Parang

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Parang is a popular folk music originating from Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, it was brought to Trinidad and Tobago by Venezuelan and Colombian migrants who were primarily of Amerindian, Spanish, Mestizo, Pardo, Cocoa panyol, 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, parang is especially vibrant in Trinidad and Tobago communities such as Paramin, Lopinot, and Arima.

A new form of parang, soca parang, has emerged. Soca parang is a combination of soca and parang.

Performance[edit]

In Trinidad, traditional parang music is largely performed around Christmastime, 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 at 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: pasteles, 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.

Varieties[edit]

Traditional parang music includes a variety of song types:

  • aguinaldo or serenal: relating to the stories of the nativity of Christ similar to European carols played in the Canary Islands and Andalusia;
  • 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;
  • rio Manzanares: a Venezuelan waltz which celebrates the different aspects of the Manzanares 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. This fusion forms chutney parang.

Parang artists[edit]

Notable parang bands and artists include Gloria Alcazar San Jose Serenaders, Daisy Voisin La Divina Pastora, Henry Perreira, Sharlene Flores Flores De San Jose, Leon Caldero, Baron, Scrunter, Jacqueline Charles, Lara Brothers, Francisca Allard & Philip Allard (Dinamicos), Los Tocadores, Fuego Caribeño [1], Irvys Juarez, Rhonda Rosales, 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. New Image Serenaders
  13. Del Caribe
  14. Dinámicos
  15. Dulzura Caliente
  16. El Sabor (St. Joseph, Maracas)
  17. Flores de San Jose
  18. Fuego Caribeño ( South Vistabella)
  19. G. Sharp and Friends
  20. Hermanos Latinos
  21. Homer Parranderos Parang Band (Sangre Grande)
  22. Levantamientos Petrotrin
  23. La Casa Parranda (Princes Town)
  24. La Libertad
  25. La Divina Pastora
  26. La Estrella de Oriente
  27. La Familla Alegria
  28. La Familia de Camona y Amigos (Edinburgh Gardens Phase 3, Chaguanas)
  29. La Familia De Rio Claro
  30. La Familia De San Raphael (Gallon)
  31. La Finca Paranda
  32. La Ruseda de Agua (Diego Martin)
  33. La Sagrada Familia
  34. La Santa Familia
  35. La Santa Maria
  36. La Tropical
  37. Lara Brothers (Cantaro Village, Santa Cruz)
  38. Las Buenas Nuevas (Santa Rosa, Arima)
  39. Las Estrellita de Oriente
  40. Lopinot Paranderos
  41. Los Alacranes from Paramin
  42. Los Alumnos de San Juan
  43. Los Amantes de Parranda
  44. Los Amigos Cantadores (Trincity)
  45. Los Amigos De Jesus (La Canoa, Santa Cruz)
  46. Los Amigos en Musica
  47. Los Buenos Paranderos (El Dorado)
  48. Los Caballeros
  49. Los Caneros
  50. Los Cantadores de Brazil
  51. Los Campaneros
  52. Los Cantos de Amor
  53. Los Hermanos Lara
  54. Los Muchachos del Agua
  55. Los Ninos de Santa Rosa
  56. Los Ninos del Mundo
  57. Los Originales (Diego Martin)
  58. Los Pajaros (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  59. Los Paramininos
  60. Los Paranderos Amigos
  61. Los Paranderos de UWI (UWI – St. Augustin)
  62. Los Pastores (Palo Seco)
  63. Los Pavitos
  64. Los Reyes1
  65. Los Tocadores and Peter Estrada
  66. Michael Carabai (Stafford, Virginia, USA)
  67. Moments Parang Group
  68. Morella Montano and the Maraval Folk Choir
  69. Mucho Tempo
  70. Parang Lovers International (Queens New York).
  71. Paramininos (Paramin Maraval)
  72. Rancho Quernado
  73. Rebuscar
  74. Rembunction
  75. Rio Suave Los Buenos Parranderos
  76. Sabor del Caribe (Enterprise, Chaguanas)
  77. San Jose Serenaders
  78. Sancouche (Point Fortin)
  79. Santa Rosa Serenaders
  80. St Augustine's Son del Sueno
  81. Starlight Serenaders (Brooklyn, New York)
  82. Sun Valley Parang Group
  83. Un Amor
  84. Unidad Serenaders (Mt Pleasant, Arima)
  85. Universal Rhythms (was Universal Parang) (Canada)
  86. Viva Nueva
  87. Voces Jovenes

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

External links[edit]