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Zouk is a musical movement pioneered by the French Antillean band Kassav' in the early 1980s. It has actually become undistinguishable from compas.[1] It was originally characterized by a fast tempo (120–145 bpm), a percussion-driven rhythm and a loud horn section.[2] The fast zouk beton of Martinique and Guadeloupe faded away in the same 80s. [3]Thus musicians from Martinique and Guadeloupe added MIDI technology to their compas style, dubbed zouk-love.[4][5] The original fast carnival style, which is only featured by the band Kassav', became known as "zouk béton", "zouk chiré" or "zouk hard".[6]

The fast carnival zouk beton is considered a synthesis of various French Antillean dance music styles of the 20th century: kadans, konpa and biguine.[7] Unlike the fast carnival zouk beton, zouk love is actually the French Lesser Antilles compas.[1]

This light compas influenced the Cape-Verdean new generation.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Popular Musics of the Non Western World. Peter Manuel, New York Oxford University Press, 1988, p74
  2. ^ Torres, George (2013). Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music. ABC-CLIO. p. 453. ISBN 978-0-313-08794-3.
  3. ^ Popular music of the non western world. Peter Manuel, New York Oxford University Press, 1988, p74
  4. ^ Occo, Jean-Claude (2019). The Codification of Zouk. p. 10. ISBN 978-2-9567965-2-7.
  5. ^ Ellingham, Mark (1999). The Rough Guide to World Music. p. 299. ISBN 978-1-85828-636-5.
  6. ^ Guilbault, Jocelyne; Averill, Gage; Benoit, Edouard; Rabess, Gregory (1993). Zouk: World Music in the West Indies. University of Chicago Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-226-31042-8.
  7. ^ Manuel, Peter; Bilby, Kenneth; Largey, Michael (2012). Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae. Temple University Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-59213-464-9.
  8. ^ Gérald Désert, Le Zouk. Genèse et représentations sociales d'une musique populaire, préface de Apollinaire Anakesa Kululuka, Paris, Anibwe, coll. Liziba, 2018 ISBN 9781234567897


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