“Muddy da Water”

Timothy Rommen

in Funky Nassau

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520265684
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948754 | DOI:
“Muddy da Water”

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This chapter's recollections provide a conceptual frame because they offer a glimpse at the terminological slippage at play in speaking of rake-n-scrape, a genre that was known as goombay music, and because they attempt to bring into view the long and complex history of this constellation of musical practices in the Bahamas. Rake-n-scrape is best understood as a multivalent performance practice which admits to a great range of variations on its principal musical characteristics. Edmund Moxey's recollections concerning the ubiquity and subsequent decline of rake-n-scrape practice throughout the Bahamas, furthermore, offer a window onto another set of issues that the chapter explores. Internal migration to Nassau (the center), and even extended stays abroad in order to take advantage of labor contracts in the United States, severely disrupted the social context in which rake-n-scrape had previously functioned.

Keywords: rake-n-scrape; goombay; music; Bahamas; Edmund Moxey; migration; Nassau; labor; contracts; United States

Chapter.  15934 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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