The Engine Room - Is down deh what does have the bacchanal.

All the jamming & the jamming & the jamming & the jamming & the jam of carnival.

The Engine Room - Is down deh what does start up everything.

Them boy did damn well say, if yuh Iron good - you is king.

                                                                                                   - David Michael Rudder

Riddim Section.mp3


RIDDIMANIA:  It's all about da Culture! Full of vibrations, joy of life creating genuine atmosphere celebrated by the Caribbean Diaspora. A Cultural Awakening weaving a Caribbean Tapestry.   

Historical Perspective: Trinidad was under British control during the 19th Century, and like many colonized lands, they tried to suppress the indigenous population.

Hand drums were used by the islanders and African slaves for communication. Often this was to alert rival neighborhood gangs that a fight was at hand. Hoping to quell the violence and to squash any chance of an uprising (through communication with the drums), The lack of hand drums did not stop the Trinidadians. They developed a unique instrument called a Tamboo-Bamboo. The Tamboo-Bamboo is a hollowed out length of bamboo that would either be struck on the ground or with a mallet.

In 1934 the British stepped in again, outlawing the Bamboo-Tamboo. But ingenuity birthed a new baby. During the parade at Carnival in 1935, a riot broke out between gangs. Chaos ensued, and the gangs were scattered. One gang leader, Alexander Ford, grabbed a garbage can and banged out his gang’s cadence in order to reunite them and bring them home. The unique sound caught the attention of other gangs, who began using it in ensuing years.

The garbage can sound became so popular that garbage cans became scarce due to so many gangs taking them.  

The harmonically melodic steelbands we see today are a very different entity from the purely rhythmic monotonic steelbands of the late 1930's. They owe their presence to the turbulent and often violent, but misunderstood reaction, of a determined underclass to develop, express and enjoy a new musical art-form--The rhythm section, affectionately known as the “engine room”.

Historically, there has been considerable social and cultural influence from French…The guitar pan plays rhythm and has about sixteen pitches. ... maracas, and a piece of steel or heavy iron (sometimes an automobile brake drum),.... more stinging and more rhythm sound than the bamboo just knocking on the ground Other additions are timbolitas, cow bells, scrapers, chac-chacs or anything that makes rhythm; and the ubiquitous “iron”.

The VISION: Each Caribbean country and the world at large having a link on this website, promoting culture for each country, and sending a message to its nationals encouraging support of the efforts of Ah Caribbean Tapestry.


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