Sweet Christmas Sounds with Box Bass, Chac Chac & Cuatro
The rhythmic instrument with its unique sound has its origin in ancient Egypt. The instrument might come to the island over the colonial influence, as well as violins.
Usually out of wood and locally known as toc-toc.
Also known as woodblock pollitos.
Known also as a scratcher, this instrument is popular in Latin America, like in the music of salsa and the Venezuelan parranda, which is very close to parang.
Locally known as chac-chac or shak-shak and very typical for parang music, the rattle-like percussion instrument is made from dried, seed-filled calabash, fitted with wood handles or completely out of wood like in this example.
It is said, that also the Venezuelan marimbula is essential for parang music, to me it is hard to locate the following sound. If you have an example out of Trinidad, get in touch with me and let me know. Here is an example of how it sounds:
I would also like to acknowledge the beautiful outfits parang singers and musicians are wearing during a performance. Often they are combined looks for male and female and in strong colors with floral patterns and additional flower pieces in hair or hat.
From House to House
Let me share the trailer of my mixtape „Parang Parang“, which features both styles. The video by Rembunctand shows the band entering a house having and leaving a good time for the Christmas season. You can download the mixtape for free on my website. I released it in 2017, but it is truly timeless. Have a good time with it and of course, Feliz Navidad!
Here is the full mix to steam online. If you are on Soundcloud, don’t forget to follow.
The research on parang and parang soca music will continue while we are getting closer to Christmas. Get in touch with me if you have something to share. I am thankful for your support. Feliz Navidad!
TT MUSIC LIBRARY - VIRTUAL MUSIC ARCHIVE | JUKEBOX TT
Note: This article is a "work in progress". With every visit, more content will be added. Get in touch, if you have something to share.
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Jocelyne Guibault (2007): Governing Sound – The cultural politics of Trinidad’s Carnival Music
University of Chicago, Ian Randle Publishers
John Mendes (2003): Coté ci Coté La – Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary, Medianet Publishing
Gerard Besson (2011): Calypso, Calypso Music
Ronald C. Emrit: Calypso History
Calypsoworld.org: Calypso in Trinidad – Carnival and Musical Traditions
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