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For other uses, see Reggae (disambiguation). Reggae_sentence_0


Stylistic originsReggae_header_cell_0_1_0 Reggae_cell_0_1_1
Cultural originsReggae_header_cell_0_2_0 Late 1960s Jamaica, particularly KingstonReggae_cell_0_2_1
Derivative formsReggae_header_cell_0_3_0 Reggae_cell_0_3_1
Fusion genresReggae_header_cell_0_5_0
Regional scenesReggae_header_cell_0_6_0
Other topicsReggae_header_cell_0_7_0


Music of JamaicaReggae_header_cell_1_0_0
General topicsReggae_header_cell_1_1_0
Nationalistic and patriotic songsReggae_header_cell_1_3_0
National anthemReggae_header_cell_1_4_0 Jamaica, Land We LoveReggae_cell_1_4_1
Regional musicReggae_header_cell_1_5_0


Reggae music of the Caribbean regionReggae_header_cell_2_0_0
CountryReggae_header_cell_2_1_0 JamaicaReggae_cell_2_1_1
ReferenceReggae_header_cell_2_2_0 Reggae_cell_2_2_1
RegionReggae_header_cell_2_3_0 The CaribbeanReggae_cell_2_3_1
Inscription historyReggae_header_cell_2_4_0
InscriptionReggae_header_cell_2_5_0 2018Reggae_cell_2_5_1

Reggae (/ˈrɛɡeɪ/) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. Reggae_sentence_1

The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. Reggae_sentence_2

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. Reggae_sentence_3

While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae_sentence_4

Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political commentary. Reggae_sentence_5

Reggae spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as "rudie blues", then "ska", later "blue beat", and "rock steady". Reggae_sentence_6

It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat and the offbeat rhythm section. Reggae_sentence_7

The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument. Reggae_sentence_8

Reggae is deeply linked to Rastafari, an Afrocentric religion which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, aiming at promoting Pan Africanism. Reggae_sentence_9

Soon after the Rastafarian movement appeared, the international popularity of reggae music became associated with and increased the visibility of Rastafarianism spreading the Rastafari gospel throughout the world. Reggae_sentence_10

Reggae music is an important means of transporting vital messages of Rastafarianism. Reggae_sentence_11

The musician becomes the messenger, and as Rastafarians see it, "the soldier and the musician are tools for change." Reggae_sentence_12

Stylistically, reggae incorporates some of the musical elements of rhythm and blues, jazz, mento (a celebratory, rural folk form that served its largely rural audience as dance music and an alternative to the hymns and adapted chanteys of local church singing), calypso, and also draws influence from traditional African folk rhythms. Reggae_sentence_13

One of the most easily recognizable elements is offbeat rhythms; staccato chords played by a guitar or piano (or both) on the offbeats of the measure. Reggae_sentence_14

The tempo of reggae is usually slower paced than both ska and rocksteady. Reggae_sentence_15

The concept of call and response can be found throughout reggae music. Reggae_sentence_16

The genre of reggae music is led by the drum and bass. Reggae_sentence_17

Some key players in this sound 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. Reggae_sentence_18

The bass guitar often plays the dominant role in reggae. Reggae_sentence_19

The bass sound in reggae is thick and heavy, and equalized so the upper frequencies are removed and the lower frequencies emphasized. Reggae_sentence_20

The guitar in reggae usually plays on the offbeat of the rhythm. Reggae_sentence_21

It is common for reggae to be sung in Jamaican Patois, Jamaican English, and Iyaric dialects. Reggae_sentence_22

Reggae is noted for its tradition of social criticism and religion in its lyrics, although many reggae songs discuss lighter, more personal subjects, such as love and socializing. Reggae_sentence_23

Reggae has spread to many countries across the world, often incorporating local instruments and fusing with other genres. Reggae_sentence_24

Reggae en Español spread from the Spanish-speaking Central American country of Panama to the mainland South American countries of Venezuela and Guyana then to the rest of South America. Reggae_sentence_25

