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Three different types: "Traditional", "2-Tone" and "3rd Wave". Traditional came about in the late 1950s as new dance music straight out of Jamaica. 2-Tone is named such because whites and blacks came together to form ska bands to spread unity in the 1970s. 3rd Wave is when ska hit America in the late 1980s, and added a bit of punk flair.

Also a very flexible style of music, incorporateable into other styles, which is why it's still around today and has such a large and diverse fan base.
by MoonKnight November 24, 2002
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A genre of music stylized by the influences of American jazz and swing, born out of Jamaica. It underwent three waves, Trad(itional), Two-Tone, and 3rd wave. The guitar is always played on the off beats, or "upstrokes." The bass line is almost always a walking bass line unless the band is more punk influenced (however, ska is what helped bring about punk), and there is a horn line, usually with some swinging stuff. Ska gave birth to many different types of music, such as rocksteady, reggae, punk, rap and hip-hop (it's true).
Reel Big Fish (3rd wave), The Skatalites(trad), the toasters(3rd wave) and the specials(two-tone).
by Roadie August 16, 2004
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Jamaican R&B artists developed their nation's first indigenous music genre when they began to incorporate jazz, African and Calypso rhythms into their songs in the late 1950s. The result was Ska, a fusion of the unique Jamaican mento rhythms with R&B. In Ska, the drum comes in on the 2nd and 4th beats, while the guitar emphasizes the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th beats. Ska bands usually consist of a strong rhythm section, guitars, keyboards and brass. The early Ska music of in the '60s and '70s spawned later revivals. The first was in the U.K. in the '80s, giving rise to bands like Madness and the Specials. The next, known as Third Wave Ska, struck the U.S. in the '90s.
Ska: Laurel Aitken, Don Drummond, Lord Tanamo, No Doubt, Mustard Plug, Hopalong Knut, Reel Big Fish, Skadaddyz, The Toasters, The Skatalites, Less Kro, The Busters, One Cool Guy, The Selecter, RX Bandits, The Planet Smashers, Desmond Dekker, The Specials, The English Beat, Madness, Operation Ivy, Big D And The Kids Table, Bim Skala Bim, Catch 22, Buck-O-Nine, Streetlight Manifesto, The Suicide Machines, Troy's Bucket, Bad Manners, The Forces Of Evil, Go Jimmy Go, Upstanding Youth, Skarface, The Pietasters, Mad Caddies, Save Ferris, Suburban Legends, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The O.C. Supertones, The Scofflaws, and Hepcat.
by ♫ Highway to Hell ♫ February 03, 2010
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One of the most versitile and long lasting genre of music alive today. Disregarding some peoples beliefs, Ska makes itself individualised by its brass section, walking basslines and offbeat guitar chords. There were 3 waves of ska; Trad, 2 tone and 3rd wave but most bands today are 3rd wave caus its totally cool. It has derived from alot of influences, of which jazz, reggae, swing and punk would be the most prominant. Suits, big shades and dancin' shoes are usually worn at a ska concert.
"Man, Ska is totally cool! All other music bites serious ass compared to it!"
by Riley July 31, 2003
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Ska starts in Jamaica in the late 1950s and from there a lot of ska is misinterpreted. Ska was a popular sound in dancehalls and is Jamaicans first very own style of music. The bands and fans originally and for the most part idolized al Capone style gangsters and dressed the like; this is where the signature rude boy suit came from. The term rude boy was a term that the islanders called the ruffians associate with ska and is what they called each other out of prestige associate with gangsters once again.
The name "ska" came from the sound the guitar makes. The music its self is a blend of calypso, R&B, jazz and other more Americanized music, but with a Jamaican spin. Generally ska includes up strokes on the guitar, island style bass lines, drums using mostly toms and symbols, trumpet, trombone, keyboards and saxophones are also associated with ska. But the upstrokes are the most important part. Ska was a very big hit in Jamaica and from it came rock steady, dancehall, and reggae.
From Jamaica ska made its way to Europe, mainly the UK and was changed slightly to something more commonly called "two tone ska" the two-tone ska movement was named for the overwhelming unity between blacks and whites within the scene at the time. The music got fairly faster and more poppy. A number of the bands incorporated horns less often, or used very simple melodies for the horns. Ska was most popular among the pre-racist skinheads, mods, and rudies(rude boy) sub cultures. Though for such a huge explosion the fad died out within the better part of five years.
Around the mid eighties ska was beginning to see the start of a third revival. Small bands were sprouting out of the northeast and were generally ignored by the media and public. During its start in America ska became faster still and actually accented the horns the most out of the three generations. it broke off into many ska sub genres including a ska-core with kind of metal influences, a punkish ska with less up strokes and well, more punk, there’s a jazzy sort of ska that kept it laid back, even rap, Christian, satanic and pretty much any other genre you can think of has been incorporated into ska. Though there were, and still are, American traditional ska bands and American two tone ska bands as well. About ten years of enjoying underground success ska exploded into America’s limelight and was brutally exploited like any other American music fad. Every garage band in America claimed to be ska, though punk with horns is more appropriate due to the lack of any other ska influence for the most of the bands. Though thankfully those waves died and when the dust cleared the true ska bands were still standing on the ashes.
Though Ska’s 40+ years of existence it has never died, and has been to hell and back. underground ska is still out and about and unfortunately still being misunderstood and assumed, this time with more of a hXc or scremo twists yuck! But there are still good ol' real ska bands out, in fact the toasters (claimed to be the first American ska band) and the skatilites (credited as the first ska band ever) are still around and tour. Ska is all about unity, dancing, and having a fun time. Don’t hate on it.
some ska bands
*traditional*
Skatilites
Prince buster
Toots & the maytals
The Ethiopians
Desmond Dekker
Byron Lee & the Dragonaires
early Bob Marley and Peter Tosh was ska also
*two tone*
Specials
Selecter
English Beat
Bad Manners
Madness
Bigger Thomas
Bodysnachers
*third wave*
Toasters
Bim Skala Bim
Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Streetlight Manifesto
Five Iron Frenzy
Reel Big Fish
Mephiskapheles
Ruder Than You
Dance Hall Crashers
Hepcat
New York Ska Jazz Ensemble
Fishbone
Let's Go Bowling
Hippos
early No Doubt and Sublime
by mevlin May 11, 2006
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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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