History of Jamaican Music

1268 Words Oct 28th, 2012 6 Pages
Crystal Hislop
Research Paper: Final Submission
History of Jamaican Music
Contemporary History

Professor: Sharon Rodriguez

2/19/12

History of Jamaican Music

The history of Jamaican music is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Jamaican people. Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean, and was initially populated by the Arawak people. Christopher Columbus "discovered" the island on his second voyage to the Americas, and it was settled first by Spanish colonists, and later by English colonists. (Megan, R.)

Jamaicans possess a musical heritage that comes from their African and European roots. Reggae music is Jamaica’s best sound. These thumping sounds are rich and infectious and encompass expression
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Rapping is, in fact, a method of creative expression. The thought that young people can participate in this form of creativity seems to have helped the phenomenal growth of this genre of music and expression. Dancehall is an expressive routine that includes songs, poetry, films and fashion. This art form gives young people the outlet of expressing themselves creatively. (Franksterr)
This is "old time" story telling in song and music. It combines African and latin rhythm, with anglo folksongs...and was very popular during the 1940s and 1950s. Today it is used mainly to entertain visitors coming to the island...giving them a taste of what Jamaican music was like in the past. Listen to it and you will most certainly feel the spirit of the "old" days. The stories it tell are usually simple and funny everyday happenings in Jamaican life.The instruments are also very simple a gourd shaker, a upright bass, rumba box, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, or a trumpet. My American friends tend to hang around it for a bit and find themselves certainly laughing and moving to the beat. Ska is simply mento music moving to the next stage! Musicians began playing around with the music - adding a little calypso here and there...a little American jazz, some rhythm & blues...and before you know it ska popped out! This "new" rythm took the 1960 's by storm...until The "rude boys" of the time slowed the pace a bit, added a steady rock beat...to
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