Caribbean music in the United Kingdom, including reggae, has been popular since the late 1960s, and has evolved into several subgenres and fusions. Reggae_sentence_26

Many reggae artists began their careers in the UK, and there have been a number of European artists and bands drawing their inspiration directly from Jamaica and the Caribbean community in Europe. Reggae_sentence_27

Reggae in Africa was boosted by the visit of Bob Marley to Zimbabwe in 1980. Reggae_sentence_28

In Jamaica, authentic reggae is one of the biggest sources of income. Reggae_sentence_29

Etymology Reggae_section_0

The 1967 edition of the Dictionary of Jamaican English lists reggae as "a recently estab. Reggae_sentence_30

sp. for rege", as in rege-rege, a word that can mean either "rags, ragged clothing" or "a quarrel, a row". Reggae_sentence_31

Reggae as a musical term first appeared in print with the 1968 rocksteady hit "Do the Reggay" by The Maytals which named the genre of Reggae for the world. Reggae_sentence_32

Reggae historian Steve Barrow credits Clancy Eccles with altering the Jamaican patois word streggae (loose woman) into reggae. Reggae_sentence_33

However, Toots Hibbert said: Reggae_sentence_34

Bob Marley claimed that the word reggae came from a Spanish term for "the king's music". Reggae_sentence_35

The liner notes of To the King, a compilation of Christian gospel reggae, suggest that the word reggae was derived from the Latin regi meaning "to the king". Reggae_sentence_36

History Reggae_section_1

Precursors Reggae_section_2

Reggae's direct origins are in the ska and rocksteady of 1960s Jamaica, strongly influenced by traditional Caribbean mento and calypso music, as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues. Reggae_sentence_37

Ska was originally a generic title for Jamaican music recorded between 1961 and 1967 and emerged from Jamaican R&B, which was based largely on American R&B and doo-wop. Reggae_sentence_38

Rastafari entered some countries primarily through reggae music; thus, the movement in these places is more stamped by its origins in reggae music and social milieu. Reggae_sentence_39

The Rastafari movement was a significant influence on reggae, with Rasta drummers like Count Ossie taking part in seminal recordings. Reggae_sentence_40

One of the predecessors of reggae drumming is the Nyabinghi rhythm, a style of ritual drumming performed as a communal meditative practice in the Rastafarian life. Reggae_sentence_41

In the latter half of the 20th century, phonograph records became of central importance to the Jamaican music industry, playing a significant cultural and economic role in the development of reggae music. Reggae_sentence_42

"In the early 1950s, Jamaican entrepreneurs began issuing 78s" but this format would soon be superseded by the 7" single, first released in 1949. Reggae_sentence_43

In 1951 the first recordings of mento music were released as singles and showcased two styles of mento: an acoustic rural style, and a jazzy pop style. Reggae_sentence_44

Other 7" singles to appear in Jamaica around this time were covers of popular American R&B hits, made by Kingston sound system operators to be played at public dances. Reggae_sentence_45

Meanwhile, Jamaican expatriates started issuing 45s on small independent labels in the United Kingdom, many mastered directly from Jamaican 45s. Reggae_sentence_46

Ska arose in Jamaican studios in the late 1950s, developing from this mix of American R&B, mento and calypso music. Reggae_sentence_47

Notable for its jazz-influenced horn riffs, ska is characterized by a quarter note walking bass line, guitar and piano offbeats, and a drum pattern with cross-stick snare and bass drum on the backbeat and open hi-hat on the offbeats. Reggae_sentence_48

When Jamaica gained independence in 1962, ska became the music of choice for young Jamaicans seeking music that was their own. Reggae_sentence_49

Ska also became popular among mods in Britain. Reggae_sentence_50

In the mid-1960s, ska gave rise to rocksteady, a genre slower than ska featuring more romantic lyrics and less prominent horns. Reggae_sentence_51

Theories abound as to why Jamaican musicians slowed the ska tempo to create rocksteady; one is that the singer Hopeton Lewis was unable to sing his hit song "Take It Easy" at a ska tempo. Reggae_sentence_52

