Red Stripe Band that indicates it can be considered as Caribbean music The performing forces of Yellow Bird are a major factor of this piece being a part of Caribbean music. Steel pans are used throughout the piece and are traditionally made from oil barrels. The instruments used are made out of organic materials and they normally use the materials which are at hand. The higher pans can play many notes on one instrument, while the lower instruments might only play three notes.
A wide range of percussion is used throughout the piece. There is a drum kit which includes use of the cymbal, hi-hat, lower tom-toms and bass drum. These instruments are all typical of Caribbean music. All of these timbres instantly signpost Caribbean music as they have very distinctive sounds. Another feature of this music which shows a Caribbean style is the structure which is very repetitive based on the Yellow Bird motif which is four bars long and reoccurring. A second idea, based on repeated, syncopated, upward arpeggio-like gurus is also significant.
Similar to other Caribbean music there is no contrast in key or much attempt to make any musical contrast. However there is use of some chromatics which creates a reggae atmosphere. There are recurring C sharps; chromatic lower auxiliary notes in the initial melody and F naturals in bars 8 and 9. When referring to melody there is a significant use of syncopation which is important in Caribbean music. In the second half of the A section, the melody is largely based on a repeated, syncopated rhythm.
The melody features upward arpeggio figures like in bars 9 and 10 form a descending sequence, using intervals of thirds and fourths. A large leap at the end of every bar is created, the line dropping variously by a ninth, octave or seventh to the low E or D. The B section melody is triadic, using intervals of 3rd and ethos. It ends with a similar descending stepwise figure to that of the end of the A section. The melody is largely conjunct. These ascending and descending arpeggio like figures are frequent in this type of music and throughout the piece.
There is a strong feeling of part of the Latin American ‘Slaves’ rhythm throughout this piece. This rhythm, heard both in the lower drums, and in the melodic rhythm of the second half of A, consists of two dotted crotchets followed by a crotchet. The repeated Bass rhythm is the ‘Hibernia’ rhythm of Cuban music, popular in the 19th century throughout Europe. Furthermore the syncopation in the melody possibly derive from those of Latin American music, Samba, and those found in the Caribbean Calypso.