Zouk is a musical movement pioneered by the French Antillean band Kassav' in the early 1980s. It was originally characterized by a fast tempo (120–145 bpm), a percussion-driven rhythm and a loud horn section.[1] The fast zouk béton of Martinique and Guadeloupe faded away during the 1980s.[2] Musicians from Martinique and Guadeloupe added MIDI instrumentation to their compas style, which developed into zouk-love.[3][4] Zouk-love is effectively the French Lesser Antilles' compas.[5] Zouk gradually became indistinguishable from the genre known as compas.[5] This light compas influenced the Cape-Verdean new generation.[6]

Zouk bétonEdit

The original fast carnival style of zouk, best represented by the band Kassav', became known as "zouk béton", "zouk chiré" or "zouk hard".[7] Zouk béton is considered a synthesis of various French Antillean dance music styles of the 20th century: kadans (cadence), konpa and biguine.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Torres, George (2013). Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music. ABC-CLIO. p. 453. ISBN 978-0-313-08794-3.
  2. ^ Popular music of the non western world. Peter Manuel, New York Oxford University Press, 1988, p74
  3. ^ Occo, Jean-Claude (2019). The Codification of Zouk. p. 10. ISBN 978-2-9567965-2-7.
  4. ^ Ellingham, Mark (1999). The Rough Guide to World Music. p. 299. ISBN 978-1-85828-636-5.
  5. ^ a b Popular Musics of the Non Western World. Peter Manuel, New York Oxford University Press, 1988, p74
  6. ^ Gérald Désert, Le Zouk. Genèse et représentations sociales d'une musique populaire, préface de Apollinaire Anakesa Kululuka, Paris, Anibwe, coll. Liziba, 2018 ISBN 9781234567897
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.