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MUSIC 151 Quiz: Exam_11_Part_1
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Department
Music
Course Code
MUSIC 151
Professor
Yeager

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EXAM 11 - PART 1 Reggae The United States and Great Britain have been the primary producers of rock, which has influenced music in all corners of the world. Many cultures and countries had assimilated rock into their own traditional music to create distinctive hybrids of genres. It is not rare for these hybrids to come into mainstream rock. One such example that developed close to the United States was reggae, a musical product of the lower-class blacks of Jamaica. The predecessor to reggae was a rural, local music called mento. The mento rhythm was influenced by African-American and African-Caribbean styles, with melodies derived from Anglo-American folk songs. Rustic instruments such as bamboo trumpets, glass bottles, and metal scrapers were used to play this style of music. In the 1950s, Jamaica was exposed to American rhythm and blues. Jamaica’s close proximity to the southern United States allowed its people to pick up AM radio broadcasts from New Orleans and Miami. They were able to hear the music of Louis Jordan, Fats Domino, and doo-wop vocal groups. In an attempt at playing rhythm and blues, Jamaican musicians developed a music called ska. A variety of R&B elements are found in ska: the 12-bar blues form, ballad chord patterns, and a shuffle rhythm with a strong backbeat. The role of the guitar and piano in ska is to play a constant upbeat rhythm, giving the effects of a slow, walking 4/4 pulse and a trotting 2/4 pulse simultaneously. The most popular instrumental ska group inside and outside of Jamaica was the Skatalites. The band was comprised of a horn section with four trumpets, two trombones, two alto saxophones, two tenor saxes, and a rhythm section of bass, two guitars, three keyboards, and three percussionists. The Skatalites often served as the back-up band for many Jamaican solo vocalists. • Listening example: “Guns of Navarone” Artist: The Skatalites From ska developed rock steady. Characteristic of rock steady was a heavier bass line and a slower tempo. Rock steady reflected the influence of soul music in the mid-1960s, with more gospel-style vocals. Also featured was a church-like call and response between the soloist and the backup singers. The rock steady style is best exemplified by Desmond Dekker and Alton Ellis. This genre progressed into reggae in Jamaica. • Listening example: “007 (Shanty Town)” Artist: Desmond Decker • Listening example: “Rock Steady” Artist: Alton Ellis “Do the Reggay,” was recorded by the ska band the Maytals in 1968. The term “reggay” eventually evolved into reggae. Reggae is rooted in various forms of Jamaican music. Reggae uses slower tempos (like those of rock steady), and a light bass line (typical of ska), that does not emphasize the downbeat of each measure. The guitar rhythm is a modification of the constant ska upbeat, and reggae’s interlocking rhythms descended from an older Jamaican drumming style called burru.
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