Reggae: The History, The Present

Posted in: Reggae by J. Niemi on October 15th, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Reggae history, and the present situation.

Main Features

  • Reggea is an unique music style that stared off in Jamaica in the 1960s which often sings about peace.
  • Main colours yellow, green and orange.
  • A mixture of traditional Jamaican music, western pop, rock and very importantly Motown and RnB.
  • Very un-common instruments like bongo drums, saxophones and other similiar.
  • Slow tempoed. Some music experts say that the music was slow because of the good marijuana crop that slowed down the music quite a bit. Of course, this is just a legend.
  • Is quite often bass lead (or horn/keys), with the guitar as little more than a backing instrument.
  • One of the main stereotypes in Reggae is artists with dreadlocks. This built up from the first reggae artists whos hair was always in dreadlocks.

Influences it has taken from other music styles

The stylistic origins of Reggae are

Newer styles formed from Reggae include Hip Hop, Rap, Dancehall,
Reggeaton, Reggae Fusion and Spanish Reggae.

Development And Present Situation

Reggae, when it first came to popularity was a fresh and new sounding music style. It didn’t take long till it spread all the way from Jamaica to even Britain.
The actual originalstyle has not really changed or developed and is one of the few music styles that still sounds the same.
Although Reggae itself sounds the same, new styles have developed from it. These include Reggeaton and Reggae fusion, in which you can clearly see where the style has origianted. These styles have fused Reggae with some smaller styles like dancehall, to create smaller and fresh sounding music. Regeatton and reggae fuse are actually one of the most listened music styles these days.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley (6.2.1945 – 11.5.1981)
One of the most famous rastafari Reggae artists ever.
Bob came from Jamaica. Had a band, Bob Marley and the
Wailers which is one of the most succesful reggea bands
ever. Bob played the drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and
vocals. His most famous album is impossible to define.
Marleys music stayed pretty much the same sounding
throughout his career and no significant changes can be
seen. Bob Marley is often concidered as the father of
Reggae and the genre is often recognized through his work.

Best known songs: I Shot The Sheriff, No Woman
No Cry, Could You Be Loved, Stir It Up, Jamming,
Redemption Song, One Love and Three Little Birds.

Sean Paul

Sean Paul is a more popular Jamaican reggae artist which actually reprsents a sub-genre of Reggae, Ragga (which has developed in the past years to sound more and more different from original Reggea). Sean Paul is one of the most selling modern reggea artists of the 21st century. His only instrument is vocals.
Sean Pauls hit songs include Get Busy, Baby Boy (feat. Beyoncé) and Temperature.


You can clearly see that the newer music represents a more modern style and is much faster than the old. Even though Ragga is a sub-genre and not straight-forward Reggea, but still it shows the development that has happened from the original slow Reggea songs into these type popular cultural club hits.

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