Music of the Virgin Islands

The music of the Virgin Islands reflects long-standing West Indian cultural ties to the island nations to the south, the islands' African heritage and European colonial history, as well as recent North American influences. Though the United States Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands are politically separate, they maintain close cultural ties. From its neighbors, the Virgin Islands has imported various pan-Caribbean genres of music, including calypso and soca from Trinidad and reggae from Jamaica.

The major indigenous form of music is the scratch band (also called Fungi band in the British Virgin Islands), which use improvised instruments like gourds and washboards to make a kind of music called Quelbe. A Virgin Island folk song called cariso is also popular, as well as St. Thomas' bamboula. The quadrille is the traditional folk dance of the islands, and include varieties like St. Croix's Imperial Quadrille and St. Thomas' Flat German Quadrille. The Heritage Dancers are a respected dance troupe that perform traditional folk dances from the Virgin Islands and beyond.


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