Zoop! Zoop! Zoop!

Composer(s): Ethel McIntosh, Maude Andreas, Anonymous, Evelyn Gordon, James Brewster, Beatrice Mapsey Johnson
Album Title: Zoop! Zoop! Zoop! 
Cat. No.: 80427
Genre: Traditional
Description: Traditional Music and Folklore of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John

On Zoop Zoop Zoop (a traditional children's game) over 40 musicians capture an enticing Caribbean feel that is distinctive to the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The music is rhythmic, percussive and upbeat with an exciting, tantalizing sound.  Two types of music and dance always included in holiday celebrations are Bamboula in St. Thomas and Cariso in St. Croix.  The songs tell local news and scandals through high energy drumming, dancing, and singing.  Both of these styles have developed since the time of slavery and more than any other music in the Virgin Islands show distinct African characteristics.  The Quadrille is a relaxed social dance still performed in St. Croix.  During every major holiday, groups of people in costume, each with its own musicians, perform in the streets of the towns; this is known as Masquerading.  These groups make the festivals buzz with an air of excitement and get the people dancing in the streets.

The most important types of bands for playing this style of music are the Scratch Band or Fungi Band.  A Scratch Band, which gets it name from the scratchy sound produced by scraping the guiro, is made up of either an instrument playing the melody or a singer, along with various string and percussion instruments.  The string instruments are banjo-mandolin or banjo-ukulele, cuatro, ukulele, and mandolin, sometimes all of these at one time.  The percussion instruments were guiro, triangle, tambourine, and washtub bass.  These types of bands are what give the music the unmistakeable sound and feel found in the Virgin Island. 
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