The name "rocksteady" was codified after the release of a single by Alton Ellis. Reggae_sentence_53

Many rocksteady rhythms later were used as the basis of reggae recordings, whose slower tempos allowed for the "double skank" guitar strokes on the offbeat. Reggae_sentence_54

Emergence in Jamaica Reggae_section_3

Reggae developed from ska and rocksteady in the late 1960s. Reggae_sentence_55

Larry And Alvin's "Nanny Goat" and the Beltones’ "No More Heartaches" were among the songs in the genre. Reggae_sentence_56

The beat was distinctive from rocksteady in that it dropped any of the pretensions to the smooth, soulful sound that characterized slick American R&B, and instead was closer in kinship to US southern funk, being heavily dependent on the rhythm section to drive it along. Reggae_sentence_57

Reggae's great advantage was its almost limitless flexibility: from the early, jerky sound of Lee Perry's "People Funny Boy", to the uptown sounds of Third World's "Now That We’ve Found Love", it was an enormous leap through the years and styles, yet both are instantly recognizable as reggae. Reggae_sentence_58

The shift from rocksteady to reggae was illustrated by the organ shuffle pioneered by Jamaican musicians like Jackie Mittoo and Winston Wright and featured in transitional singles "Say What You're Saying" (1968) by Eric "Monty" Morris and "People Funny Boy" (1968) by Lee "Scratch" Perry. Reggae_sentence_59

Early 1968 was when the first bona fide reggae records were released: "Nanny Goat" by Larry Marshall and "No More Heartaches" by The Beltones. Reggae_sentence_60

That same year, the newest Jamaican sound began to spawn big-name imitators in other countries. Reggae_sentence_61

American artist Johnny Nash's 1968 hit "Hold Me Tight" has been credited with first putting reggae in the American listener charts. Reggae_sentence_62

Around the same time, reggae influences were starting to surface in rock and pop music, one example being 1968's "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by The Beatles. Reggae_sentence_63

The Wailers, a band started by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963, is perhaps the most recognized band that made the transition through all three stages of early Jamaican popular music: ska, rocksteady and reggae. Reggae_sentence_64

Over a dozen Wailers songs are based on or use a line from Jamaican mento songs. Reggae_sentence_65

Other significant ska artists who made the leap to reggae include Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, Ken Boothe, and Millie Small, best known for her 1964 blue-beat/ska cover version of "My Boy Lollipop" which was a smash hit internationally. Reggae_sentence_66

Notable Jamaican producers influential in the development of ska into rocksteady and reggae include: Coxsone Dodd, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Leslie Kong, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs and King Tubby. Reggae_sentence_67

Chris Blackwell, who founded Island Records in Jamaica in 1960, relocated to England in 1962, where he continued to promote Jamaican music. Reggae_sentence_68

He formed a partnership with Lee Gopthal's Trojan Records in 1968, which released reggae in the UK until bought by Saga records in 1974. Reggae_sentence_69

International popularity Reggae_section_4

Reggae's influence bubbled to the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts in late 1972. Reggae_sentence_70

First Three Dog Night hit No. Reggae_sentence_71

1 in September with a cover of the Maytones' version of "Black and White". Reggae_sentence_72

Then Johnny Nash was at No. Reggae_sentence_73

1 for four weeks in November with "I Can See Clearly Now". Reggae_sentence_74

Paul Simon's single "Mother And Child Reunion" – a track which he recorded in Kingston, Jamaica with Jimmy Cliff's backing group – was ranked by Billboard as the No. Reggae_sentence_75

57 song of 1972. Reggae_sentence_76

In 1973, the film The Harder They Come starring Jimmy Cliff was released and introduced Jamaican music to cinema audiences outside Jamaica. Reggae_sentence_77

Though the film achieved cult status its limited appeal meant that it had a smaller impact than Eric Clapton's 1974 cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" which made it onto the playlists of mainstream rock and pop radio stations worldwide. Reggae_sentence_78

