A Study of Jamaican Music: You Would Love to Know
June 16, 2021
Music is diversified and has separate sections. These are Ska, Reggae, Ragga, Dub, jazz, and Dancehall, among many others. Here, we will explore some of these options.
Each country of the world has a deep musical history. Jamaica can proudly boast this fact too, as it has given us some popular music styles. These songs mainly spoke about the country’s internal affairs, people’s suffering, and hope. We have discussed Reggae, and Dancehall in a previous blog, but now, let’s turn our attention to the genres that deserve equal attention.
Today, we will solely discuss some genres, probably from the ’50s, and the ’60s.
People from the 1950s are graced with the genre Ska. It is a combination of different styles, like American jazz, and R&B, among others. It is sometimes termed the Jamaican version of R&B.
As you have guessed from the year, Ska came before Reggae. Therefore, Reggae music songs are partially influenced by this style.
The bass actually sounds like the sound made by walking or marching. This is a distinctive feature of ska, and people can identify the genre
But there are other style elements as well. The guitarist will create an offbeat rhythm, creating an illusion of bouncing. This is another trademark of ska. The beat can be faster (as seen in the punk version).
Stringed instruments play a crucial role in many World music genres. Ska is not different, these instruments can accompany a guitar to create an awesome effect.
The vocals of this genre are quite diverse. We already mentioned that this genre is influenced by many versions, and it can be seen by listening to these songs.
We can see rhythmic rhyming, and chanting (like that of a rap), and melodic ones. It also discusses social issues, like many of the genres following it.
These songs also consist of a brass department (trombones, trumpets, and such). Here, percussion, and keyboards also play a crucial role. Some say, that this has played a crucial role in the formation of Dancehall music, but others are not so sure about that.
This genre has been popular for a long time, and even today is extremely popular. Yes, it has gone through some changes, but it’s still there.
This was the time of Rocksteady & Reggae, and we are forever indebted to the artists who sang these songs. Like the true ReggaeRockstar they are, they have created some true masterpieces. It has risen to its popularity during the late ’60s.
Rocksteady set the stage for Reggae, according to a music artist. The tempo is slowed down than Ska, and it will have a jazzy vibe.
Reggae took a lot from its predecessors, but definitely has a distinctive nature of its own. This is my favorite genre, not because I am an artist, but because it calms me down.
If you are a spiritual person, then you may seek comfort from these songs.
Dancehall is perhaps the best style of this period. It seems like a while ago but still seems modern. The style is youthful, energetic, and will leave you tapping your feet, even if you have too left ones. These songs are a blast, and you will agree with me on this one when I say that there’s nothing like it.
If you want to experience a wild experience, you can expect it from this music. Are you sad because you couldn’t go out, and have fun? Play this music, and free yourself of your worries, and enjoy yourself.
Ragga graced us in the 1980s and is still going steady. It is more like a sub-genre of Reggae, but it follows the style of Hiphop music more. Yes, you can also trace elements of R&B here, as you would in Ska, and many other genres
Dub is another sub-form that is directly influenced by Reggae. It is more like the electronification of the genre. In this genre, we mainly see remixing or slightly altering the previously recorded songs. A younger audience loves these songs, and are great for playing at parties.
What makes them fascinating is that these genres are amazing to listen to. They are a part of history, and culture, and deserve to be preserved.
And they are being preserved in a way. In most genres, there are two schools of thinking, old, and new. Both of these schools might agree and disagree on some stylistic adjustments, but they are very much a part of it.
Which school do you belong to? Do you like the traditional versions, or you like experimentation? Well, as a
Hiphop artist, I am a fan of both.
These genres have given birth to some fusion genres, and they are equally exciting to listen to and watch. We will discuss these genres in later episodes, as they need detailed exploration.
I still think that there is a lot left behind. Jamaica has a lot to offer Caribbean Islands have a lot to offer. Even if I try to capture the essence of the music, I will be unable to do so. And that’s the beauty of music.
Frankly, the world is filled with music. You can find pearls and gems scattered everywhere, you just have to find out. We will discuss something from the US next time, as these genres have influenced the formation of these songs.
Let’s end this article differently, alright?
Say you are alone and bored? Do you want to jazz it up? Try, jazz, Hiphop, dub, ragga, Dancehall, or any other version
Want to stay calm and serene? You must set the environment with Reggae.
Maybe you need both of these in your life? I don’t know, maybe alternate, or try some fusion genres.
If you love a particular genre and feeling like it, listen to it. It will make your mood better.
If you are up for something new, you can catch up with these genres.
Did this interest you? Do you want something on similar lines? Then stick around for further updates.