:46 Music of Saint Lucia. Wikipedia: the free encyclopaedia. http://www.answers.com/topic/music_of_saint_lucia. Musical Forms Minuet. Classical Music Pages berlin.mpg.de/cmp/g_minuet.html. Polka. http://www.freewheelers.org/1DancingFool/Polka.htm Schottische. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 28 Oct 2005, 09:06 UTC. 18Dec2005,20:43

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