Reggae Reggaeton Tickets

Reggae is a music genre which can trace its roots back to Jamaica of the 1960’s. Today, reggae is used as an umbrella term to refer to music which originates in Jamaica and the music which draws heavily on the traditional reggae styles. The genre was named when in 1968, a song by Toots and the Maytals called "Do the Reggay” was released. The song became very popular and embodied the sound of the new genre, and therefore was instrumental in naming the genre. As a type of music, reggae incorporates lyrics which tackle themes like current affairs, political comment, and social gossip. If you are a fan of reggae music and are interested in learning more about reggae, its origins, major artists, and how to get all of the latest reggae tickets, click here.

A History of Reggae

Reggae as we know it developed out of the genres of ska and rocksteady. The initial creation of reggae as a distinct sound can trace its roots back to Jamaica in the 1960s. Another distinct influence on the creation of reggae was the Rastafari movement, in particular, the style of Rasta drummers.

In addition to its distinct ska and rocksteady elements, reggae is also influenced by a number of other musical genres including mento, American jazz, calypso music, and rhythm and blues.

Reggae started emerging as its own distinct genre during the 60s. During this time, the Beltones released ‘No More Heartaches’ and Larry And Alvin released ‘Nanny Goat’; two albums which are often pitted against each other for the status of the first reggae record. In terms of a clear cut example of what the new sound of reggae sounded like, The Pioneers' 1968 track "Long Shot (Bus' Me Bet)" is considered to embody that new sound.

By the end of the 60s, the reggae movement started to spread beyond the borders of Jamaica. There were many big name artists who began to incorporate elements of reggae into their music such as Johnny Cash. In his song ‘Hold Me Tight’, Cash used a variety of different reggae elements. That song has been credited with bringing reggae into the mainstream American music scene. Across the pond, The Beatles were also using reggae elements in their hits such as the popular song ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.’ This marked the beginning of the expansion of the reggae movement.

The Characteristics of Early Reggae

Reggae drew heavily on two major music genres, rocksteady and ska, which were prominent in Jamaica before reggae came along. As a new musical style, reggae had a sense of limitless flexibility, making it a very dynamic new genre. Examples of this can be seen from the fact that each piece of reggae music was vastly different and unique. Lee Perry for instance relied on a more jerky sound whereas other artists made use of uptown sounds. Irrespective of what approach was taken to reggae, it had elements which made it instantly recognizable as a distinct genre.

In terms of style, reggae relied heavily on rhythm, for which it drew a significant amount of influence from US Southern Funk.

About the Reggae Style

In order to get an idea of what reggae is, it’s important to consider its different stylistic elements. Reggae drew from a wide range of different music genres to craft its own niche. Most reggae incorporates elements of jazz, calypso, rhythm and blues, rock, African music, and more. It also draws upon a musical style known as mento, which is essentially a type of celebratory music for rural audiences. It is an alternative to the more common hymns and songs which are sung in a church.

Reggae also displays a wide array of elements in its music. One of the most recognizable features of reggae is its use of offbeat rhythms. These are staccato chords which are played on the offbeat of a measure using either a piano or the chords of a guitar.  

In terms of tempo, reggae is very smooth and much slower than ska. It is however faster than the smooth and romantic tempo of rocksteady.

In most reggae songs, the concept of ‘call and response’ is very often used.