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- DescriptionTrinidadian sitarist, composer, and music authority Mangal Patasar once remarked and tan-singing, \u0022You take a capsule from India, leave it here for a hundred years, and this is what you get.\u0022 Patasar was referring to what may be the most sophisticated and distinctive art form cultivated among the one and a half million East Indians whose ancestors migrated as indentured laborers from colonial India to the West Indies between 1845 and 1917. Kwn in Trinidad and Guyana as \u0022tan-singing\u0022 or \u0022local-classical music\u0022 and in Suriname as \u0022baithak gana\u0022 (\u0022sitting music\u0022), tan-singing has evolved in to a unique idiom, embodying the rich poetic and musical heritage brought from India as modified by a diaspora group largely cut off from its ancestral homeland. In recent decades, however, tan-singing has been declining, regarded as quaint and crude by younger generations raised on MTV, Hindi film music, and disco. At the same time, Indo-Caribbeans have been participating in their countries' ecomic, political, and cultural lives to a far greater extent than previously. Accompanying this participation has been a lively cultural revival, encompassing both an enhanced assertion of Indianness and a spirit of invative syncretism. One of the most well-kwn products of this process is chutney, a dynamic music and dance phemen that is simultaneously a folk revival and a pop hybrid. In Trinidad, it has also been the vehicle for a controversial form of female empowerment and an agent of a new, more inclusive, conception of national identity. Thus, East Indian Music in the West Indies is a portrait of a diaspora community in motion. It documents the social and cultural development of a people \u0022without history,\u0022 a people who have sometimes been dismissed as foreigners who merely perpetuate the culture of the homeland rather than becoming \u0022truly\u0022 Caribbean. Professor Manuel shows how inaccurate this characterization is. On the one hand, in the form of tan-singing, it examines the distinctiveness of traditional Indo-Caribbean musical culture. On the other, in the form of chutney, it examines the new assertiveness and syncretism of Indo-Caribbean popular music. Students of Indo-Caribbean music and curious world-music fans alike will be fascinated by Professor Manuel's guided tour through the complex and exciting world of Indo-Caribbean musical culture.
- Author BiographyAn authority on the music of both North India and the Caribbean, Peter Manuel is Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Music, and Philosophy at John Jay College. He is the author of several books, including Popular Musics of the Non-Western World (Oxford University Press), Cassette Culture: Popular Music and Technology in North India, and Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae (Temple University Press).
- Author(s)Peter Manuel
- PublisherTemple University Press,U.S.
- Date of Publication07/06/2000
- FormatMixed media product
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Series TitleStudies in Latin American and Caribbean Music Series
- Place of PublicationPhiladelphia PA
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintTemple University Press,U.S.
- Content Note34 figures, 20 b&w photographs
- Weight454 g
- Width4531 mm
- Height6466 mm
- Spine14 mm
- Contained items statementContains Paperback and CD-Audio
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