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Reggae Music: Level 1 Grow

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and quickly emerged as the country's dominant music. It is characterized by a heavy four-beat rhythm driven by drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, and the "scraper," a corrugated stick that is rubbed by a plain stick. Reggae music is known for its distinctive sound, which is created using a variety of instruments such as drums, bass guitar, and keyboard. The genre was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae music often contains messages of peace, love, and social justice.


Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, musician, and songwriter who is considered one of the pioneers of reggae music. According to Music Grotto this is the most popular reggae song ever.



Reggae plays on beats 2 and 4. Say “Reggae Music” clapping on the bold part of the word. Reggae has 2 or 4 beats per bar and focuses on the up beat. This style of playing is called SKANKIN'. This word is also connected to a form of dance in Jamaica that is done during reggae shows. It originated in the early sixties. Reggae music uses parts of blues, jazz, church music, calypso and African folk rhythms.


Desmond Dekker released the song 'The Israelites' in 1968 and was the first reggae song to reach the UK number 1 spot. Desmond Dekker’s influence on young white British teenagers was pivotal to his success in the 1960s. He was the first to have hit records outside of Jamaica and has spread Jamaica’s musical heartbeat further than just about anyone



Reggae music has its roots in various musical styles, including traditional Jamaican music and American rhythm 'n' blues⁷. It quickly emerged as the dominant music of Jamaica and gained international popularity by the 1970s.


Reggae is often associated with themes of social justice, love, spirituality, and cultural identity.

Artists include Bob Marley, Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, Yellowman & Asward/


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