Your cart is empty.
Surinamese Music in the Netherlands and Suriname

Surinamese Music in the Netherlands and Suriname

By Marcel Weltak
Translated by Scott Rollins
Series: Caribbean Studies Series

Hardcover : 9781496816948, 222 pages, July 2021
Paperback : 9781496834881, 222 pages, July 2021

Available in English for the first time, the integral and only book on all the music of a most diverse nation


Contributions by Herman Dijo, J. Ketwaru, Guilly Koster, Lou Lichtveld, Pondo O’Bryan, and Marcel Weltak

When Marcel Weltak’s Surinamese Music in the Netherlands and Suriname was published in Dutch in 1990, it was the first book to provide an overview of the music styles originating from the land that had recently gained its independence from the Netherlands. Up until the 1990s, little had been published that observed the music of the country. Weltak’s book was the first to examine both the instruments and the way in which they are played as well as the melodic and rhythmic components of music produced by the country’s ethnically diverse populations, including people of Amerindian, African, Indian, Indonesian/Javanese, and Chinese descent.

Since the book’s first appearance, a new generation of musicians of Surinamese descent has carried on making music, and some of their elders referred to in the original edition have passed away. The catalog of recordings that have become available has also expanded, particularly in the areas of hip-hop, rap, jazz, R&B, and new fusions such as kaskawi. This edition, in English for the first time, includes a new opening chapter by Marcel Weltak giving a historical sketch of Suriname’s relationship to the Netherlands. It includes updates on the popular music of second- and third-generation musicians of Surinamese descent in the Netherlands, and Weltak's own subsequent and vital research into the Amerindian and maroon music of the interior. The new introduction is followed by the integral text of the original edition. New appendices have been added to this edition that include a bibliography and updated discography; a listing of films, videos, and DVDs on or about Surinamese music or musicians; and concise, alphabetically arranged notes on musical instruments and styles as well as brief biographies of those authors who contributed texts.


"For all the advantages of a biographical format, Surinamese Music in the Netherlands and Suriname remains an important counterbalance, through which musical scenes can be remembered as complex and deeply interconnected spaces that involve fans, critics, and industry personnel alongside musicians—full of supporting players as well as shining stars."

- Corinna Campbell, Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies