Chouval bwa

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Chouval bwa
Stylistic origins Martinique bèlè, and other traditional ryhthms.
Cultural origins Martinique
Typical instruments

Traditional: rhythm section: bèlè drums, tibwa, accordions, chacha (a rattle), bamboo flute and wax-paper/comb-type kazoo.[1]

Contemporary: Zouk chouv uses synthesisers and drum machines.
Fusion genres
Zouk chouv
Other topics
Music of Martinique
Music of Martinique
General topics
Related articles
Genres
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem La Marseillaise
Regional music

Chouval bwa is a kind of folk music originated on the slave plantations of Martinique.

Since its development, chouval bwa has diversified into genres like zouk chouv, which includes electric instrumentation and has been popularized by Claude Germany, Tumpak, Dede Saint-Prix, and Pakatak.

History[edit]

The bélé is a legacy of the slave music tradition danced with several forms: dance control; bele dous', pitje, biguine bèlé belya, gran bèlé (5 rhythms and dances, only two, are ternary: belya and gran bèlé), quadrille dances (eight dancers who form two squares 4) the line dance: mabelo, woule mango, kanigwè (deathwatch) vénèzouel, kalenda, ting bang karèsèyo: group dances except kalenda, the ladja.

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, and is often accompanied by a chacha (a maracas). The tibwa rhythm plays a basic cinquillo pattern and the drum comes to mark the highlights and introduce percussion improvisations.[2][3] [4]

It is organized in a certain way, the first entry of the singer ( lavwa ) and choir ( lavwa Deye or "answer"). Then the "Bwatè" (player ti bwa) sets the pace, followed by bèlè drum. Finally, the dancers take the stage. A dialogue is created between the dancers and the "tanbouyè" (drummer). The "answer" play opposite the singer, the audience can also participate. As a family, together singers, dancers, musicians and audiences are lured by its mesmerizing rhythms.

Origin[edit]

Belair or bèlè drumming is at the rhythmic heart of chouval bwa, the traditional roots music of Martinique; the belair itself is a huge tambour drum that players ride as though it was a horse. The tibwa (French: petit bois, little wood) are played on a length of bamboo mounted on a stand to the tambour bèlè, and is often accompanied by a chacha (a maracas).

Characteristics[edit]

The belair percussionist is typically the leader of the chouval bwa orchestra. Chouval bwa features a drummer on the tanbour drum and the ti bwa, a percussion instrument made out of a piece of bamboo laid horizontally and beaten with sticks; the most traditional ensembles also use accordions, chacha (a rattle) and the bel-air, a bass version of the tanbour,[5] bamboo flute and wax-paper/comb-type kazoo. Call-and-response singing completes the ensemble. The lead singer chooses the sequence of dances through his or her selection of songs, each of which goes with a specific dance. All songs are sung by a chantwèl in créole and concern relations between the sexes, local gossip, and current politics.

Zouk chouv[edit]

Main article: Zouk chouv

Zouk chouv evolved from chouval bwa, adding electric zouk instrumentation. It features a drummer on the tanbour drum and the ti bwa, a percussion instrument made out of a piece of bamboo laid horizontally and beaten with sticks; the most traditional ensembles also use accordions, chacha (a rattle) and the bel-air, a bass version of the tanbour, bamboo flute, and wax-paper/comb-type kazoo.

Zouk chouv has been popularized by musical artists such as Claude Germany, Tumpak, Dede Saint-Prix, and Pakatak.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ "Martinique bélé". YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "bélé dance and music". YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dominica bèlè". YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ Ledesma and Scaramuzzo, pgs. 289–303