Origin, Development and Diffusion of the Steel Band in the Caribbean and Beyond: The Historical Geography of a Musical Instrument

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This book is about the origin and evolution of the steel band orchestra and its diffusion in the Caribbean and beyond with special attention given to the nature and evolution of its origin and spatial movement within the culture. The Steel band was created by descendants of African Captives in the Caribbean who struggled to retain some elements of their culture while simultaneously rejecting elements of the captive culture that controlled their lives for three centuries.


“Over the years Dr. Parris has taught countless courses in geography, but has always maintained his research interest in the steel band. The result is this book, it is the outcome of more than forty years of interest in the emergence, growth, development and spread of this musical phenomenon. Like an explorer, Parris maps all elements of this process…Parris’ exploration of the “how” makes his work original and refreshing.”
-Dr. D. Elliott Parris,
Chair Department of Behavioral Sciences & Human Services,
Bowie State University

Table of Contents

Foreword by D. Elliott Parris
Chapter 1: The Caribbean Lands and People Climate
The Peoples of the Caribbean
The Guyanas
Chapter 2: The Drum Among West Indians in the Caribbean
Persistence of the Drum in the Caribbean
Chapter 3: The Steel Band
The Carnival
Steel Band origins in Trinidad and Tobago
Carnival Suspended
Steel Band Instruments
Chapter 4: Diffusion of the Steel band in the Caribbean and Beyond
Steel Band Beyond the Caribbean
Steel Band in Europe
Steel Band in Asia
Steel Band in North America
Chapter 5; Socio-Economic Impact on the Steel band
Chapter 6; Education and the Steel Band
Chapter 7: The Steel band and Tourism
Chapter 8: The Role of the Steel Band in Politics
Chapter 9: The Steel Band and the Church in the Caribbean
Chapter 10: Conclusion
List of Tables

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