Biguine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Music of Martinique
General topics
Related articles
Genres
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem La Marseillaise
Regional music
Music of Guadeloupe
General topics
Related articles
Genres
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem La Marseillaise
Regional music

Biguine is a rhythm-centric style of music that originated in Martinique in the 19th century. It fuses 19th-century French ballroom dance steps with African rhythms.[1]

History[edit]

Two main types of French antillean biguine can be identified based on the instrumentation in contemporary musical practice, which is call the drum biguine and the orchestrated biguine. Each of these refer to contexts of a specific origin. The drum biguine, or bidgin bélé in Creole, comes from a series of bélé dances performed since early colonial times by the slaves who inhabited the great sugar plantations. Musically, the bidgin bélé can be distinguished from the orchestrated biguine in the following ways: its instrumentation (cylindrical single-membraned drum (bélé) and the rhythm sticks (tibwa); the call-and-response singing style; the soloist's improvisation, and the nasal voice quality. According to a recent study by Rosemain (1988), the biguine figured in fertility rituals practiced in West Africa, but its ritual significance has since disappeared in Martinique.[2]

Origin[edit]

Bidgin bélé or drum biguine – originates in slave bélé dances and characterized by the use of bélé drums and tibwa rhythm sticks, along with call and response, nasal vocals and improvised instrumental solos; has its roots in West African ritual dances.

The bélé itself is a huge tambour drum that players ride as though it was a horse. It is characterized, in its rhythm, by the "tibwa" (two wooden sticks) played on a length of bamboo mounted on a stand to the tambour bèlè. Added to the tambour bèlè and tibwa are the maracas, more commonly referred to as the chacha.[3] The cinquillo is beat out by the tibwa, but it translates very well to the chacha when the rhythms are applied for playing biguine.[4] The tibwa rhythm plays a basic pattern and the drum comes to mark the highlights and introduce percussion improvisations.[5][6]

Orchestrated biguine[edit]

By combining the traditional bélé music with the polka, the black musicians of Martinique created the biguine, which comprises three distinct styles:

  • the biguine de salon
  • the biguine de bal
  • the biguine de rue.

Lacking recognition at home, several biguine artists from Martinique moved to mainland France, where they achieved greater popularity in Paris, especially in the wake of the colonial exhibition in 1931. Early stars like Alexandre Stellio and Sam Castandet became popular in Paris. Between the 1930s and 1950s, the dance beguine was popular among the islands' dance orchestras.[7] Its popularity abroad died relatively quickly, but it lasted as a major force in popular music on Martinique and Guadeloupe until Haitian compas took over in the 1950s. In the later part of the 20th century, biguine musicians like clarinet virtuoso Michel Godzom helped revolutionize the genre.

Biguine has many features in common with the New Orleans jazz, and have influenced its development.

Evolution of biguine[edit]

The biguine’s evolution can be traced in zouk through the bass drum, the maracas rhythmic pattern played on the hi-hat/cymbals and the tibwa rim shot on the rim of the snare drum, which is identical to the bidgin bélé.[8][9] The signature sound of the biguine is the interplay between the clarinet and trombone, both solo and as a duet, which can still be heard today throughout Antilles music, from the most traditional forms like cadence or the pop sounds of today's zouk.

Biguine vidé[edit]

Biguine vidé is an up tempo version of the biguine rhythm (tambour and tibwa), combining other carnival elements. It is a form of participatory music from Guadeloupe and Martinique, with the bandleader singing a verse and the audience responding. Modern instrumentation includes a variety of improvised drums made from containers of all kinds, plastic plumbing, bells, tanbou débonda, chacha bélé , tibwa and bélé drums.

The face pace of the carnival-associated biguine provided the rhythmic basis for zouk béton ("hard" zouk), which is reserved for individual jump up.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Public Library Performing Arts Desk Reference. New York: Macmillan USA. 1996. p. 232. ISBN 0-02861447-X. 
  2. ^ "Martinique bélé". Music in Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ Guilbault, Jocelyne (1993). Zouk: World Music in the West Indies. p. 111. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Guilbault, Jocelyne (1993). Zouk: World Music in the West Indies. p. 111. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Martinique bélé". YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Dominica bèlè". YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Martinique biguine". Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume 9. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ Manuel, Peter (2001). "Indo-Caribbean Music". Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. New York and London: Garland Publishing. pp. 918–918. ISBN 0-8240-6040-7. 
  9. ^ Guilbault, Jocelyne (1993). Zouk: World Music in the West Indies. p. 111. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Jocelyne Guilbault. Haitian+Kompa++the+development+of+zouk+love&source. Retrieved April 10, 2012.