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Has Panorama music lost it's ability to make people dance and be happy?

Has Panorama music lost it's ability to make people dance and be happy?

WST member BigMac recently posted:

Panorama I have said before somewhere at this forum has lost it’s musicality. Back in the Genesis of Panorama, (in Trinidad that is) the finals were held on Carnival Sunday night and suppose because of that tunes Panorama tunes had a natural “jump”. Steelbands were going into Jouvert morning after the finals, so you had to be able to jump up to a Panorama tune. Most of you reading this may not even know that once upon a time, at Prelims, bands played chipping off-stage after being judged. Those were the halcyon days before the D.J. took over the show. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when from about the mid-80’s the finals moved to Carnival Saturday. With that the jump-up-and-get on bad in Panorama ceased and has since been replaced by a decent sit-down-and-applaud show. The only jumping now takes place in the North Stand, where the patrons don’t even listen to Pan anymore. To make matters worse sadly, arrangers, probably because they are so much more musically educated than their peers thirty-odd years ago tend to want to play everything they know in one piece ,,, don’t leave back anything for next year’s Panorama. Add to that the influences of the revered Brados, Boogsie and Holman and now the bacchanal start. Is music in yuh rookoongkutuntung, whether you like it or not. click for full post

What do you think?

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Well written and to the point.

The person who brings the element of dance back to the panorama arrangements will be the next "Bradley" and the genre will be in a much better place.


That time is almost here..don't worried.

BIG YES. I grew up in the 1980s when people used to actually go to the North Stand to cheer their favourite band and to boo their rivals


Consider a few of factors though:


  1. Soca music has evolved since the 1980s from melodic, danceable (Doh Back Back, Rebecca, Pan in A Minor) to percussive, less melodic leaving less music for bands to choose from
  2. The evolution of the 'own tune' where arrangers are encouraged to compose music not necessarily for the masses, but to enable musically sophisticated arrangements for panorama
  3. Arrangers have been discouraged over the years from focusing on pleasing the crowds, primarily by the results of competitions that often seem to favour musical complication over simplicity

To a large extent I think we have reaped what we sewed. Back in the 80s, All Stars was considered the 'People's Band' because of the apparent priority on presenting crowd pleasing music. Critics often lambasted the band and arranger Smooth under the guise of undefinable concepts like 'not enough music' or 'too many runs' (I am yet to hear anyone define how many runs a panorama tune should have to not be considered too many) at the same time, rewarding bands and arrangements that made you sit and dream instead of jump and scream. Nobody with a voice to be heard ever praised the band for its ability to get people out of their seat and appreciate the beauty of pan.


So it comes as no surprise to me that the marriage of pan and the people who created it has ended in divorce. Panorama has become more or less an arrangers arena, with each one trying to 'out-chord' or 'out-reharmonise' each other. Nobody is interested in what 'town' say anymore, only who had the 'most' music.


To all who are happy with Panorama music of the 2000's, respect is due, but if I can't have danceability and sophistication together I'll take Woman on the Bass, Rebecca, or Du Du Yemi over the modern stuff anyday.

At the risk of catching some real All Stars heat from you DJ (LOL), but isn't some of the criticism exactly what people were afraid of would happen today musically in pan music as a natural progression of things done in the 80's.  And as to not single out All Stars, Boogsie and Phase II is also guilty of this to certain extent and therefor are main contributors. You have to admit that All Stars playing "Showtime" is a long way from "Woman on the Bass" or "Curry Tabanca" musically.


Hi Bugs, no scene, I really don't take opposing opinions personally, I enjoy intelligent debate, especially if I can learn something at the end of it.


Quite contrary, I think we are now seeing a hasty return to the 80s approach to save the competition before it dies. Some will criticize Silver Stars of late, but I cannot fault their approach to Panorama as it has enabled them to strike a nerve within patrons and judges alike, that has re-awakened something important that has been missing for years.


What other bands have to do is to concentrate on appealing to the masses and judges, but without compromising their individuality. Bradley's 70's music was a lot more sedentary before Du Du Yemi and Woman on the Bass pushed him into producing Rebecca and The Jammer to remain competitive. Even Boogsie was not untouched - panorama success for him only came when he jammed the savannah with This Feeling Nice and Woman is Boss.


I hope for more and more enjoyable, lasting music in years to come, whether the tempo is fast, medium or slow.


P.S. 'Showtime' is a hell of a distance structurally from 'Woman on the Bass', I shake my head when I hear opinions to the opposite

DJ I hear you.  Panorama has evolved and is in a continuing state of change.  However, I am concerned that there hasn't been any panorama arrangement, regadless of which band you support, in the last ten years that has emerged as a classic or definging piece for any panorama performing orchestra in Trinidad.  I believe Bradley may have achieve some pieces for consideration in New York, but that is all.



Well said and to add to that, just about everyone is singing a "Pan Song" and no one knows the song or them!
What is Panorama music? If it is any song played for the Panorama competition then the answer is no, since the same songs played in a fete such as Benjai - Trini cause people to dance and be happy. The bigger question is has Pan music lost its ability to make people dance and be happy or has it been lost in the "nosie?"

Hello Mr. PHI, 

As I looked over the 2011 list of tunes for panorama http://www.panonthenet.com/tnt/2011/tunes/contents.htm . I can't find one tune outside of "Trini" that was possibly played at a fete. So based on your reasoning the answer is a resounding yes.  Moreover, Trinidad arragers more so than others are afraid of playing popular tunes for panorama.


Bugs, I've provided two links of Popular songs played by Rhapsody Steel Orchestra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6dJhDEVduE


We think they sound pretty good on Pan! What do you think?

The sound good. However, the subject is panorama music, and tunes that sound good on pan don't always translate in good competition material, given the current criteria and precedent set by the powers that be.


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