Comparative Musical Cultures
Bacchanal Chapter 1: Kaiso
1) What is a Calypso review tent? Why was it important to the development and exposure of
2) What is the role of the house band in Calyspo? How many players are in the house band and
what is the instrumentation?
3) What are some of the typical themes of calypsos?
4) What are some of the ways calypsonians describe themselves?
5) What is the cultural core or basis for calypso? What are some of the various cultural
influences? What is meant by the term Kaiso?
6) What are some “Africanisms” (traditional African elements) found in Calypso?
What is meant by the terms “call and response” and “extemporising”?
7) Who is Gros Jean why is he considered the first calypso?
8) What is meant by the terms kalinda and chantwells? What is significant about each?
9) Discuss the development of the stickfighting groups in to mas bands and the organization of
10) What is significant about the date 1914 and what are picong sessions involving extempo?
11) Discuss the difference between the oratorical style and the ballad style of calyspo?
12) What role did World War II play on the international popularity of calypso?
13) What is meant by the term “saga boy” and what was the typical way of life for the
14) What was the early function of calypso and the why is it said that current calypso is still
related to that of the “dark days”?
15) Why did Sparrow stop competing in after some numerous years of winning the calypso
monarch competion? Why did he return to competition after almost two decades of
16) Who is David Rudder and why is his music more internationally appealing?
17) Who is Ras Shorty I what role did he play in the development of soca? What is meant by the
term “soca” and what is it a mixture of?
18) What is the difference between calypso and soca?
19) What is the NCC and what is their function concerning the preservation of calypso?
20) What is benching and how many calypsonian generally participate on each tent bill?
21) How many calypso type songs are composed annually for carnival?
22) What roll do the tents play in the selection of participants for the Calypso Monarch?
When did the competition formally begin?
23) What is the Dimanche Gras show and what competition is associated with it?
24) How many calypsonians compete in the semi-finals and finals of the Calypso Monarch
competition? Where is each competition held?
27) What is Queen’s Park Savannah and why is it important during carnival?
28) Why do some people use props how is the scoring done for the competition?
29) What is preceived difference in the people in the north stand versus those in the grandstand at
Queen’s Park Savannah?
30) Why and when was the Calypso Monarch finals separated from Dimanche Gras?
31) Who have been some of the most notable winners of Calypso Monarch competition? Brief
state what significant about each of the people in the Calypso Hall of Fame? Attila the Hun,
Black Stalin, Calypso Rose, Chalkdust, Kitchener, Pretneder, Ras Shorty I, Roaring Lion,
David Rudder, Shadow, Sparrow, Supper Blue.
32) What are some of the other Calypso competitions held during carnival?
33) What are the rules/guidelines of the Calypso competition?
34) What is the Road March and how is it judged? How much prize money is given to the
35) Discuss differences between the traditional commentary-style calypso and the popular jam
and wine style (differences in appeal between youth and adults as well as among
36) Why is calypso more appealing in Trinidad?
37) Why do the youth prefer the fetes as opposed to the tents?
38) What is chutney soca who is credited with it’s origin? Who is Drupatee Ramgoonai?
39) What is a dougla and why is this a reflection of the musical scene, especially Chutney Soca?
40) Identify at least five types of music that are modern offshoots of calypso?