Clapton's "I Shot The Sheriff" used modern rock production and recording techniques and faithfully retained most of the original reggae elements; it was a breakthrough pastiche devoid of any parody and played an important part in bringing the music of Bob Marley to a wider rock audience. Reggae_sentence_79

By the mid-1970s, authentic reggae dub plates and specials were getting some exposure in the UK on John Peel's radio show, who promoted the genre for the rest of his career. Reggae_sentence_80

Around the same time, British filmmaker Jeremy Marre documented the Jamaican music scene in Roots Rock Reggae, capturing the heyday of Roots reggae. Reggae_sentence_81

While the quality of Reggae records produced in Jamaica took a turn for the worse following the oil crisis of the 1970s, reggae produced elsewhere began to flourish. Reggae_sentence_82

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the UK punk rock scene flourished, and reggae was a notable influence. Reggae_sentence_83

The DJ Don Letts would play reggae and punk tracks at clubs such as The Roxy. Reggae_sentence_84

Punk bands such as The Clash, The Ruts, The Members and The Slits played many reggae-influenced songs. Reggae_sentence_85

Around the same time, reggae music took a new path in the UK; one that was created by the multiracial makeup of England's inner cities and exemplified by groups like Steel Pulse, Aswad and UB40, as well as artists such as Smiley Culture and Carroll Thompson. Reggae_sentence_86

The Jamaican ghetto themes in the lyrics were replaced with UK inner city themes, and Jamaican patois became intermingled with Cockney slang. Reggae_sentence_87

In South London around this time, a new subgenre of Lovers Rock, was being created. Reggae_sentence_88

Unlike the Jamaican music of the same name which was mainly dominated by male artists such as Gregory Isaacs, the South London genre was led by female singers like Thompson and Janet Kay. Reggae_sentence_89

The UK Lovers Rock had a softer and more commercial sound.Other reggae artists who enjoyed international appeal in the early 1980s include Third World, Black Uhuru and Sugar Minott. Reggae_sentence_90

The Grammy Awards introduced the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album category in 1985. Reggae_sentence_91

Women also play a role in the reggae music industry personnel such as Olivia Grange, president of Specs-Shang Musik; Trish Farrell, president of Island/Jamaica; Lisa Cortes, president of Loose Cannon; Jamaican-American Sharon Gordon, who has worked in the independent reggae music industry. Reggae_sentence_92

Reggae heritage Reggae_section_5

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding made February 2008 the first annual Reggae Month in Jamaica. Reggae_sentence_93

To celebrate, the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica (RIAJam) held its first Reggae Academy Awards on 24 February 2008. Reggae_sentence_94

In addition, Reggae Month included a six-day Global Reggae conference, a reggae film festival, two radio station award functions, and a concert tribute to the late Dennis Brown, who Bob Marley cited as his favorite singer. Reggae_sentence_95

On the business side, RIAJam held events focused on reggae's employment opportunities and potential international revenue. Reggae_sentence_96

. Reggae_sentence_97

Reggae Month 2019 in Jamaica was welcomed with multiple events ranging from corporate reggae functions to major celebrations in honour of Bob Marley's Birthday on 6 February to a tribute concert in honour of Dennis Brown on 24 February along with a sold-out concert by 2019 Reggae Grammy nominated artiste Protoje for his A Matter of Time Live held at Hope Gardens in Kingston on 23 February. Reggae_sentence_98

In November 2018 "reggae music of Jamaica" was added to the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity the decision recognised reggae's "contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual." Reggae_sentence_99

Musical characteristics Reggae_section_6

Global significance Reggae_section_7

Cod reggae Reggae_section_8

The term cod reggae is popularly used to describe reggae done by non-Caribbean (often white) people, often in a disparaging manner because of perceived inauthenticity. Reggae_sentence_100

It has been applied to music by many artists, such as the Police, 10cc, Boy George, Suzi Quatro and Razorlight. Reggae_sentence_101

See also Reggae_section_9


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