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What's the difference between calypso and reggae?

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mousethief 06 Feb 01 - 04:43 PM
Bernard 06 Feb 01 - 03:54 PM
Metchosin 06 Feb 01 - 03:47 PM
Trapper 06 Feb 01 - 03:37 PM
mousethief 06 Feb 01 - 01:52 PM
Metchosin 06 Feb 01 - 01:41 PM
LR Mole 06 Feb 01 - 12:04 PM
harpgirl 06 Feb 01 - 11:03 AM
Pseudolus 06 Feb 01 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 05 Feb 01 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 05 Feb 01 - 08:16 PM
Stewie 05 Feb 01 - 05:21 PM
death by whisky 05 Feb 01 - 05:05 PM
Trapper 05 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 04:02 PM
Pseudolus 05 Feb 01 - 03:56 PM
Mrrzy 05 Feb 01 - 02:27 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,she who sells seashells by the sea shore 05 Feb 01 - 02:17 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM
Sarah2 05 Feb 01 - 02:08 PM
Jimmy C 05 Feb 01 - 02:07 PM
Bernard 05 Feb 01 - 02:05 PM
Jimmy C 05 Feb 01 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,she who sells seashells by the seashore 05 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM
Trapper 05 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM
Trapper 05 Feb 01 - 01:54 PM
Sarah2 05 Feb 01 - 01:31 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Peter MacIntosh 05 Feb 01 - 01:16 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM
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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 04:43 PM

Wasn't that Dan Quayle's middle name? Whenceforth?


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Subject: Erm...
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 03:54 PM

Don't forget Whenceforth - an older brother of Wenceslas, I think...


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 03:47 PM

Thank you Trapper!


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Trapper
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 03:37 PM

Metchosin-

"Blue Beat" was the name the UK gave to "Ska". See this page.

- Al


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 01:52 PM

Harpgirl, maybe you're thinking of "hereonout" or "henceforth"?


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 01:41 PM

Does anyone know if what was termed Rock Steady was also called Blue Beat?

I recall visiting a Jamaican Club in London in the 60's, drawn in to a smokey, low ceiling, dark basement grotto by a hypnotic rhymthic dance music. When I asked what the music was, I was told it was called Blue Beat. No vocals, just a record sound system of rhythmic instrumentals.

I was too young and naive (she's from Canada eh) to realize at the time, that myself and my partner were the only people in the club who weren't Jamaican and that was the reason for the quizzical stares. Music will do that to you.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: LR Mole
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 12:04 PM

Merriam Webster (or "Mair", as Ted and I like to call her) says both mean "up to this or that time".Anyway, my reggae-identifier is that the ahythm guitar comes down like Ringo's snare drum hand would (again, cheap transister radios):bonk-JINGJICK-bonk-JICK. And of Calypso: harrybellafonte, my dear Watson.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: harpgirl
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 11:03 AM

I thought "heretofore" meant, from now on? So did Dickens.And, hitherto meant "Up until now" ... Kendall


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Pseudolus
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 08:44 AM

Trapper, You're absolutely right. I sometimes find it too difficult to resist when I'm irritated at a flamer who paints such a large Bull's Eye on themselves even though I know I should. I'm trying, and I appreciate the post...

Frank


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 08:20 PM

I've been meaning to ask this for a while now. Does anyone out there know whether Calypso is still being created? Is anyone still recording it? Has it been relegated to some sort of "oldies" status? I can't help but think what fun the old-time "Calypsonians" could have with a number of current events.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 08:16 PM


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 05:21 PM

Alex, you can find out a great deal about calypso by reading Ray Funk's Kaiso newsletters. These are available on the Musical Traditions site. At the moment, the Kaiso link on MT's home page will not open, but I feel sure that is only temporary. You will find Musical Traditions here:

Musical Traditions

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: death by whisky
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 05:05 PM

Excellent answer Trapper.I've used reggae and ska myself,never knew the connection to calypso.In late 70s early 80s ther was a lot of ska type music from "Selector","The Beat",it was known as two tone,I think due to the style of clothes.It was a very strange time to be a teenager.......


