Take the Bahamas Life With You Everywhere With Authentic Music | Did you know that the Bahamas comprises over 700 islands and has a population of just 306,000 people?
Considered paradise on earth, it is also a top holiday destination for many people from around the world. This incredible Caribbean country also consistently makes the top of many best beaches in the world lists.
Far more than swaying palms, white sand, and high-end resorts, the Bahamas has a long, complex history and rich culture.
A considerable part of Bahamas life is the traditional music, festivals, and carnivals. Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about Bahamas music.
Bahamas Life Isn’t Complete Without Music
If you go to the Bahamas and listen to island music, it sounds a little experimental, and that’s the beauty of it!
Traditional Bahamian music is called Rake and Scrape music and has evolved over hundreds of years. Instruments used to create Rake and Scrape-style music include drums, trumpets, violins, and accordions.
Due to the experimental nature of this style, just about any instrument can be used to play it.
You will hear a variety of known styles in Bahamian music. From calypso to reggae and goombay, Bahamian music is a melange of styles.
History of Rake and Scrape Music
The style of music synonymous with the Bahamas came to the islands with the slave ships.
The slaves sent to the plantations on ships from Africa wanted to keep their traditions alive, so they used anything they could find to create music. They would often have to make their own instruments from anything they could find.
From saws to drums made from goat skins to washtubs with strings, they got creative to make music.
Plantation owners tried to ban gatherings where slaves would make music as they felt threatened by it. However, the traditional music styles created by an amalgamation of African tribes enslaved together stayed alive to this day.
Influences for the unique style of music came from neighboring islands, as well as the homelands of the enslaved people.
Check out the complete guide to Bahamas music for a more in-depth look at the many different Bahamian music styles.
Music Festivals In the Bahamas
One of the most famous events in the Bahamas is the annual Rake and Scrape Festival held in June. It takes place on Cat Island and is a wonderful homage to the Bahamas’ culture and traditional music.
Junkanoo is another traditional parade that combines traditional dance with music. The parades are held around holidays; Christmas Day, New Years Day, and Independence Day.
Another festival that’s a beautiful celebration of traditional culture; at Junakanoo, everyone dresses in brightly colored costumes and celebrates in the streets. You won’t experience a festival like it anywhere else.
Listen to Bahamas Music
To fully immerse yourself in Bahamas life, you need to listen to Bahamas music.
This eclectic, laid-back style of music is intrinsic to island life. It’s extremely important these music styles are preserved for years to come; they’re such an important part of the islands’ history and their people.
Keep reading more to learn new, fascinating facts.