|Stylistic origins||Chouval bwa - zouk - electronic music.|
|Cultural origins||Late 80's, Martinique and Guadeloupe|
Synthesizers and drum machines.
|Music of Martinique|
|Music of Martinique|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||La Marseillaise|
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. It is characterized, in its rhythm, by "tibwa" (two wooden sticks) that gives a basic cinquillo tempo and the drum comes to mark the highlights and introduce percussion improvisations. The tibwa (French: petit bois, little wood) are played on a length of bamboo mounted on a stand to the tambour bèlè. The bèlè rhythms is often accompanied by a chakchak (a maracas).
The bèlè 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.
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, 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 chantwell in créole and concern relations between the sexes, local gossip, and current politics.
Evolution of 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.
- > "YouTube:Martiniquan bèlè". YouTube:Martiniquan bèlè. Retrieved september 10, 2005.
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