Ska Stylistic origins Jamaican mento and calypso; American jazz and rhythm and blues Cultural origins Late 1950s Jamaica Typical instruments Guitar, bass guitar, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, drums, organ Mainstream popularity Highest in early 1960s; wide popularity in Jamaica & notable popularity in United Kingdom; notable revivals in 1970s/1980s UK and late-1990s North America Derivative forms Rocksteady, reggae Fusion genres 2 Tone, ska punk, ska jazz, spouge Regional scenes Japan, Australia Other topics Third wave ska, list of ska musicians, rude boy, mod, skinhead, Suedehead
Ska ( //, Jamaican [skja]) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. It is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the upbeat. In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and was popular with British mods. Later it became popular with many skinheads.
Music historians typically divide the history of ska into three periods: the original Jamaican scene of the 1960s (First Wave), the English 2 Tone ska revival of the late 1970s (Second Wave) and the third wave ska movement, which started in the 1980s (Third Wave) and rose to popularity in the US in the 1990s.
There are different 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. 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!" A further theory is that it derives from Johnson's word skavoovie, with which he was known to greet his friends. Jackie Mittoo insisted that the musicians themselves called the rhythm Staya Staya, and that it was Byron Lee who introduced the term 'ska'.Guitar and piano making a ska sound, like 'ska, ska,' that's why we call it SKA. The sound of the guitar and the piano, that's why we give it the name ska.
Ernest Ranglin described the difference between the R&B and the ska beat is that the former goes "chink-ka" and the latter goes "ka-chink".
After World War II, Jamaicans purchased radios in increasing numbers and were able to hear rhythm and blues music from Southern United States cities such as New Orleans by artists such as Fats Domino and Louis Jordan.
Music of Jamaica General topics Related articles Genres National anthem Jamaica, Land We Love Regional music