History of Reggae Music – After some time ago Ajax Amsterdam released a third jersey inspired by Bob Marley, the public seemed to be reminded again with reggae music. It’s not without reason that Ajax took off the away jersey for the 2021/22 season.
Bob Marley has become an inseparable figure for Ajax fans, especially since 2008. At that time, Ajax supporters who were present in England to watch the friendly match against Cardiff City sang Bob Marley’s song ‘Three Little Birds’.
Since then, the Bob Marley song has become an anthem that is always sung by Ajax fans before the match starts, in any stadium around the world. So, what is the history of reggae music itself and how is Bob Marley’s influence on this music genre.
The History of Reggae Music originally developed in Jamaica in the late ’60s. The word reggae comes from the pronunciation in the African accent ragged, which means stiff movements such as the pounding of a dancer’s body to the accompaniment of ska music.
Although often used broadly to refer to almost all types of music from Jamaica, reggae music more precisely refers to a special style of music that emerged following the development of ska and rocksteady. However, the tempo of reggae music is much slower with bass and rhythm guitar sounds more prominent.
Reggae is usually sung in Patois Jamaican dialects, Jamaican English, and Iyaric dialects before finally expanding and sung in dialects from the regions of origin of each reggae musician.
The History of Reggae Music, Reggae music is also increasingly recognized for its tradition of social and religious criticism in its lyrics, although much reggae music also deals with lighter, more personal topics, such as love and socializing.
If you look at the theme of social criticism which is one of the characteristics of the lyrics, reggae music is indeed inseparable from the dark history of slavery in Jamaica. In the 16th century, colonization by Spain and England exterminated the Arawak, who was later replaced by thousands of black African slaves.
The slaves were employed in the sugar industry and plantations in Jamaica. In the midst of hard work and threats of oppression, African slaves maintained an attachment to their homeland by preserving tradition. They tell the story of life in Africa with simple songs and sounds. Interaction with employers who came from Europe also left a cross-cultural product that eventually became the original folk tradition of Jamaica.
Reggae music is also inseparable from life on the streets of Getho (village of Rastafarians) in Kingson, the capital city of Jamaica. This is also what makes reggae music recognizable from the dreadlocks hairstyles of early reggae musicians and the lyrics of reggae songs are loaded with Rastafari teachings, namely freedom, peace, and natural beauty, as well as a bohemian lifestyle.
“RIP Scratch Perry, the Black Ark Noah, who warped reggae into mad science, brought the country to Kingston, mountains, earth, & trees reimagined, herb exhaled onto the console to alchemize funky sci-fi dub. Greatest producer of all time (any genre). Who upset time, space, sound. pic.twitter.com/8mSiE0A0PA”
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) August 29, 2021
Meanwhile, the song by the Jamaican music group Toots and the Maytals, ‘Do the Reggae, is classified as the first reggae music recording to use the term ‘reggae’ and made this genre increasingly popular and worldwide.
Then the album aims to convey messages about socio-political problems and social conditions of society. The album Catch A Fire (1972) released by Bob Marley and The Wailers quickly catapulted reggae beyond Jamaica.
The popularity of reggae music is also supported by the film The Harder They Come (1973), and the playing of reggae by white musicians such as Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Lee Scratch Perry, and UB40.
One of Bob Marley’s songs ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ which was covered by Eric Clapton using modern rock production and recording techniques and retaining elements of reggae music became a big and important moment that made Bob Marley’s music increasingly popular and widely known.
Female musicians who play reggae music also cannot be ruled out for their role in popularizing reggae music. Among them are Olivia Grange, president of Specs-Shang Music, to Trish Farrell.
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The death of Bob Marley in 1981 left a deep sorrow for the world of reggae music. However, his legacy has been successfully passed on by other musicians who are helped by the growing popularity of reggae music in the world. (History of Reggae Music)
In the end, reggae music is not just a genre of music for the Jamaican public. Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding made February 2008 the first annual Reggae Month in Jamaica.
To celebrate, the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica (RIAJam) held its first Reggae Academy Awards on February 24, 2008. In addition, Reggae Month includes a six-day Global Reggae conference, a reggae film festival, two radio station awards shows, and a concert award for the deceased. Dennis Brown, who Bob Marley called his favorite singer.
In November 2018 “Jamaican reggae music” was added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This decision was taken because it considers the contribution of reggae music to international problems such as issues of injustice, resistance, love, and the dynamics of human life, socio-political, and spiritual.