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Trapper
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM

THREAD-CREEP... I've been driven from many a board... not by flamers, but responses to flamers. Best advise: IGNORE 'EM! Don't "fan the flames"... it only encourages em...

- Al


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 04:02 PM

Hold up your head with pride, Frank! "Heretofore" is a grand word, and there's no reason to be ashamed.

Rap and bluegrass, though? What a stupid question!

Grins,
Alex


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Pseudolus
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 03:56 PM

See, now I'm bummed.... I saw the question, thought I could learn something and I come in here and find out that I'm stupid.....sheesh, I hate it when that happens!! Then I find out that Alex, heretofore one of the nicest guys in Mudcat is a flamer!! Picking on poor SWSSBTS!! And here I was about to start the thread asking what the difference between rap and bluegrass was!!! I'm so ashamed........

Seems that with the racial problems in the world today one should be a little selective when throwing around the word "racist". There's enough people out there that deserve the title without bestowing it on those who don't. On Alex of all people.....sheesh...

Frank

P.S. At the ripe old age of 42 today is the first day I have ever used "heretofore" in a sentence....If I wasn't so ashamed, I'd be so proud..... ;)


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:27 PM

BAck to the question.

I think that reggae has a double-beat, theoretically reminiscent of the human heartbeat, or so I've been informed...

Back to the asides: I didn't think one negative comment constituted a flame...


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:21 PM

Did I say I was never stupid? Actually I accused you of being proud of yourself, and impolite. If that's a flame, call me a pyro.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,she who sells seashells by the sea shore
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:17 PM

Alex,

In the same post that you say "all flames are stupid," you go and flame me.

Call the burn unit, I'm on fire.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM

Yes, thanks Trapper. Very informative, if a bit large. :)

Alex


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM

All flames are stupid. No question asked in earnestness, for the purpose of learning more about the world, is stupid. Perhaps my question was ill-formed, and clearly it made some incorrect assumptions. But that doesn't make it stupid.

When you're done feeling proud of yourself, SWSSBTS, you might go to some of the same politeness courses that Peter is doubtless looking for right now.

Alex


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Sarah2
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:08 PM

Thank you, Trapper.

Sarah


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:07 PM

Forgot to add that Trappers response is great - it certainly enlightens me -

Thanks trapper.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Bernard
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:05 PM

I always thought that the essence of Calypso was that it was 'current news' put to music in a tongue-in-cheek way, whereas reggae was commercial 'pop' music.

Reggae has a prominent melodic bass line, too...


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:02 PM

Alex, You are not the ignorant one on this thread. The guest McIntosh should be ashamed of himself. I thought your question was quite clear.

BTW - there is no such thing as a stupid question, unfortunately there are things like stupid and ignorant responses.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,she who sells seashells by the seashore
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM

Alex,

You've been around Mudcat long enough that you should know that, if you ask a stupid question, you'll get a stupid flame.

You asked a stupid question, you got a stupid flame.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Trapper
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM

Oops - missed the tag! Also the http://www.vinow.com/culture/music.htm"
tag at the bottom...

Help Joe!

Thanks!

- Al


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Trapper
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 01:54 PM

A Brief History of Carribean Music CALYPSO

A type of folk music that comes from the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. Calypso songs are in the 2/4 or 4/4 time, with a strong beat similar to the rhythm of African songs. . . . Some think [the word Calypso] comes from the African word Kai-so, meaning bravo, used to praise a good singer. Calypso originated in the songs of African slaves who worked in the plantation fields of Trinidad. They were forbidden to talk to each other, and used calypso to communicate feelings and information. To fool their masters, they sang in a French-creole dialect called patois. Annual calypso singing competitions were held at carnival time. After slavery was abolished in the 1830's, these competitions became more popular and attracted many visitors to Trinidad.

