Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. It is characterized by a walking bass line, accented guitar or piano rhythms on the offbeat. In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant musical genre of Jamaica, and it was also popular with British mods. Many skinheads, in various decades, have also enjoyed ska (along with reggae, rocksteady and other genres). Music historians typically divide the history of ska into three periods: the original Jamaican ska scene of the 1960s, the 2 Tone ska revival that started in England in the late 1970s, and the third wave ska movement, which started in the 1980s.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is based on a rhythm style characterized by regular chops on the off-beat, known as the skank. The tempo is generally slower than that found in ska. Reggae usually has accents on the 3rd beat in each bar, there being four beats in a bar; many people think it's accentuated on the 2nd and 4th, because of the rhythm guitar.
Reggae is often associated with the Rastafari movement, an influence on many prominent reggae musicians from its inception. Reggae song lyrics deal with many subjects, including faith, love, sexuality, relationships, poverty, injustice and other broad social issues.