Reggae is one of the most loved music genres today, thanks to talented artists such as Bob Marley, Queen Ifrica, and Peter Tosh. This exciting music genre was introduced to the world in the 1960s, and decades later, it has influenced cultures all around the globe. Reggae, which originated in Kingston, Jamaica, comes with a distinct musical style that distinguishes it from other music genres.
In this article, we’re going to go through four core characteristics of reggae.
Elements of Reggae Music
As we’ve mentioned earlier, Jamaica is Reggae’s origin. Therefore, most reggae hits come with a unique vocal style that features a Jamaican accent, often referred to as “Jamaican Creole” by linguists. Lyrically, most reggae songs express the need to fight on and survive.
Another element of reggae is that its instrumentation is similar to that of American pop music. Typically, reggae musicians use electric guitars, drums, electric bass, and keyboards. It is also pretty common to find artists who use brass and horns to create their music.
Additionally, most reggae songs use an average tempo of 80 – 110 BPM and 4/4 meter when it comes to tempo and meter. This enables the pieces to be a tad slower than a decent amount of commercial pop songs today.
Also, the rhythmic patterns of reggae tunes are different from those of other music genres. Reggae music boasts off-beat rhythms, which are mainly staccato beats played by pianos and guitars. This is what gives the songs their unique ‘jumpy’ feel.