Zydeco

Zydeco [zahy-di-koh] is a form of American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of Creole music. The rural black Creoles of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas still sing in Louisiana Creole French. The word is derived from the French word le zaricot, which means ‘green beans’ or ‘snap beans.’

Usually fast tempo and dominated by accordion and a form of a washboard known as a ‘rub-board’ or frottoir, zydeco music was originally created at house dances, where families and friends gathered for socializing. Sometimes the music moved to the Catholic Church community center, as Creoles were mostly Catholic. Later it moved to rural dance halls and nightclubs. As a result, the music integrated waltzes, shuffles, two-steps, blues, rock and roll, and most dance music forms of the era. Today, the tradition of change and evolution in the music continues. It stays current while integrating even more genres such as R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, urban hip, ska, rock, Afro-Caribbean and other styles, in addition to the traditional forms.

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