Music of Hindu Trinidad

Songs from the India Diaspora

Helen Myers

Music of Hindu Trinidad

Helen Myers

542 pages | 15 halftones, 3 maps, 6 line drawings, 9 tables, 33 musical examples. Also conta | 6 x 9 | © 1998
Paper $69.00 ISBN: 9780226554532 Published January 1999
Like many other small towns in Trinidad, Felicity is populated almost entirely by East Indians. In their Caribbean exile, the residents of Felicity have created and recreated the music of their Hindu ancestors. Music of Hindu Trinidad is a fascinating account of the history and cultural significance of Hindu music that explores its symbolic, aesthetic, and psychological aspects while asking the larger question of how this music has contributed to the formation of identity in the midst of their great diaspora.

Myers details the musical repertory of Felicity, which is based largely on north Indian genres including the traditional Bhojpuri folk songs and drumming styles brought by the first indentured laborers in 1845. In her engaging exploration of the fate of Indian classical music and new popular styles such as Hindi calypso, soca, and chutney, she even finds herself at the ancestral home of Trinidadian V. S. Naipaul in India. Copiously illustrated and accompanied by a compact disk, Music of Hindu Trinidad is a model ethnographic study.

List of Illustrations
List of Musical Examples
A Note on Translations and Transcriptions
Romanization of Indian Languages
The Narrators
1: East Indians of the West Indies
2: Roots
3: Felicity
4: A Day in the Village
5: The Seasons
6: Speaking of Music
7: Local Musicology
8: Wedding Day
9: Wedding Songs
10: A Song for Mr. Biswas
11: Song of Swans and Snakes
12: Songs of Love and Longing
13: The Ramayan Tradition
14: Morning at the Temple
15: Music and Miracles
16: The Death of Rani
17: Chutney
18: Sweet Memory
19: Passage to India
Glossary, Biographical Dictionary, and Gazetteer
Selections on the Compact Disc
Bhojpuri Texts in Devanagari Script
List of Songs by First Line

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