Art Music by Caribbean Composers: Curacao




Classical music, Art music


Folk musical traditions of Curaçao include tambu (also known as “the Curaçao blues”) and tumba (Razak, 2005). Art music has long had a presence in Curaçao. Orchestras, concert societies, and art musical instruction have been in place since the early 19th century (Gansemans, 2008). Composed dance music, for localized versions of dances such as waltz, polkas and mazurkas, is particularly popular in Curaçao (Gansemans, 2008). “The most important of these is the Antillean waltz (also known as the Curaçaoan waltz), distinguished from its European relatives chiefly by its differently accented rhythmic patterns” (Bilby, 2013, para. 10)

Author Biographies

Christine Gangelhoff, The College of The Bahamas

Assistant Professor Department of Music School of Communications and Creative Arts

Cathleen LeGrand, Royal Thimphu College



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Bilby, K. (2013). Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. In Grove music online. Oxford University Press.

Curacao. (2012). CIA world factbook.

Dubal, D. (Interviewer), & Statius Muller, W. (Interviewee). (2013). Wim Statius Muller & David Dubal, 3/8/84 [Interview video file].

Gansemans, J. (2008). Musical traditions in Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. In Kuss, M. Music in Latin America and the Caribbean: An encyclopedic history (pp.431-444). University of Texas Press.

History. (2011). Sentro Kultural Kòrsou.

Musical homage to one of Curaçao's greatest composers. (2012, December 14). Curaçao Chronicle.

Netherlands Antilles. (2008). In The Columbia encyclopedia.

Razak, V. M. (2005). Netherlands Antilles. In Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world: Locations.

Sharpe, M. O. (2008). Dutch empire. In Africa and the Americas: Culture, politics, and history.





Caribbean Art Music Bibliography