Reggae Music: The Genre Mix You Need in Your Life

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Reggae music has been around for decades and is the perfect genre mix for anyone who loves a good beat.

What is Reggae Music?

Have you ever felt the need for a genre mix in your life? If so, then reggae music is the answer! This type of music is a mix of many genres, including rock, pop, and hip hop. Reggae music is the perfect way to get your groove on while still being able to enjoy the lyrics.

Origins of Reggae Music

Reggae music has its origins in Jamaica, specifically in the late 1960s. The first use of the word “reggae” was in a song by Toots and the Maytals, titled “Do the Reggay.” The music is a mix of African and Caribbean rhythms, and it’s often said to have been influenced by mento, ska, and rocksteady. Reggae is usually played on guitar, drums, and bass, with the addition of horns and keyboards. The lyrics are often political or religious in nature.

The most famous reggae artist is Bob Marley, who popularized the genre outside of Jamaica. Marley’s band, Bob Marley and The Wailers, released their debut album in 1973. The album included hits such as “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Get Up, Stand Up.” Marley died of cancer in 1981, but his music continues to be popular today.

The Spread of Reggae Music

Reggae music has its origins in Jamaica, and it is often said to be a mix of African and Jamaican music. The African influence can be heard in the music’s use of call and response, while the Jamaican influence can be heard in the syncopated rhythms. Reggae music was first created in the late 1960s, and it quickly gained popularity both in Jamaica and abroad.

Reggae music became popular in the United States in the 1970s, thanks in part to the growing number of Jamaican immigrants in American cities. Bob Marley, one of the most famous reggae musicians, helped to spread the popularity of reggae music with his performances and recordings. Marley’s band, The Wailers, became one of the most successful reggae bands of all time, and their album “Exodus” is considered one of the greatest reggae albums ever made.

Today, reggae music remains popular around the world, and it continues to evolving as new artists experiment with different sounds and styles.

The Different Types of Reggae Music

Reggae is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The word reggae is derived from the word “raggedy”, which describes the sound of the music. Reggae is a mix of African, Caribbean, and American music. The main instruments used in reggae are drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards.


Ska is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s. Ska is a Style of Reggae Music characterized by shuffle rhythm guitars, horns and sometimes piano. Ska is the predecessor to Rocksteady and Reggae. The term “Ska” comes from the sound that the guitar makes when played with a pick.


Rocksteady is a subgenre of reggae that developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. It is a direct predecessor of the more well-known reggae sound that would later dominate the 1970s. Unlike its predecessor, ska, rocksteady was slower, smoother, and more focused on singing than on dancing. The name “rocksteady” comes from a style of dance that was popular at the time.

The rocksteady sound is typified by its use of the piano and horns (particularly the trombone) to create a laid-back, groove-oriented feel. The lyrics often dealt with themes of love and relationships. The most well-known artist associated with rocksteady is Alton Ellis.

Rocksteady would eventually give way to reggae in the early 1970s, though many rocksteady songs were rerecorded in a reggae style (often with new lyrics) and released during that decade.


Reggae music is a genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The word reggae comes from the word “ragged” or “streaked”, which refers to the uneven rhythm of the music. Reggae is a mix of African and Caribbean music, and is based on the rhythms of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is a very popular genre of music, and has been influential in other genres such as hip hop, dub and dancehall.

There are several different subgenres of reggae music, each with their own unique style and sound. The most popular subgenres are roots reggae, dub reggae, rockers reggae, conscious reggae and ragga.

Roots reggae is the original sound of reggae music, and is based on the spiritual Rastafari movement. This type of reggae is characterized by its slow, heavy beats and lyrics that often address social or political issues.

Dub reggae is a remixing technique that was developed in the 1970s. Dub music removes the vocals from a song and replaces them with instrumentals, often resulting in a slower, more atmospheric sound.

Rockers reggae is a style of reggae that was popularized in Jamaica in the late 1970s. This type of reggae has a faster tempo than roots or dub reggae, and often features horns and keyboards instead of drums and bass guitar.

Conscious reggae is a type of roots reggae that focuses on positive messages and uplifting lyrics. This type of music often addresses social issues such as poverty, racism and injustice.

Ragga is a type of dancehall music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1980s. Raggamusic is characterized by its fast tempo and lewd lyrics.

