Art Music by Caribbean Composers: St. Lucia

Christine Gangelhoff, Cathleen LeGrand


Musical traditions of St. Lucia are in many ways similar to those of the other Caribbean islands colonized by the French. Lamagrit (La Marguerite) and Lawóz (La Rose), two societies founded in the 19th century, maintain and influence musical traditions. Both societies hold annual Flower Festivals which feature traditional and popular music (Renard, 2005). Music and dance derived from European dance traditions appear in indigenous forms on St. Lucia. Kwadril (the local creole spelling of quadrille), in particular was, until recently, a popular evening entertainment (Guilbault, 1998). The melodies for quadrilles and other Caribbean contra-dances are “predominantly European in character, although they may be enlivened by conventional improvised embellishments and syncopations, as when St. Lucian fiddlers alternate phrases (and often renditions of a given tune fragment) in binary and ternary meter” (Manuel, 2009, p. 24).


Classical music

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