Ska

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Ska ( /skɑː/ ; Jamaican:  [skjæ] ) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. [1] It combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off beat. It was developed in Jamaica in the 1960s when Stranger Cole, Prince Buster, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs. [2] In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and was popular with British mods and with many skinheads. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Contents

Music historians typically divide the history of ska into three periods: the original Jamaican scene of the 1960s; the 2 Tone ska revival of the late 1970s in Britain, which fused Jamaican ska rhythms and melodies with the faster tempos and harder edge of punk rock forming ska-punk; and third wave ska, which involved bands from a wide range of countries around the world, in the late 1980s and 1990s. [7]

Etymology

There are multiple theories about the origins of the word ska. Ernest Ranglin claimed that the term was coined by musicians to refer to the "skat! skat! skat!" scratching guitar strum. [8] Another explanation is that at a recording session in 1959 produced by Coxsone Dodd, double bassist Cluett Johnson instructed guitarist Ranglin to "play like ska, ska, ska", although Ranglin has denied this, stating "Clue couldn't tell me what to play!" [9] A further theory is that it derives from Johnson's word skavoovie, with which he was known to greet his friends. [10] Jackie Mittoo insisted that the musicians called the rhythm Staya Staya, and that it was Byron Lee who introduced the term "ska". [11] Derrick Morgan said: "Guitar and piano making a ska sound, like 'ska, ska". [12]

History

Jamaican ska