Trinidad and Tobago: The Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago has shared “Feature Friday”. The post by the Institute read that on this Feature Friday, they explore the instruments that are commonly used in a parang band or ensemble that bring out that richness in the music, the origins of which are Spanish.
According to the post, the parang bands of yesteryear mainly used instruments such as the cuatro, guitar, violin, mandolin, banjolin, box bass or string bass (and more currently, electric bass), maracas (or “chac-chac”), and the wood block (or “toc-toc”). In modern times these instruments are used, but there have been some additions to suit our local traditions here in Trinidad, such as the afro pick on the grater, the bottle and spoon and to some extent, the national instrument, the pan. In addition to these new instruments being used, we now have another sub-genre of parang, namely, Soca Parang.
“The lyrics of Soca Parang are predominantly English and have a Soca base. Our Christmas songs are mostly about our foods, such as ham and pastelles, as well as such traditions as repainting the house, putting up new curtains and more. The musical content may contain some double entendres and, as such, has brought the lyrical voice of calypso/soca to parang,” it read furthermore.
Earlier, the Carnival Institute and Regional Carnival (CIRC) offered condolences to the family as well as friends of Francine Edwards, better known in the calypso arena by her sobriquet ”Singing Francine” on her passing.
Born in Barbados, she migrated to Trinidad and entered the calypso arena in the 1950s. This chantuelle became a background vocalist for calypso legends such as Aldwyn Roberts’ “Lord Kitchener” and Slinger Francisco’s “Mighty Sparrow.” She later became a solo act and released several classical calypso and dance hits over the years. Singing Francine overcame many obstacles, such as discrimination and chauvinism, making an enormous impact towards the advancement of calypso, paving the way for many females to enter the art form.
Francine’s musical prowess produced several hits over the years, leading to her achieving the title of “Calypso Queen of the World” five times. She also ventured into the musical genre known as Soca Parang, giving us such memorable Christmas hits as “Hurray Hurrah,” “Ay Ay Maria”, and “Parang Parang.” In 1975 Singing Francine was awarded the Public Service Medal of Merit Silver in the sphere of calypso.