Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2016

Publication Title

Action, Criticism, & Theory for Music Education

Volume

15

Issue

3

First Page

151

Last Page

179

Keywords

musical narratives of power, music in politics, Grenada, steelband, calypso, music education

Abstract

The role of music in Grenada, West Indies has traditionally been to pass on knowledges, values, and ideals; and to provide a means of connecting to one another through expressing commonality of experience, ancestry, and nationhood. This paper explores how Eric Matthew Gairy, during his era of political leadership in Grenada (1951-1979), exploited the transmission and performance of music in very specific ways to further his career politically and exert power over Grenadian society. This historical case study of Grenada, where music was deliberately used as a method of supporting perceived social and political binaries, sheds light upon the power dynamics that are at play when we uplift certain musics in the classroom, and silence others.

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