Style of music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Calypso is a style of Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to the mid-19th century and spread to the rest of the Caribbean Antilles by the mid-20th century. Its rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso and the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 18th century.
|Cultural origins||Early 19th century, Trinidad and Tobago|
It is characterized by highly rhythmic and harmonic vocals, and was historically most often sung in a French creole and led by a griot. As calypso developed, the role of the griot became known as a chantuelle and eventually, calypsonian. As English replaced "patois" (Antillean creole) as the dominant language, calypso migrated into English, and in so doing it attracted more attention from the government. It allowed the masses to challenge the doings of the unelected Governor and Legislative Council, and the elected town councils of Port of Spain and San Fernando. Calypso continued to play an important role in political expression.
Calypso in the Caribbean includes a range of genres, including benna in Antigua and Barbuda; mento, a style of Jamaican folk music that greatly influenced ska and reggae; ska, the precursor to rocksteady, and reggae; spouge, a style of Barbadian popular music; Dominica cadence-lypso, which mixed calypso with the cadence of Haiti; and soca music, a style of kaiso/calypso, with influences from chutney, soul, funk, Latin and cadence-lypso.