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Stylistic origins Joropo - Venezuelan music Soca - Trinidadian music
Cultural origins

 Trinidad and Tobago

Typical instruments Cuatro - Maracas - guitar - vocals - Violin - Claves - caja - mandolin - tambourine
Derivative forms Soca parang

Parang is a popular folk music originating from Trinidad and Tobago, it was brought to Trinidad by Venezuelan migrants who were primarily of Amerindian and African heritage, something which is strongly reflected in the music itself. The word is derived from two Spanish words: parranda, meaning "a spree or fête", and parar meaning "to stop".

In the past, it was traditional for parang serenaders to pay nocturnal visits to the homes of family and friends, where part of the fun was waking the inhabitants of the household from their beds. Today, a new form of parang, soca parang, has emerged. Soca parang is a combination of soca and parang.


In Trinidad, traditional parang music is largely performed around Christmas time, when singers and instrumentalists (collectively known as the parranderos) travel from house to house in the community, often joined by friends and neighbours family etc. using whatever instruments are to hand. Popular parang instruments include the cuatro (a small, four-string guitar) and maracas (locally known as chac-chacs). Other instruments often used are violin, guitar, claves (locally known as toc-toc), box bass (an indigenous instrument), tambourine, mandolin, bandol, caja (a percussive box instrument), and marimbola (an Afro-Venezuelan instrument). In exchange for the entertainment, parranderos are traditionally given food and drink: pastelle, sorrel, rum and ponche crema (a form of alcoholic eggnog).

While traditional house-to-house caroling tradition is still practised by some small groups and larger organized groups, modern parang music has also developed a season of staged performances called parang fiestas, held from October through to January each year, culminating in a national parang competition. Today, parang is especially vibrant in Trinidad and Tobago communities such as Paramin, Lopinot, and Arima.


Traditional parang music includes a variety of song types:

  • aguinaldo or serenal: relating to the stories of the nativity of Christ, equivalent to the Western concept of a 'carol';
  • guarapo: a secular song, often with passages of improvised lyrics where content and length vary according to the skill of the lead singer;
  • estribillo: a lively call-and-response style song;
  • manzanares: a Venezuelan waltz which celebrates the different aspects of the Manzanare River of Cumaná, Venezuela;
  • joropo: similar in style to the Spanish waltz;
  • galerón;
  • picón;
  • despedida: a song of farewell and gratitude.

Since the 1950s, parang has become more popularised, giving birth to "soca parang", a fusion of soca and parang with lyrics in English. While still festive in nature, the lyrics often refer to North American cultural elements such as Santa Claus.

Parang has also been fused with chutney, a form of vocal music indigenous to Trinidad, influenced by Indian rhythms and sometimes sung in Hindi.

Parang artists[edit]

Notable parang bands and artists include Daisy Voisin, Henry Perreira, Sharlene Flores, Leon Caldero, Baron, Jacqueline Charles, Lara Brothers, Francisca Allard & Philip Allard (Dinamicos), Los Tocadores, Fuego Caribeño Irvys Juarez, Los Parranderos de UWI, Los Alumnos de San Juan and Del Caribe, Las Estrellas De Paramin, Los Paramininos, Los Alacranes. Other popular bands include:

  1. A La Rio Suave
  2. Amantes de Parranda (Barataria)
  3. Amores de Musica
  4. Ay Caramba
  5. Brasso Seco Parranderos
  6. Canciones Melodicas of Santa Cruz
  7. Carib Santa Rosa
  8. Carib Shaman
  9. Con Amor
  10. Courts Rio Senores
  11. Courts Ruisenores (Pointe-a-Pierre)
  12. D New Image Serenaders
  13. Del Caribe
  14. Dulzura Caliente
  15. El Sabor (St. Joseph, Maracas)
  16. Flores de San Jose
  17. G. Sharp and Friends
  18. levantamientos Petrotrin
  19. La Casa Parranda (Princes Town)
  20. La Libertad
  21. La Divina Pastora
  22. La Estrella de Oriente
  23. La Familla Alegria
  24. La Familia de Camona y Amigos (Edinburgh Gardens Phase 3, Chaguanas)
  25. La Familia De Rio Claro
  26. La Familia De San Raphael (Gallon)
  27. La Finca Paranda
  28. La Ruseda de Agua (Diego Martin)
  29. La Sagrada Familia
  30. La Santa Familia
  31. La Santa Maria
  32. La Tropical
  33. Lara Brothers (Cantaro Village, Santa Cruz)
  34. Las Buenas Nuevas (Santa Rosa, Arima)
  35. Las Estrellita de Oriente
  36. Lopinot Paranderos
  37. Los Alacranes from Paramin
  38. Los Alumnos de San Juan
  39. Los Amantes de Parranda
  40. Los Amigos Cantadores (Trincity)
  41. Los Amigos De Jesus (La Canoa, Santa Cruz)
  42. Los Amigos en Musica
  43. Los Buenos Paranderos (El Dorado)
  44. Los Caballeros
  45. Los Caneros
  46. Los Cantadores de Brazil
  47. Los Campaneros
  48. Los Cantos de Amor
  49. Los Hermanos Lara
  50. Los Muchachos del Agua
  51. Los Ninos de Santa Rosa
  52. Los Ninos del Mundo
  53. Los Originales (Diego Martin)
  54. Los Pajaros (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  55. Los Paramininos
  56. Los Paranderos Amigos
  57. Los Paranderos de UWI (UWI – St. Augustin)
  58. Los Pastores (Palo Seco)
  59. Los Pavitos
  60. Los Reyes1
  61. Los Tocadores and Peter Estrada (Trinidad and Tobago)
  62. Michael Carabai (Stafford, Virginia, USA)
  63. Moments Parang Group
  64. Morella Montano and the Maraval Folk Choir
  65. Mucho Tempo
  66. Paramininos (Paramin Maraval)
  67. Rancho Quernado
  68. Rebuscar
  69. Rio Suave Los Buenos Parranderos
  70. Sabor del Caribe (Enterprise, Chaguanas)
  71. San Jose Serenaders
  72. Sancouche (Point Fortin)
  73. Santa Rosa Serenaders
  74. St Augustine's Son del Sueno
  75. Sun Valley Parang Group
  76. Un Amor
  77. Unidad Serenaders (Mt Pleasant, Arima)
  78. Universal Rhythms (was Universal Parang) (Canada)
  79. Viva Nueva
  80. Voces Jovenes

Noted parang-soca artists include Scrunter, Baron, Crazy, and Big B.

External links[edit]