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date: 09 December 2019


  • Mark F. DeWitt


Regional accordion-based music for partner dancing, originating from traditional music of Afro-French Creoles of rural southwest Louisiana and influenced by Cajun music and African American popular music genres such as urban blues, rhythm-and-blues, and hip hop.

In the context of zydeco, “Creole” as an ethnic term refers to persons of African descent with francophone family histories that may also include French, Spanish, Native American, and other backgrounds. This usage of the contested term Creole varies somewhat in New Orleans, on the opposite (east) side of the Atchafalaya Basin. Cajun music and zydeco developed in parallel in the same region of the United States, borrowed extensively from each other, and took advantage of the same regional recording industry. (See also Creole music and European American music: French American music .)

The terms “Creole music,” “French music,” and la-la are often used to refer more specifically to an older style of Creole dance music with Afro-Caribbean elements that predates zydeco. A dance held in someone’s home was known as a ...

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