What are the main features of Reggae music?


According to the University of Vermont, Reggae music has eight main distinctive features including Jamaican-accented vocal style, lyrical content that is focused on religious and political themes, and a 4/4 meter time signature. Other features identifiable features include standard rock-band-type instrumentation, slower tempo range, beats conducive to dancing, minimalistic rhythms and consistent dynamics. Reggae music originated in Jamaica as an important form of cultural expression.

Reggae music has helped to bring Jamaican culture to the mainstream throughout the world, and according to Miami University, the name of this musical style is derived from the word "regular." This is an everyman-style of music that is meant to depict some part of the average Jamaican lifestyle.

The defining features of Reggae music are easily recognizable: lyrics are spoken in a style resembling Jamaican patois, and much of the subject matter in these songs are related to the religion of Rastafarianism and the struggles of the average Jamaican lifestyle. Famous musicians like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh exemplify the main features of this musical style, with backing bands playing slow, steady beats on instruments such as guitars, horns, drums and keyboards. Reggae has roots in African music and Black politics, with particular influence from thinkers and political figures like Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie

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