A look at musical history in Guadeloupe

Gino Sitson publishes “De la musique des natives caraïbéens à la naissance du Gwoka” (From native Caribbean music to the birth of Gwoka), published by Neg Mawon. The book contains an annotated bibliography of documents published between 1635 and 1848.

” This first part of an annotated bibliography devoted to the history of music-making in Guadeloupe is the fruit of pioneering research in the French-speaking Caribbean.

Covering the period between the arrival of the French in 1635 and the abolition of slavery in 1848, the book explores printed documents, manuscripts and scores preserved both in France and the USA. It sheds light on the musical forms played in the archipelago by the Caribbean natives, the slaves who arrived from Africa after 1641, and the colonists.

It offers a glimpse into how this complex musical heritage took root in the collective memory, giving rise to the Gwoka style.”

Subtitled “Regard sur l’histoire musicale en Guadeloupe”, the book, published in October 2023, is prefaced by Jean-Pierre Sainton. The book is available on the publisher’s website.

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