Caribbean Currents

Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae
Third Edition

Peter Manuel with Michael Largey
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1400-7
Publication: Sep 16

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1399-4
Publication: Sep 16

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1401-4
Publication: Sep 16

360 pages
6 x 9
39 line drawings, 51 halftones, 1 map

The classic introduction to the Caribbean's popular music brought up to date

Read the Preface and the Introduction (pdf).


First published in 1995, Caribbean Currents has become the definitive guide to the distinctive musics of this region of the world. This third edition of the award-winning book is substantially updated and expanded, featuring thorough coverage of new developments, such as the global spread of reggaeton and bachata, the advent of music videos, the restructuring of the music industry, and the emergence of new dance styles. It also includes many new illustrations and links to accompanying video footage.

The authors succinctly and perceptively situate the musical styles and developments in the context of themes of gender and racial dynamics, sociopolitical background, and diasporic dimensions. Caribbean Currents showcases the rich and diverse musics of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad, the French Caribbean, the lesser Antilles, and their transnational communities in the United States and elsewhere to provide an engaging panorama of this most dynamic aspect of Caribbean culture.


Praise for the Second Edition of Caribbean Currents The (second) edition addresses the most important and significant new developments in the 21st century Caribbean, and will be welcomed by those who enjoyed the original due to the considerable additions and enhancements in the revised edition. . . . (It is) undoubtedly a valuable resource.

Table of Contents

Note on the Accompanying Online Videos
Preface to the Third Edition
The Caribbean at a Glance (Country, Capital, Estimated 2015 Country Population)

1. Introduction: The Caribbean Crucible
The Amerindian Heritage • The African Heritage • Patterns of Musical Retention • The European Heritage • Creolization • Further Reading

2. Cuba
An Evening in Havana, 2014 • The Cuban Crucible • African-Derived Musics • Rumba • Music in Santiago de Cuba • European-Derived Musics • The Son and Modern Cuban Dance Music • "Socialism with Pachanga "? • The "Special Period" and Its Special Music • Miami Comes Alive • Further Reading

3.Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico and Cuba: "The Two Wings of the Same Bird" • European-Derived Musics • The Fiesta Patronal de Santiago Apóstol at Loíza Aldea • Plena and Bomba in the Dancehall • Music and the Puerto Rican Diaspora • Music and Island Identity under "Colonialism Lite" • Further Reading

4. Salsa, Reggaeton, and Beyond
The Son Sires a Son • Ruben Blades: The Cutting Edge • Style and Structure • Salsa Lite? • The New Millennium: Holding Pattern or Death Spiral? • Salsa Dance, from On-1 to On-2 • Reggaeton • Nueva Canción • Further Reading

5. The Dominican Republic
The African Heritage in a Creole Culture • Merengue Típico and the Creole Mainstream • The Merengue as National Symbol • The Modern Merengue • The Merengue Explosion • Merengue Style and Dance • Bachata: From the Rural Tavern to the Global Nightclub • Juan Luis Guerra • Further Reading

6. Haiti and the French Caribbean
Music in the Streets of Port-au-Prince • Haitian Cultural Crossroads • Creolization in Haiti: Language • Creolization in Haiti: Religion • Carnival and Rara • Mizik Twoubadou • Haitian Dance Music • Politics and the Haitian Diaspora • Contemporary Haitian Popular Music • Mizik Rasin , Rap, and Ragga • Music in the Lesser Antilles: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, and St. Lucia • Further Reading

7. Jamaica
African Traditions in a Difficult Climate • Other Vernacular Traditions • Ska: From Imitation to Creation • Roots and Culture: Downtown Triumphant • Rasta and Revolution • Bob Marley, the Tuff Gong • The End of an Era and the Dawn of a New One: From Reggae to Ragga • The Dancehall Era • Tellin’ It like It Is, from "Consciousness" to "Slackness" • Gal Tunes and Slackness: Women’s Liberation or Degradation? • Voices of the Ghetto, from "Reality" to Shotta Songs • Clashes—Fi Fun and Fi Real • Love Music—or Hate Music? • Dancing, Sound-System Dances, and Sound Clashes • Dancehall inna Foreign • Further Reading

8. Trinidad, Calypso, and Carnival
The Development of Calypso and Carnival • Calypso in Colonialism • Modern Calypso • Woman Rising • Soca • The Carnival Context • Steelband Music • Calypso and Carnival outside Trinidad • Further Reading

9. East Indian Music and Big Sounds from the "Small Islands"
East Indians in the West Indies • Small Island Traditions • Further Reading: Indo-Caribbean Music

10. Five Themes in the Study of Caribbean Music
Unity and Diversity in a Continent of Islands • Race and Ethnicity • Music, Sex, and Sexism • Caribbean Music International • Music and Politics


About the Author(s)

Peter Manuel is Professor of Music at John Jay College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of seven books and many articles on musics of India, the Caribbean, Spain, and elsewhere. He also plays sitar, jazz piano, and flamenco guitar.

Michael Largey is Professor of Music at Michigan State University, East Lansing. His publications include the award-winning Vodou Nation: Haitian Art Music and Cultural Nationalism.