SOCA
Soul plus Calypso equals Soca. The origin of the music is Trinidad and Tobago. The lyrics are used to express political and social commentary.

MENTO
Until the early Fifties, Jamaican music consisted only of mento, a depoliticized relation of the riotous calypso of Trinidad. Mento is also Jamaican adaptations of old British folk songs and sea chanteys. But where calypso is an exact science, a sophisticated vehicle for social comment, mento was often crude and dirty, so lewd, in fact, that the church in Jamaica kept some of the best mento recordings from being sold except under the counter.

R&B / SOUND SYSTEMS
As Jamaica became industrialized, and the transistor radio became commonplace, American Rhythm and Blues broadcasts from Miami and New Orleans landed in Jamaica. This gave rise to the legendary "sound systems." Good R&B records were hard to come by and too expensive for most Jamaicans even when they were available, so a new entrepreneur entered the scene: the "sound-system man." More often than not, the sound systems were extensions of record shops, whose owner borrowed a van and loaded it with the biggest speakers he could find, a couple of turntables, and a stack of new sides just off the plane from New Orleans or Miami, and set up in somebody's back yard or out in a country market on a Saturday night.

SKA
Around 1960 the major R&B and pop music movements in America fizzled and died. Nobody knows why. It just happened. In Jamaica the sound systems were dependent for their livelihood on instantly accessible hit records that people could dance to. So when the sound-system men had to turn to Jamaican musicians to churn out an electric dance music for the brothers and sisters to get down and skank to, they were turning against history and fortune. Sound-system men styled themselves record producers, rented a little time at some ridiculous tinny two-track studio in Kingston. The music was vibrant and loping; the dancers at the sound systems made up a dance to it and called the dance ska, and in time that became the name for Jamaican R&B Ska. Cheerful, riddled with funky brass sections, disorganized, almost random. Ska was mento, Stateside R&B, and Jamaicans coming to terms with electric guitars and amplification.

ROCK STEADY
No one can really identify the point at which the Jamaican dance music called ska evolved into and was ultimately replaced by a new dance called "rock-steady." The prevailing theory is that the bitterly hot and dry summer of 1966 retarded the bouncy tempo of the ska dancers and necessitated what one observer has called a "slow, painful, almost sinister" dance-rock-steady. Fewer instruments were required to produce the basic rock-steady sound; rhythm and bass guitars, drums, and organ became the typical instrumental lineup. An occasional horn section might be thrown in to record. The music was called rock-steady very aptly; as a dance beat it was steadier and more dependable than the vagaries of ska. The sound was more substantial and carried more internal meaning than the airiness of the best of ska. Lyrical content exposed the consciousness of the artist for the first time. No longer were songs exclusively about love and making love, the preoccupations of ska; a rock-steady tune might deal with the police, or hungry children.

REGGAE
The dance that replaced rock-steady, around 1968, was called "reggae." Again, no one knows for certain where that word comes from. Some trace it to the Jamaican dialect word for raggedness. The word appears first on a 1967 dance record by the Maytals called "Do the Reggay." I once asked Toots Hibbert, lead singer of the Maytals and composer of "Do the Reggay," to tell me what the word meant, and his answer is as satisfactory a definition of reggae as you're likely to get: "Reggae means comin' from the people, y'know? Like a everyday thing. Like from the ghetto. From majority. Everyday thing that people use like food, we just put music to it and make a dance out of it. reggae mean regular people who are suffering, and don't have what they want." The reggae sound was even slightly slower than rock-steady and much more powerful due to the emphasis of the bass and the principal melodic drive of most songs. Social, political, and spiritual concepts entered the lyrics more and more, until the reggae musicians became Jamaica's prophets, social commentators, and shamans.

LOVER'S ROCK
Lover's rock is an intimate roots music with a lyrical theme of love and relationships that was pioneered by such artists as Gregory Isaacs, Freddie McGregor and Dennis Brown.

