The History Of Reggae Music

Well, to write something on the history of Reggae is a tricky thing. There are lots
of sites around on this topic and numerous books have been written about it.
Especially due to the uncountable number of released records it's as good as
impossible to have something like a COMPLETENESS. It's also quite difficult to draw
an exact borderline between the different styles, because things like this don't
change in one day but usually in a longer process. Additionally some records belong
to more styles than one, they mix, try to do something new or copy something old.

So I tried to keep this text as compact as possible, leaving many things out - but
also putting some thoughts in when certain aspects appeal to the music we do here at
JAHTARI. I also wrote more detailed things on this in the THEORY section or there's a
link to it in the text when necessary.

There are also lots of soundbits given as examplesand many pictures you see are
rollovers, meaning rolling over them with your mouse cursor will change the picture,
start an animation or trigger a sound. Feel free to roll around!


From our point of view there are six 'eras' in reggae history:

1. The Beginnings: Soundsystems, Ska and Rocksteady
2. Jah Rule: Reggae, Rastafari, STUDIO 1 - and the DJs
3. DUB: King Tubby, Lee Perry in the Black Ark and Scientist
4. Immigrants of Dub: Wackie's
5. the late 70ies and early 80ies: CHANNEL ONE and DANCEHALL
6. Digital Revolution: King Jammy and King Tubby's Firehouse

Many people would make different subdivisions but that depends mostly on the point of
view. Except the WACKIES era (which is very often not seen as Jamaican music, because
the label itself was based in Brooklyn, New York, though run by emmigrants) all other
subdivisions accord to the common views in literature.

Some sources for you for futher reading:

Also extremely helpful were the liner-notes in a lots of records, a DVD named 'ROOTS
ROCK REGGAE' and another DVD in the STUDIO 1 collectors box with many informations
told by Coxsone Dodd and others by themselves - first hand information so to speak.