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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

A thought occurred to me that I had almost forgotten.

Remember when Carnival in Trinidad used to be a two speed affair?.

Long before the DJs, we had music bands on the road, and their music was at a faster tempo than the steelbands.

Most of the big costume bands (we called them "Historical" bands) preferred the brass bands for their music, and their masqueraders "jumped up" much like they do today with the DJs.

On the other hand, if you played mas with a steelband, it would have been a military mas or a simpler costume like cowboys, lumberjacks etc.

The steelbands held a slower pace, and moving along to their beat was called "chippin". By the end of the day, most people chose "chippin" over "jumping up"

It is interesting to  note that as the steelbands participation on the road declined, so did the "chippin".



Of course, the change in music tastes to the faster soca style also accelerated the disappearance of "chippin".

 

I remember the calls by calypsonians like Maestro and others for steelbands to pick up the tempo.

 

But one can not help but  wonder if a more aggressive effort of the steelbands to stay involved on the road would have kept the slower steelband "chippin" style as an alternative to todays manic jumping up on the streets at carnival..

 

Just a thought, folks!

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Comment by Mark Mañuel State on July 1, 2011 at 7:22am
You'll probably be glad to know that most of the jumping up in the Toronto Caribana is still chippin', Glenroy.  The parade's too long to be able to do much else after about halfway through.  Plus, with all the shenanigans accompanying the mas, chippin' still looks pretty good.
Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on July 1, 2011 at 2:01am

Brings back memories, Steve. Those brass bands always seemed to be in a hurry, didn't they.

 

Comment by Steve "Carter" K. on June 30, 2011 at 11:00pm
Nice Blog GRJ for it reminds me of Carnival Monday 1964 when an entire Band  Portraying Jokers passed our Band Sundowners Steel Orch. at the bottom of High Street in San Fernando. We were moving too slow for them so they used the Pavement on both sides to move on. There were no electronic Instruments in that band only Brass and Drums so while we were Chipping they were just " Playing Mas ". No way a Steelband would ever be able to move at that Speed and Play at that Speed so all Pan Lovers just love Chipping all Day long.
Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on June 30, 2011 at 7:01pm

Definitely, Terry, many Trini music fans from back then love to enjoy the old stuff.

The music of our youth is extremely difficult to come by since a lot of that stuff is out of circulation.

Only true music collectors like yourself would have access to that stuff.

If not on this site, we can always share the music elsewhere (youtube for instance)

Comment by terry on June 30, 2011 at 6:56pm

Hey Glen, thanks for the acknowledgement. Sharing the great Caribbean music of  our past is truly a pleasure!!

I know this is primarily a pan site, but is there an interest/ venue for music of the many 'combos' (Cassanovas,

Solid 7, Young Lovers... et al) that flourished during the 1960s and '70s? ------Terry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment by Tony Blackman on June 30, 2011 at 11:13am
We still chip, the few of us who prefer the steelband music for Carmival, for me its the most unique way of enjoying calypso music, and the women who love Pan, their feminine chip and wine mix, that is truly amazing, it still happens, in the minority of course ......About the preference of brass music by the big mas bands back in the day,my experience was that you be with your steelband, Invaders at the time, j'ouvert morning, play with George Bailey, and come back to chip Tuesday night for the las lap...again a few of us still do that
Comment by Peter Gray on June 30, 2011 at 10:18am

So the decline in steelband coincided with a decline in chipping too.  I agree with that.

Peter

Comment by Cecil hinkson on June 30, 2011 at 1:58am
Anyone that want to chip again check out Labour Day in Brooklyn. J'ouvert morning there is only pan on the road, It's the closest  thing to how J'ouvert was  back in the day. 
Comment by jerome ebenezer clarke on June 29, 2011 at 10:02pm
As a panman from another country and never had the opportunity to visit T and T, your explanation seems logical CHIPPIN,,,my point of view is from an rhthymic oversight ,the chippin should be maintained thus also catering for the older folks and the old panplayers of who were the pioneers /meaning doing their thing in the olden days,,,,,my question is what about reintroducing the pan being hung around the neck and playing on the streets as before this don,t have to be on a long basis,,,let,s just say for demonstration purposes,,,,,this is the history of Trinidad and Tobago with reference to the birth of the steelpan,,,mind you the drums of the older days were much heavier,than at the present moment,,in ending i do hope that my contribution doesn,t cause any harm and or displeasure,,,for everyone have a ight to voice their opinion
Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on June 29, 2011 at 7:54pm

Where the heck do you come up with all that stuff, Terry?

For those who dont know, Terry(from St Kitts) is the owner of probably one of the greatest collections of Caribbean music in the world, which he has been kind enough to allow me to share with pan people and Caribbean music fans.

So once again on behalf of this forum,  a big Thank you,Terry

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