1 definition by Chris Rodrigez

Top Definition
Jamaican musical style developed in the late 1950s, which took elements from traditional Jamaican folk music of mento and calypso and of American music, including jazz and particularly R&B. In fact, the earliest ska songs were basically "Jamaicanized" R&B songs. The inovation that gave ska it's trademark sound was placing the accent guitar and piano rhythms on the upbeats as opposed to the downbeats, as in R&B.

The jazz influence came primarily from the studio bands that often backed the artists who recorded for the various Jamaican studios during sessions. It is so because many members of these bands where jazz musicians themselves, often a product of the famed Alpha School of Music.

Ska is the precursor to rocksteady, reggae and the various offshoots to reggae. Ska was popular abroad, especially in England during the late 60s as a result of West Indian immigration to England, where it was the music of choice for the emerging skinhead subculture and is still a dominant feature of the so-called "trad skin" subculture today. Ska also had a revival in England in the late 70s/early 80s with the emergence of punk and a "third-wave revival" in the U.S. in the 90s, but by then the sound had changed much from the original sound that permiated Jamaica during those formative early years of ska music.
* Byron Lee & the Dragonaires
* Clement "Coxsone" Dodd
* Desmond Dekker
* Duke Reid
* Eric "Monty" Morris
* Ernest Ranglin
* The Ethiopians
* The Melodians
* Prince Buster
* The Skatalites
* Toots and the Maytals
* The Wailers
by Chris Rodrigez July 29, 2005

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