Like other aspects of T & T life, music embodies its history and its diversity. It is the birthplace of the steel drum or pan as it is called.

Calypso is another of Trinidad's gifts to the world of music. Its origins are unclear, but it is known to have evolved from the cultural mix that is Trinidad. In calypso, nothing is sacred. Songs tend to be satirical and humorous, targeting institutions, politicians and other prominent individuals. Calypso songs are often a form of protest or social commentary on current events. Two famous Calypsonians are Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener.

Soca, a derivative of calypso, is another Trinidadian musical form that has become popular beyond its borders. The meeting of east and west has created Chutney music. Parang is Spanish Christmas music, but Parang groups perform throughout the year.

In literature, V. S. Naipaul is Trinidad's best known novelist. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He has won many awards and is internationally recognized for both fiction and non-fiction.

T & T folk culture is quite rich. Stories of folklore characters abound. For example, Papa Bois is the keeper of the forest, protecting the birds and the beasts. Soucouyants are disguised as women and behave like vampires, sucking people's blood. Then they trade the blood with the Devil for evil powers. Mama d'leau is Mother of the River who protects and heals all river animals. If angered, she is said to become like a serpent.
Did you know?

The steel drum or pan was created from used oil drums in the 1930s. The pan is a symbolic fusion of art and industry and of African and European musical traditions. A whole repertoire of music can be enjoyed from the pan including classical and jazz.