Jamaican Music

Listen the History of Jamaican Music: From Folk to Mento

History…From Folk to Mento…
When most people think of music in Jamaica, they think Reggae. And while Reggae music has been one of Jamaica’s great exports, there was a definite evolution to reach that point. Many people also know of Reggae’s ‘grandfather’ Ska and Reggae’s predecessor Rock Steady. But before those 2 genres…there was more. First and foremost was Jamaican Folk music. It’s evolution saw this folk music used at certain social functions. For example – the music of the Pocomania church, the fife and drum sound of Junkanoo, the European influence Quadrille and the plantation influence ‘work songs’. The first music that was recorded in Jamaica was Mento which drew heavily from these various forms of Folk music, not only with its repetoire, but also from the instrumentation. Compared to Calypso, Mento was a distinctive style that still has influence today. This winter of 2001 – 2002 marks the 50th anniversary of recording facilities in Jamaica. What’s that hair-colouring commercial that used to say “You’ve come a long way Baby”? Jamaican music surely has. Listen Now

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