Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. 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 most easily recognized by rhythmic accents known as the skank on the off-beat, usually played by guitar, piano, or both. This pattern accents the second and fourth beats in each bar-or the "ands" of each beat, depending on how the music is counted-and combines with the drum's emphasis on beat three to create a unique feel and sense of phrasing. This is in contrast to the way most other popular genres focus on beat one, the "downbeat". The tempo of reggae is usually felt as slower than the popular Jamaican forms ska and rocksteady, which preceded it. It is this slower tempo, the guitar/piano offbeats, the emphasis on the third beat, and the use of syncopated, melodic bass lines that differentiate reggae from other music, although other musical styles have incorporated some of these innovations separately.
Reggae and Slavery
How many Reggae Artist do you know?
Pan-Africanist Burning Spear
Like most countries and islands of Africa, America or Oceania, Jamaica was the victim of the white settlers. Since European settlement in 1494, the history of the island has been associated with such terms as “genocides,” “slavery,” “colonialism,” “post-colonialism,” “political conspiracies,” “violence” and so on. The white settlers and their descendants did not spare the beautiful island any atrocity. However, they did not anticipate that the mixture of all these factors would give rise to a subversive and liberating Jamaican religion and musical genre : Rastafari and reggae. The Rastafari movement and reggae music embodied by legendary Bob Marley did not appear at once, but are the fruits of a slow spiritual and social process which find its roots in the 15th century when Jamaica was still called Xaymaca.
King of Reggae Music: A Legend
Nesta Robert Marley, OM (6 February 1945 - 11 May 1981), commonly known as Bob Marley, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands The Wailers (1963-1974) and Bob Marley & The Wailers (1974-1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience. Marley's music was heavily influenced by the social issues of his homeland, and he is considered to have given voice to the specific political and cultural nexus of Jamaica. His best-known hits include "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", "Could You Be Loved", "Stir It Up", "Get Up Stand Up", "Jamming", "Redemption Song", "One Love" and, "Three Little Birds", as well as the posthumous releases "Buffalo Soldier" and "Iron Lion Zion". The compilation album Legend (1984), released three years after his death, is reggae's best-selling album, going ten times Platinum which is also known as one Diamond in the U.S., and selling 25 million copies worldwide.
Reggae music is what took Rastafari to the world and Rastafari took Reggae music to the world. Bob Marley and the Wailers were the vehicle to take Reggae music and Rastafari to the world. Today Rastafarian's most popular symbol is Bob Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 at age 36. His influence on the music is still strong and many members of his family are now reggae artists themselves. He is known as the King of Reggae.