What Is Dancehall Music?

What is Dancehall Music or What is Dance hall? an in-depth look into this genre of music.

There is Dancehall and Dance Hall.

In Jamaica, Dance Hall is a place or venue where Sound Systems are played. Dancehall is named after Jamaican dance halls in which popular Jamaican recordings were played by local sound systems.

Then there's is Dancehall the music. Dancehall is a sub-genre of Reggae, which originated in the late 1970s to early 1980s. It's one of the most popular music presently in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

How to differentiate it from Reggae? Dancehall music is all about the hype life. The lyrical contents consist mostly of girls, money, cars, drugs and guns.

While Reggae music is played between 60-80 beats per minutes, dancehall is much faster at 80-120 BPM.

Although Dancehall originates in the late 1970s, it did not gain mainstream success until in the mid-1980s and by 1990s it was the music of choice for most Jamaican in the Diaspora communities.

The first pioneers in dancehall are Big Youth, U Roy and I Roy they work with producers the likes of Don Mais and Henry "Junjo" Lawes. The first studios where dancehall music was recorded were Channel One Studios and Studio One.

What Is Dancehall? Cont'd

In 1985 King Jammy's created history when he released the  "(Under Me) Sleng Teng" by Wayne Smith, with an entirely-digital rhythm hook this took the dancehall reggae world by storm.

Many credits this song as being the first digital rhythm in dancehall, featuring a rhythm from a Casio MT-40 keyboard.

Pages related to What Is Dancehall Music?

Return to Dancehall Reggae music homepage from What Is Dancehall page

Return to Danchall Music and Its Origins from Dance hall page


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