Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Preview to Carnival in Trinidad

I did take some time off while I was in Trinidad believe it or not. As I would not be there for Carnival itself, I took a tour with some other cruisers of places that made the costumes and watched a steel or pan drum group practice. The costumes are very elaborate with lots of jewels and feathers and very little costume. Some birds must be practically naked and the folks who wear the costumes are just about. Costume making is a full time effort and very commercial in Trinidad.

The steel drums or pans were very interesting. The drums are grouped like choirs, sopranos, altos, tenors, bass. The lower the octave the larger the drum and fewer notes on a drum. To play a 'bass' you may be playing on five or six drums while a soprano only play on one or two. There is no sheet music. Musicians learn the melody by repetition. Some musicians move like dancers. It was fun to watch.

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