The History of Haitian Music

The unique and lively musical rhythms and the artistic expressions of Haitian musicians were greatly influenced by the multicultural background of Haiti.The unique and lively musical rhythms and the artistic expressions of Haitian musicians were greatly influenced by the multicultural background of Haiti. The Haitian people are a mixture of diverse cultures and the origins of Haitian people differ a lot. The diversity of various songs composed by Haitian musicians is more notable than the unity. Most kinds of Haiti music genres combined features derived from Africa with features derived from the west. The music compositions by early Haitian musicians were influenced by European colonization and importation of slaves from Africa. The Haitian music styles that emerged due to the Western-African fusion are referred to as syncretic styles. In addition , Haitian music also borrowed some Spanish traits due to influence from the neighbouring Spanish countries like Cuba. In general , the Haitian music may be grouped into folk , classical or commercially popular categories. Most Haitian musicians who specialized on folk genre derived the styles from African music and they tend to be dominated by percussion instruments.Haitian music contains some intricate styles derived from Vodun ritual songs and dances. As much as a vast majority of Haitian people practice Roman Catholicism , some still practice Vodou. A remarkable percentage of Haitian music consisted of spiritual songs sung by the Haitian people during spiritual ceremonies and rituals. Haitian Konpa was a popular Haitian music genre that contained a mixture of European ball room dancing and African rhythms. Compas was a popular form of music among the middle class Haitian people.In the 20th century , the Haitian musicians added other genres of music to the original style Compas such as salsa , calypso , and cubanson. Haitian music continued to evolve and in 1915 , American military personnel in Haiti introduced swing and big band music into the Haiti Island. The Haitian musicians incorporated these rhythms into Compas. Compas was a popular music among the Haitian people and in the mid 1950 , Compas direct was invented. This was an advanced form of Compas music and it soon spread to other parts of the world.Some of the contemporary themes addressed in the music composed by the Haitian people are heterosexual relationships and male chauvinism. Many Haitian musicians have composed songs within these themes. Haitian music has been modernised with the emergence of hip hop Haitian musicians. The hip hop artists normally combine urban beats with the traditional Compas. Currently Haitian musicians are world leaders in hip hop and they are globally recognised. Countless Haitian music videos can be accessed and played online via you-tube and Haitian music downloads are also available for free or at a fee.Even in the present day Haitian people highly appreciate their traditional music. Many traditional rituals and ceremonies such as the famous Vodou ceremonies are still popular and many Haitian people attend and participate in traditional Haitian music. The Haitian music fans has also come together to appreciate their culture and specifically the Haiti Music through social network sites where they can exchange ideas.