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Music from behind the Bridge
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Music from behind the Bridge: Steelband Aesthetics and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago

Shannon Dudley


A symbol of Trinidadian culture, the steelband has made an extraordinary transformation since its origins: from junk metal to steel orchestra, and from disparaged underclass pastime to Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument. This book looks at the musical thinking that ignited this transformation, and the way it articulates Afro-Trinidadian tradition, carnival, colonial authority, and nationalist politics. The book tells the story of the steelband from the point of view of musicians who overcame the disadvantages of poverty and prejudice with their extraordinary ambition. Literally referrin ... More

Keywords: Trinidadian culture, steelband, junk metal, steel orchestra, Afro-Trinidadian tradition, carnival, colonial authority, nationalist politics, Afro-Trinidadian communities, Trinidad and Tobago

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780195175479
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195175479.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Shannon Dudley, author
University of Washington