< Return to All Lessons

Caribbean Call-and-Response Forms

Grade Level: 4–6

Selection: Sambo Caesar
Performer: Cyprus Smith and group, Trinidad
Selection: Roll, Roll, Roll and Go
Performer: Group of singers in Grenada

Activity #1: Call-and-Response
1. Listen to "Roll, Roll, Roll and Go" from Grenada, and notice the separate singing groups.

Q: How many separate singing groups are there?
A: Two.
Q: How are the singing groups distinguished?
A: There is a women’s group and a men’s group.
2. Listen again to "Roll, Roll, Roll and Go", and sing the "response" (the title’s words as sung by the men).
3. Sing the women singers’ segment, the "call". "Oh roll and go, buddy, roll and go way." (response/repeat) "I spend my money and I can’t get ashore." (response/repeat)
4. Divide the students into two groups, and designate them as singers of call or response. In a repeat performance, switch parts.
5. Listen to "Sambo Caesar" from Trinidad", and identify the form.
Q: How is "Sambo Caesar" like "Roll, Roll, Roll and Go"?
A: They both utilize call-and-response form.
Q: What are some of the distinguishing features of "Sambo Caesar"?
A: The singers are all male, the response is sung in harmony, and there is an accompaniment on bamboo sticks.
6. Listen to "Sambo Caesar", and sing the response that sounds like "Sam-bo See-zah-ay, Ma-ma".

Singing and Rhythmicking
1. While listening to "Sambo Caesar", sing the response—even as the bamboo sticks begin to sound. Pat, tap, or clap the beat while singing and listening.
2. Listen for the sound of the bamboo sticks, and pat the pattern as it sounds: / / / / / / / / / /
(dotted eighth/sixteenth, two sixteenth/eighth; repeat)
3. Listen for the clapping pattern that comes in a little later, layering over the bamboo sticks, and pat out its pattern:
/ / / / / /
(dotted eighth, dotted eighth, eighth; repeat)
4. Again, listening to the recording, sing the response while also patting the rhythm of the bamboo sticks or the clapping.
5. Divide the students into three groups: response-singers, bamboo stick-patters, and clappers.

Cultural Link:

Designed by Karli Anderson and Patricia Shehan Campbell

All material © 2001-2016 Association for Cultural Equity | Contact | Credits | Rights | DMCA Notice