Cultural Meaning, Social Hybridity and Musical Sonority

Unpacking Elements of the Trinidad and Tobago Identity in the Lyrics of its Carnival Music

Meagan Sylvester University of the West Indies

This article examines the carnival music of Trinidad and Tobago. These are in the main Calypso, Soca, Chutney Soca, Ragga Soca, and Groovy Soca. Issues of identity will be further analysed using the lyrics of some examples of these forms to unpack definitive aspects of the global yet indigenous culture of Trinidad and Tobago. This work puts primary focus on understanding the identity of the many faces of the Trinbagonian through its carnival music. I posit that the lyrics of the songs, especially written and produced for the carnival season, project specific themes which can be used as a lyrical lens through which we can cull the seemingly latent identities of various groups within multi-ethnic space. 

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