Analysing The Reggae Music Genre Music Essay

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Analysing The Reggae Music Genre Music Essay

Reggae although not as popular as it was a few decades ago is one of the most widely appreciated genres is modern music history With reggae being so widely spread almost everyone could recite a reggae lyric even if they are not fans of the music and influential artists such as the legendary Bob Marley are well known and are still celebrated to this day Although reggae is possibly the most popular genre in Jamaican music it was certainly not the first of its kind in Jamaica with reggae having a few predecessors and a vast history that made reggae what it was today

The very beginning of reggae could be seen in the early 1950s in the run down areas of Downtown Kingston Jamaica with the emergence of the Sound System It is thought that the birth of the sound system came about when they were used during the intermission of a dance orchestra It was soon realised that the sound systems were much cheaper and needed no breaks and soon replaced the dance orchestras all together Eventually the sound systems became booming business opportunities and many of the liquor barons in Kingston made a good fortune playing the popular American Rhythm and Blues of the time Music business entrepreneur Derrick Harriott recalled his experience of the sound system street parties Being part of the crowdwhen a big sound system was playing was probably the greatest feeling in the world to any Jamaican kid But if you had aspirations to make music then it was magical Bradley 20003 The sound system business very competitive and by the end of the 50s sound system owners opened up recording studios this included the famous Studio 1 owned by Coxsone Dodd to create exclusive tracks that would only be owned by the sound system owners The sound system owners would audition hopefuls and would agree to record the best to make a Jamaican version of RB and it is then that marks the creation of Ska A few years later on August 5th 1962 Jamaica was made an independent state after 300 years of British rule and the soundtrack to this new freedom was the newly invented Ska It was this freedom that boosted the popularity of Ska and made it a huge success in Jamaica although it was mainly popular around the poor areas of Downtown Kingston and was not really accepted in the rich Uptown Kingston Around the beginning of the 60s many Jamaican musicians moved over to England to try their luck in the business which this started an underground Ska scene in London and eventually the scene became popular that it moved from West London to the West End In 1964 the popularity of Ska heightened with the release of My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small and Ska became the national sound of Jamaica Although Uptown Kingston had finally accepted Ska the mood was changing Downtown to relate with a slower pace in times Downtown was poverty stricken and many were unhappy with the way the country was being run so with slow times came a slower rhythm and this was the birth of Rock steady Rock steady took inspiration from American soul and RB and many of the songs were Boy meets Girl stories Although this period was considered the most glorious phase in Jamaican music Rock steady lasted 18 months but due to Jamaicas problems worsening the music became more serious with heavier bass lines a faster tempo and the subject matter based around social occurrences People were looking for a revolution and thus reggae was born

In the beginning reggae much like any genre was relatively unknown but although it was a Jamaican export reggae had a large underground following in the UK partly due to the now settled Caribbean community that lived in London Even the Mods who were big Ska fans had turned to reggae and eventually the Mod culture morphed into what is known as the Skinhead culture Skinhead having a different meaning to what it has today UK sound system owner Vego recalled selling the reggae records at the time When I first come here there werent any record shops selling our kind of musicWed go to dances w

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