Music in the Caribbean Essay

3394 Words Oct 26th, 2013 14 Pages
Music in the Caribbean
The genre of Caribbean Music encompasses a diverse variety of musical styles and traditions from islands that are located in the Caribbean Sea and it represents something that is simple, exotic yet rich and wonderful. The styles range anywhere from traditional folk genres such as the Puerto Rican aguinaldo and Jamaican mento to more contemporary music such as salsa and reggae. They are each syntheses of African, European, Indian and Indigenious influences, largely created by African slave descendants, along with contribution from other communities. Some of the styles that gained wide popularity outside of the Caribbean includes reggae, zouk, salsa, bouyon, calypso, soca, reggaeton and punta.
The diverse history
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Ska is a forty-year-old music form now in a fresh, vigorous 3rd Wave. Ska is rich in history, broad in scope and guaranteed to make you shake your groove thang. For the musically inclined, here is a description of the rhythmic structure of ska: Musically, Ska is a fusion of Jamaican mento rhythm with R&B, with the drum coming in on the 2nd and 4th beats, and the guitar emphasizing the up of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th beats. The drum therefore is carrying the blues and swing beats of the American music, and the guitar expressing the mento sound.
The roots of reggae music are based in Jamaica. This indigenous music grew from ska, which had elements of American R&B and Caribbean styles. It also drew from folk music, Pocomania church music, Jonkanoo fife and drum bands, fertility rituals, adaptations of quadrilles, plantation work songs, and a form called mento. Notable early reggae artists were Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Rita Marley Anderson, Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Dekker. As the fast beat of ska mellowed through rock steady, it gradually led to the creation of reggae. The transition from rock steady to reggae was, like the transition from ska to rock steady, an imperceptible process which was both a response to and a reflection of the changing social conditions of the society. In 1981 Bob Marley died and roots reggae never really recovered from the loss of its figurehead, and in the true fashion of Jamaica's audiences

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