The Different Sub-Genres of Reggae Music

Reggae music is a genre that has been around for many years. The music is a mix of African, Jamaican, and Caribbean sounds. Reggae music is usually associated with the Rastafari movement, but there are many different sub-genres of reggae music.


refers to a genre of music that grew out of reggae in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. The style consists of partly or completely instrumental versions of existing reggae tracks, usually emphasizing the drums and bass for a sound sometimes referred to as “bass music”, or “dubbing”. Other instruments such as chords, guitar, and horns may be added.


Dancehall is one of the most popular genres of reggae music. It is characterized by a strong island sound and rhythms that are easy to dance to. Dancehall songs often have explicit lyrics and are often about parties, life on the island, and love.


The roots of reggae music can be traced back to the late 1960s in Jamaica. At that time, there was a growing need for a new form of music that would represent the struggles and hardships of the Jamaican people. Reggae music was created as a way to express these feelings and give voice to the Jamaican experience.

Reggae music is often described as a mix of African and Caribbean sounds. The use of distinctive rhythmic patterns, along with strong basslines and drum beats, are characteristic of this genre. Reggae music also often features horns and guitars played in a ska or rocksteady style.

One of the most important elements of reggae music is the Rastafarian movement. This is a religious movement that started in Jamaica in the 1930s. The Rastafarian movement promotes the idea that Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Rastafarians believe in peace, love, and unity, and these beliefs are often reflected in the lyrics of reggae songs.

Reggae music has been popularized by many famous artists, including Bob Marley, Burning Spear, and tens across Jamaica

The Different Artists Who Perform Reggae Music

Reggae music has been around for decades and is a genre that is constantly evolving. Reggae music is a mix of various genres, including ska, rocksteady, and dub. The artists who perform reggae music are from all over the world, including Jamaica, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Bob Marley

The king of reggae, Bob Marley is an artist who is still very popular today, even though he passed away in 1981. His music touches on a number of topics, including love, faith, and political activism. “No Woman, No Cry” is one of his most famous songs.

Jimmy Cliff

Jimmy Cliff, OM (born James Chambers, 1 April 1948), is a Jamaican ska and reggae musician, multi-instrumentalist, actor and singer-songwriter. He is the only currently living performer to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievement in the fields of science, sports, art and culture. Cliff is best known among mainstream audiences for songs such as “Sitting in Limbo”, “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and “Many Rivers to Cross” from The Harder They Come (1972), a film soundtrack he recorded for original film producer Perry Henzell. Along with Bunny Wailer he is one of only two living performers who were on the hits compilation Out of Many… One: The Best of Reggae (1972).

Cliff was one of five performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley is a reggae musician who is the son of Bob Marley. He was born in 1968 in Jamaica. Ziggy’s music is a mix of reggae, reggae-fusion, and ska. His most famous album, “Dragonfly”, was released in 2003 and won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. Ziggy has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards in total and has won four.

The Different Styles of Reggae Music

Reggae music is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term reggae was first used to describe a style of music that developed from ska and rocksteady. Reggae is a music style that is very popular in many parts of the world. Reggae is a blend of African and Caribbean music.

Lovers Rock

Lovers rock is a subgenre of reggae that is romantic, slow, and mellow. The lyrics are usually about love and relationships. Lovers rock songs often have a message of peace and unity. The genre developed in the 1970s in Britain, and it was inspired by soul music. Some well-known lovers rock artists include Maxi Priest, Janet Kay, and Brownstone.


Ragga is a subgenre of reggae that originated in Jamaica in the late 1980s. Ragga combines elements of dancehall and Jamaican toasting, with a focus on the ‘raggamuffin’ style of toasting. Lyrically, ragga is often more violent and explicit than other styles of reggae.

The first use of the word ‘ragga’ is thought to be on the 1988 track ‘Ragamuffin Hip Hop’ by Second Creation, although it is also present on tracks by Optimus (1989) and Cutty Ranks (1990). The term ‘raggamuffin music’ was popularised by Capleton’s hit 1992 song ‘Ragamuffin’.

Ragga has influenced other genres of music, including hip hop, jungle and drum and bass. It has also been used as a source sample in popular culture, most notably on The Fugees’ track ‘Ready or Not’.


Rub-a-dub is a subgenre of reggae that developed in the 1970s. It is characterized by a stripped-down sound that features heavy use of drums and bass, with little or no embellishment. This style of music is often credited with being the foundation on which dancehall was built.

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