Reggae History

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Reggae Music's Legend Bob MarleyReggae Music's Legend Bob Marley

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The development of Jamaica’s most prominent music

Jamaica is generally considered to be a small island in the Caribbean, yet the impact that it had on a world’s music is indubitable. Even though reggae is known to be a simple genre of music, which promotes peace, love, and positiveness, the history of its creation is intense and vibrant. What is more, reggae as a genre was not established by one person or a group in a short time. It was the incorporation of ska, rocksteady, and popular Jamaican dance music.

When it comes to the ska, it was originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and became substantially popular amongst affluent Jamaicans, which, in turn, boosted the popularity of this genre exponentially. Ska is suggested to be lighthearted, lively dancing music, usually accompanied by trombone melodies and drum patterns.

At some point, a multitude of countries, namely the UK and Germany, took some patterns from ska music and, mixing it with punk rock, created a variety of forms of ska. However, Jamaican ska developed in a slightly different way. Willing to implement changes to ska, people created rocksteady, which is believed to be similar to ska.

Originated in the mid-1960s, features of rocksteady were slow tempo and distinguished bass, as well as the discussion of poverty and violence.

Its drastic spread outside of Jamaica helped to ensure the loyalty of the international fanbase reggae has today. Important enough, a person who drew the world’s attention was Bob Marley, who is known as Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. The genre that Bob Marley led is called Roots reggae, which finds correlation with life and hopes of Africans.

Even though the theme of love, equality, romance had its place in lyrics, the Rastafari movement implemented a spirituality and faith as the central theme to be sung about. Other than that, spreading violence, corruption, and oppression also motivated singers to include the aforementioned issues in the lyrics. As such, a deep sense of reggae music made it viral, and words became more conscious, with a message of protest and revolution, which, in turn, change the overall perception of the sound.

The tension reached its peak in 1978 when the economy and political unease of the country went down, which stimulated the reggae as a genre to be developed drastically, forming robust and inspirational sound to empower. As to the influence that reggae had on the world’s music, the ones to distinguish are hip hop, punk, and rock.


Even though reggae as a genre of music was not created in a day, its impact on the world’s art, music, and sounds is inevitable and cannot be overestimated.

The path of reggae’s development formed the national consciousness of social problems and robustly unified a society. Apart from depicting the harsh reality, artists were still promoting the ideas of adoration, harmony, and egalitarianism.

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