What is Rake and Scrape Bahama Music and Why We Should Preserve It

What is Rake and Scrape Bahama Music and Why We Should Preserve It


When you think of the Bahamas, it’s easy to think of resorts, lush jungles, and vacations. Yet there’s so much more to the Bahamas than these stereotypes, including its fantastic traditional music. Bahama music isn’t only steel drum bands either: rake and scrape music is a fantastic musical tradition that you need to know about.

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at this rich musical tradition and why it needs to be preserved. Are you ready to learn more? Then let’s get started!

Rake and Scrape Is Bahama Music

Bahamian music is rich but one of its richest traditions is rake and scrape. It originated with African slaves who were brought to the Caribbean and who wanted to produce their traditional music however possible.

It is very similar to the rip saw music of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which neighbor the Bahamas and which the British once governed alongside the Bahamas.

Today, you can hear rake and scrape music across all of the Bahamas. If you want to experience true Bahamian music, you need to listen to rake and scrape: discover more here!

Rake and Scrape Music Is the Result of Resistance

When colonizers brought slaves to the Caribbean, they would mix slaves from different areas and tribes, which could have led to a complete loss of musical tradition. Even when the slaveowners banned drums, the slaves continued to make their music using whatever they could.

The result is rake and scrape music. The history of this music is written in resistance, making it worthy of preservation in its own right.

Rake and Scrape Music Uses Instruments You’ve Never Considered

Due to its origins in the crushing conditions of poverty and slavery, the pioneers of rake and scrape couldn’t use traditional instruments. As such, they took to using whatever they could to make their music.

A saw, for instance, is absolutely key to rake and scrape, with the player being able to change pitch and tone, driving the rest of the band. Barrels that have been made into drums using pigskin were also a traditional way to keep rhythm.

While modern rake and scrape bands may use professional-level instruments, the original legacy still lives on.

Rake and Scrape Music Only Exists in the Bahamas

The Bahamas are the only place that you can hear modern rake and scrape music. This musical tradition is very endangered, and modern Bahamian music is taking on outside influences by the day.

For this reason, rake and scrape music deserves far more attention from the outside world. If it’s going to survive, it needs listeners and it needs attention. We hope that this article has taught you a little more about this fantastic music.

Protecting a Musical Legacy

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this look at Bahama music. If you want to help rake and scrape music survive, you can learn how to play it, listen to it live in the Bahamas, or even stream it to support the artists!

For more fascinating content like this, check out the rest of our blog today!


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