Calypso Beat


Essential Question:
  • How can you perform an offbeat rhythm in Calypso style.


  • Students will listen to, practice and perform an offbeat rhythm in Calypso style.

Watch the video recording below and think about the following questions:

    What instruments do you hear?
    Where do you think this music is from/how do you know?
    What purpose does the music serve?
    What might people be doing when they hear this music?
    Who listens to this music?
Top Cat Mambo

The music you just listened to is an example of Calypso music from Trinidad.

Trinidad along with its twin country, Tobago, are an island located between North and South America.


Calypso music includes a variety of different instruments. Some of these are listed below and can be viewed on the right.

      Steel pan
      Drum kit


    “chipping” is a way of walking to the beat of Calypso music as people parade through the streets during Carnival in Trinidad.
      The term “chipping” refers to the sound of leather shoes as they chip at the pavement
      Listen again and attempt “chipping” to mark the beat along with the recording.

One Characteristic of Calypso is that it has an offbeat feel. Below is some music that demonstrates a pattern that can be used during the recording above.

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