Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts


This essay will explore the musical culture and customs that come from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Some of the traditions examined include the usage of the steel pan as a percussive instrument, the evolution of Carnival music in Trinidad, and the various types of poetic styles used in calypso songs. In an effort to understand the development and importance of musical practices in Trinidad and Tobago, it will be vital to take an anthropological and historical look at the two islands. This means learning about how the various cultures of people came to exist in Trinidad and Tobago and how the influences of multiple ethnicities combined to create unique musical sounds that can always be identified as coming from Trinidad or Tobago. This essay will reflect a compilation of information from literary works, documentaries and descriptions of historical events in order to gain a clear understanding of how the musical culture in Trinidad and Tobago came to be what it is.