Guess the Island: Musical Styles


I gravitate towards the rhythm of island cultures – and I don’t just mean the slower pace of daily life. Islands across the globe have created many of the world’s most interesting and important musical styles. Test your beat knowledge here – how many of these can you match up with their islands of origin? We’ll post the answers in the comments section tomorrow!

1. Calypso music traces its roots to these sibling Caribbean islands. It’s not hard to read between the lines of this bawdy example from the great Mighty Terror.

2. This island gave birth to ska, the bouncy beat that powers this Derrick Morgan classic. This music may not be as well known as its compatriot, reggae, but it's just as addictive.

3. Bachata is just as popular in the streets of Brooklyn as it is on its island home. Edilio Paredes is a classic crooner of the genre.

4. Gamelan orchestras like this one often accompany dance or puppet dramas on this island nation. Distinctive tuning and xylophones of different materials contribute to its unique sound.

5. In the traditional folk music of these islands, vibrato-laced singing is accompanied by the plucking of a sanshin.