Tuk Music Tradition in Barbados: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Tuk Music Tradition in Barbados

1st Edition

By Sharon Meredith


162 pages

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Hardback: 9781472440273
pub: 2015-03-28
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315235530
pub: 2016-12-05
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Barbados is a small Caribbean island better known as a tourist destination rather than for its culture. The island was first claimed in 1627 for the English King and remained a British colony until independence was gained in 1966. This firmly entrenched British culture in the Barbadian way of life, although most of the population are descended from enslaved Africans taken to Barbados to work on the sugar plantations. After independence, an official desire to promulgate the country’s African heritage led to the revival and recontextualisation of cultural traditions. Barbadian tuk music, a type of fife and drum music, has been transformed in the post-independence period from a working class music associated with plantations and rum shops to a signifier of national culture, played at official functions and showcased to tourists. Based on ethnographic and archival research, Sharon Meredith considers the social, political and cultural developments in Barbados that led to the evolution, development and revival of tuk as well as cultural traditions associated with it. She places tuk in the context of other music in the country, and examines similar musics elsewhere that, whilst sharing some elements with tuk, have their own individual identities.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Setting the scene; Early Barbadian music and the development of Tuk; Playing Tuk; Historical and contemporary performance spaces; The Barbados landship; Tuk and modern Barbadian identity; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Sharon Meredith is an ethnomusicologist with research interests in the Caribbean, including the revival and recontextualisation of traditional musics as popular culture in postcolonial contexts, particularly fife and drum type musics. She graduated with a PhD from the Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick, UK in 2003.

About the Series

SOAS Studies in Music Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Folk & Traditional