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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Rara is a form of festival music that originated in Haïti, that is used for street processions, typically during Easter Week. The music centers on a set of cylindrical bamboo trumpets called vaksen (which may also be made of metal pipes), but also features drums, maracas, güiras or güiros (a percussion instrument), and metal bells, as well as sometimes also cylindrical metal trumpets which are made from recycled metal, often coffee cans. The vaksen-s perform repeating patterns in hocket and often strike their instruments rhythmically with a stick while blowing into them. In the modern day, standard trumpets and saxophones may also be used. The genre though predominantly Afro-based has some Taino Amerindian elements to it such as the use of güiros and maracas. The songs are always performed in Haitian Kreyòl and typically celebrate the African ancestry of the Afro-Haitian masses. Vodou is often implemented through the procession. The genre was imported to the Dominican Republic and is now an integral part of the Afro-Dominican music scene, where it is known colloquially as gagá. In the Dominican Republic, the music is often played by the Afro-Dominican population as a cultural tribute to their African ancestors in the same manner as their counterparts in Haiti. Rara in Haiti is often used for political purposes, with candidates commissioning songs praising them and their campaigns. Rara lyrics also often address difficult issues, such as political oppression or poverty. Consequently, rara groups and other musicians have been banned from performing and even forced into exile—most notably, folk singer Manno Charlemagne who later returned to Haïti and was elected mayor of Port-au-Prince in the 1990s.

Rara performances are often performed while marching, and are often accompanied by twirlers employing metal batons. Performances generally begin on Ash Wednesday and culminate at Easter Weekend.

"The Rara festival most likely developed during the period of colonial slavery, when enslaved Africans and Afro-Creoles in the colony of Saint-Domingue were said to parade with drums and instruments on Easter Sunday. There is also some evidence that troupes of maroons marched with drummers, horns, and singers, similarly to Rara."

Since the 1990s, Haitian Americans have been performing Rara in New York City's Prospect Park in the summer on Sundays.

Rara (disambiguation)

Rara or RARA may refer to:

  • Rara, form of festival music originating in Haiti
  • Rara (grape), another name for the Italian wine grape Uva Rara
  • RaRa, abbreviated form of Revolutionaire Anti-Racistische Actie (Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action), Dutch terrorist organisation
  • Rara, Iran
  • Rara Lake, lake in Nepal
  • Rara, Nepal
  • Rara National Park, National Park in Nepal
  •, music streaming service
  • Retinoic acid receptor alpha, known as RARA or RAR-alpha
  • Opera Rara, British record label
  • 12522 Rara, asteroid named after student prize-winner
  • Ra Ra Riot, an American indie rock band from Syracuse, New York
  • Reno Air Racing Association
See also
  • Rara avis (disambiguation)
  • Rah-rah (disambiguation)
  • Bad Romance

Note that the Latin word "rara", meaning "rare" is used as the second component in many plant or animal binomial names which are not listed on this page.

Rara (service)

rara was a music streaming service offering ad-free, on-demand music streaming from a range of major and independent record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, global rights agency Merlin and independent digital distributors The Orchard, INgrooves Fontana, Believe Digital, [PIAS] and VidZone Digital Media.

Launched in December 2011 by British company rara Media Group Limited, the service featured an initial music catalogue of approximately 10 million tracks. As of October 2013, the catalogue offers 22 million tracks and is available in 32 countries; US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Africa.

The system is currently accessible on both PC and Mac via the web with apps for Windows 8, iOS, and Android.

A rara "web" subscription provides unlimited music streaming via the web to PC and Mac while a "premium" subscription enables access to rara mobile apps as well as offline access to music. Subscriptions are restricted to people with credit/debit cards registered in live countries.

In between February and March 2015, rara stopped accepting new subscribers and announced that the service was up for sale. Music streaming stopped on March 29.

Usage examples of "rara".

Pot, Rara, the woman with the birthmark on the side of her face, was tapping a cane and holding out a tin cup.

Polito, and refused to receive this rara avis, or black swan, into the present collection.

CAPITOLO LXXI LE TRE EROINE Tre donne di rara bellezza sopraintendevano alla cura dei feriti ed al nobile e gentile loro aspetto, noi riconosciamo le nostre eroine: Clelia, Giulia ed Irene.

I fear, a rara avis among country gentlemen, it unites me, puts me in the main, I may say, in the only current of progress--a word sufficiently despicable in their political jargon.

However, in the country, such dresses are Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno.

Palpably he was one of his hangerson but for the matter of that it was merely a question of one preying on his nextdoor neighbour all round, in every deep, so to put it, a deeper depth and for the matter of that if the man in the street chanced to be in the dock himself penal servitude with or without the option of a fine would be a very rara avis altogether.

Such rarae aves should be remitted to the epitaph writer, or to some poet who may condescend to hitch him in a distich, or to slide him into a rhime with an air of carelessness and neglect, without giving any offence to the reader.

CAPITOLO LXXI LE TRE EROINE Tre donne di rara bellezza sopraintendevano alla cura dei feriti ed al nobile e gentile loro aspetto, noi riconosciamo le nostre eroine: Clelia, Giulia ed Irene.

Perhaps there was another man behind the personality of this deprecating, pleasant-spoken little sybarite - a man who only appeared (oh rara avis!