DUB
In Jamaica whenever a song was released it was put out first as a single on a 7 inch record (what Americans call a 45). On the other side of this 7 inch was what is called the version, or the dub. In America today some would call it a sound track. It was the same song (often times with a different and psychedelic mix) that did not include the lead vocal.

Dubs were then taken to the dance halls and played next to the original version of the song. Then one Jamaican MC made history by talking, chatting and singing over the dub version of a song for his particular sound system (today this is known as a "special").

RAP / HIP-HOP
When this music reached its Jamaican counterparts then residing in New York it gave birth to what is now known as rap, or hip hop. Yes, you got it, rap was originally birthed in Jamaica out of reggae music!

DANCEHALL
By far the greatest child to be born out of this dub reggae is "dancehall". Often considered the sister of rap music, this music has been called many names such as "ragga", "dj style", "Jamaican rap" and the most popular "dancehall". This music began using traditional reggae rhythms and having artists rap (for lack of a better definition) in Jamaican Patois over the dub. This rapping is also known by other names such as "chatting", "chanting" or "toasting".

SLACKNESS / GUN TALK
With dancehall came the computerization of reggae. These digital beats created a large gap between Dancehall and its predecessors. Originally made world famous by such artists as Shabba Ranks and Buju Banton, early versions of dancehall were often categorized as "slackness" (containing explicit sexual lyrics) or "gun talk" (containing violent lyrics). Since then dancehall has reached world wide fame by other artists such as Shaggy, Snow, Bounty Killer and even the Fugees. In the mid Nineties, dancehall again evolved turning from slackness and gun talk to conscious lyrics. With the conversion of Capleton and Buju Banton to Rastafari, many other artists began singing about Selassie instead of sex or guns.

CULTURE
Recently, dancehall has taken a turn to its foundation by going back to using standard roots rhythms. Accompanied by spiritual lyrics, artists such as Tony Rebel, Sizzla and Anthony B became famous singing Rastafarian lyrics over this new type of dancehall known as "culture".

Sources:
http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/worldlit/caribbean/caribbean_culture.htm#Music
http://www.christafari.com/en/faq/detail/urpw/History+and+Definition+of+Reggae.html
http://www.vinow.com/culture/music.htm"


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Sarah2
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 01:31 PM

La, Alex, well said! I've wondered the same, meself, as I remember the great calypso rage quite well. (Age showing...)

Anybody got a real answer to these questions?

Sarah


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 01:22 PM

Boy, ask a simple question and get an obnoxious flame.

By "western ear" I mean ear trained in so-called "Western" music, i.e. the tradition that includes Bach, Stravinsky, and Gershwin. You will note I put it in scare-quotes. You will note that your response is both simple-minded ("western"="from the western hemisphere") and rude.

I didn't say they were the same because they came from the same place. That's why I asked the question, I am ignorant about all this sort of thing. The proper thing to do with an ignorant person is to educate them, not berate them for their ignorance, and invent theories to accuse them of holding.

I'm sorry if you're incapable of answering an honest question politely. I'd suggest you stop answering them at all, until you learn that skill.

Alex


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,Peter MacIntosh
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 01:16 PM

1) No, calypso and reggae do not both come from Jamaica. Calypso originated in Trinidad decades before the evolution of reggae.

2) What do you mean by "western ear"? Last time I checked, both Jamaica and Trinidad were part of the Western Hemisphere. Or do you equate "western" with "white"? If so, you are a racist.

I would add, that even if calypso and reggae had come from the same place, equating them as the same music would be stupid. Or are you the guy who thinks that that rap and bluegrass are the same because they both developed in the United States?


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Subject: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM

Don't both these forms of music come from Jamaica? Are they really different musical traditions, or just different presentations of the same musical tradition to the "western" ear? What distinguishes calypso? What distinguishes reggae? And what does ska have to do with either, if anything?

Thanks in advance,
Alex

PS I looked in the supersearch and didn't find another thread about this.


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