Reggae Music

Topics: Rastafari movement, Bob Marley, Reggae Pages: 4 (1338 words) Published: November 5, 2010
Music is an art form and source of power. Many forms of music reflect culture and society, as well as, containing political content and social message. Music as social change has been highlighted throughout the 20th century. The word reggae represents a style of popular music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960’s and quickly emerged as the country’s dominant music. In Jamaica during the 1970s and 1980s reggae developed out of the Ghetto’s of Trench town and expressed the social unrest of the poor and the need to over-through the oppressors. Reggae is one of the many forms of protest music. “Protest music is characterized by objections to injustices and oppressions inflicted on certain individual groups. Typically, the intent of protest musicians is to oppose the exploitation and oppression exercised by dominant elites and member of dominant groups” (Stapleton). The goal of protest music is to promote freedom through music. It was widely perceived as a voice of the oppressed. Reggae’s most transcendent and iconic figure, Bob Marley was the first Jamaican artist to achieve international superstardom in the process introducing the music of his native island nation to the far flung corners of the globe. Marley’s music gave voice to the day-to-day struggles of the Jamaican experience. Bob Marley expresses his belief that music is a message and route to freedom in the song “Trench town.”

Roots of Reggae
Reggae music is very famous and at the same time not so well-known. Most of the people think of Reggae music as music of joy, peace and linked to Jamaica, the sunny island where everyone smokes herb freely. But in fact, we will see that Reggae inscribes itself in a whole social movement. First, it claims religious and social demands, and with the years, it became more and more politicized. Reggae music originated in Jamaica in the early 60's. In the streets and ghettos of Kingston, shortly after independence from Britain in 1962, reggae...

References: Stapleton, Katina R. “From the margins to mainstream: the political power of hip-hop” Media, Culture and Society, 1998
Oumano, Elena “Reggae says no to ‘Politricks’” The Nation, August 25, 1997
Salmon, Barrington “ Bob Marley’s legacy lives forever”
Bob Marley: Confrontation, Polygram Records 1983
“Chant down Babylon,” and “Trenchtown”
Barrett, Leonard. The Rastafarians. Beacon Press: Boston, 1997
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