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The sound of carnival

GOOD TIMES: Veteran DJ Norman Jay at his Good Times static sound system

MUSIC IS the heartbeat of Notting Hill Carnival. More than 80 performing units and 40 sound systems are on hand to keep the party going throughout the two-day festivities.

CALYPSO

The Origin of calypso can be traced back to the arrival of the first enslaved Africans brought to work in the sugar plantations of Trinidad. Forbidden to talk to each other, and robbed of all links to family and home, the enslaved Africans began to sing. They used calypso, which can be traced back to West African Kaiso, as a means of communication and to mock the slave masters. These songs helped to unite the slaves.

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SOCA

Like calypso, soca was used for both social commentary and risqué humor. By the 1980s, the genre was being used to express courtships and sexual interests. Like all things related to sexual freedom, it became embraced because of its ability to reflect what people were thinking and their desires in a society that was sexually repressed.

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PARTY TIME: Calypso and soca fill the streets

STEELPAN

The sound of the steel pans will be filling the streets of Notting Hill with their wonderful melodic sounds throughout the Bank Holiday weekend. Steel band came from the Tambu Bamboo band from Trinidad in the early 1030s. Trinidadians used to beat the bamboo and sing and by using some creative means, began to create different tones. This led to the use of oil drums and in a short space of time the steel band was born.

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SAMBA

Samba is a type of music and dance developed from the musical traditions of the enslaved Africans of Brazil. Samba originated in the north of Brazil and was radically developed in Rio at the turn of the century. Now you can hear the Samba beat in London and throughout the world.

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SOUND SYSTEMS

Over 40 sound systems positioned around the Carnival area provide the perfect setting for DJ's to show off their skills. From Latin jazz, reggae and garage to hip-hop and drum and bass, there will be a sound system for everyone’s musical needs.

Don’t forget to check out these popular sound systems:

* Rampage
* Channel One
* Good Times
* Sancho Panza
* Saxon Sound
* Rapattack
* Ram Jam

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