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Reggae Music And Its Origins

Reggae Music And Its Origins - Reggae is a genre of music which originated on the island of Jamaica in the late 1960s to early 1970s.

Where was Reggae Music originated? Reports are that is was born in the backyard of a Rasta man name Ras Cardo in small community in name Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica. This is the same community Bob Marley sang about in his hit single "Trench Town Rock".

How can one differentiate reggae from another genre of music? It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the offbeat rhythm section.

One of the most easily recognizable elements is its offbeat rhythms, chords played by a guitar or piano (or both) on the offbeats of the measure. Its BPM (Beats per minutes) starts from around 60-80 beats per minute.

The bass sound in reggae is thick, heavy and equalized so the upper frequencies are removed and the lower frequencies emphasized.

The guitar in reggae usually plays on the offbeat of the rhythm. It is common for reggae to be sung in Jamaican Patois, Jamaican English, and Iyaric financially.

The tempo of reggae is usually slower paced than ska but faster than Rocksteady.  It's documented that Reggae Music was originated from Ska Music and Rocksteady music.

Bob Marley is said to have claimed that the word reggae came from a Spanish term for "the king's music".

Some historian are also saying that the word "Reggae" came from Toots and The Maytel's song "Do The Reggae".

The immediate origins of reggae are in ska and Rocksteady, from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.

Where is the Word Reggae Originated? -  A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae," effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience.

Who Really Created Reggae music? Click here to read more

Some key players in the origin of reggae music are Jackie Jackson from Toots and the Maytals, Carlton Barrett from Bob Marley and the Wailers, Lloyd Brevett from The Skatalites, Paul Douglas from Toots and the Maytals, Lloyd Knibb from The Skatalites, Winston Grennan, Sly Dunbar,  and Anthony "Benbow" Creary from The Upsetters.

The genre is very popular amongst the Rastafarian community in Jamaica and relates to news, Love, social gossip, Social commentary, and political comment.

When one speaks of this great genre of music (Reggae), the name Bob Marley is the first thing that comes to mind.  Bob Marley is credited as the man who helped to actually propel reggae music to the world.

The 1990s into the late 2000s, Reggae Music was pushed onto the back burner in Jamaica, this was due to the huge popularity of  Dancehall Music, a sub-genre of reggae. Which was originated in the late 1970s to early 1980s.

Dancehall Music is a spin-off of reggae music, it also helps the influences the origins of Hip Hop Music.

"The Revival of Reggae Music" - In 2012-2017

In 2012 a new generation of artists decided that it was time for Reggae to be placed back on the front burner. 

Some of these artists are Chronixx, Protoje, Agent Sasco, Jesse Royal, The Marley Brothers Damian Marley and Stephen Marley, Jah 9, Keznamdi, Dre Island, Bugle, Iba Mahr, Koffee, Sevana and Nesbeth are some of the main players on the reggae revival train.

Top Countries Where Reggae Music is consumed

Europe and Asia - The European market was still ablaze with reggae music to the point where a number of Reggae festivals started popping up all over Europe.

Reggae is very popular in places such as Holland, England, Italy, Austria, Estonia, Israel, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Germany, Japan, Canada, and the USA.

Questions about Reggae Music

Click here to visit our Question & Answer Forum for all Dancehall and Reggae Questions.

Reggae Music's Top Resources pages

Top Must Read Reggae articles

Top Reggae Music pages on DRW

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Return to Dancehall Music and its origins from Reggae Music page

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