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What's the difference between calypso and reggae?

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GUEST,James Fryer 14 Feb 07 - 07:05 AM
Azizi 14 Feb 07 - 11:13 AM
Alba 14 Feb 07 - 11:47 AM
Tim theTwangler 15 Feb 07 - 09:52 AM
Azizi 15 Feb 07 - 10:28 AM
Azizi 15 Feb 07 - 10:40 AM
Amos 15 Feb 07 - 10:43 AM
Azizi 15 Feb 07 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,From Here to Four. 15 Feb 07 - 11:08 AM
Azizi 15 Feb 07 - 11:08 AM
Azizi 15 Feb 07 - 11:25 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 15 Feb 07 - 08:17 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jul 11 - 03:10 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jul 11 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Potatoman1773 22 Mar 15 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Jungle Jack 03 May 15 - 10:42 AM
Jack Campin 03 May 15 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Phil 03 May 15 - 08:01 PM
GUEST 04 May 15 - 12:08 PM
GUEST 04 May 15 - 12:14 PM
Ed T 04 May 15 - 12:40 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 May 15 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Phil 04 May 15 - 08:11 PM
Gibb Sahib 05 May 15 - 02:13 AM
Ed T 05 May 15 - 03:29 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 May 15 - 02:24 AM
GUEST 06 May 15 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Stim 06 May 15 - 11:02 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 May 15 - 11:41 PM
Richard Mellish 08 May 15 - 04:50 AM
GUEST 08 May 15 - 09:15 AM
Will Fly 08 May 15 - 10:05 AM
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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,James Fryer
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 07:05 AM

My definition of the difference.

Reggae: No Woman, No Cry (Marley)

Calypso: No Money, No Love (Sparrow)


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 11:13 AM

"Reggae is a bit like a slowed down, backward polka"

Several years ago, I had a soca song on my telephone answering machine. My then supervisor called me, heard that soca song, and left a message that he liked my taste in polka music.

At first I thought he was kidding me. When I informed him that that song {I can't remember which one now} was a Caribbean music form called "soca", he said it sounded alot like polka to him.

Since I didn't have any polka CDs laying around my house, I went online to a polka website that had some sound clips. As a result of that experience, I can heard how people might sincerely mistake soca for polka.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Alba
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 11:47 AM

To me, Reggae covers a number of styles.
Ska, Dubwise and Rocksteady ~ roots reggae and dancehall reggae.
Then there is the Rastafari Reggae, my personal favourite.

Calypso is a very different Musical genre, different rhythms
involved but I really enjoy dancing to Calypso. Notting Hill Carnival in London was a yearly event I had to attend to dance my feet off !
I am not too into dancehall Reggae but listen to a lot of Ska and Dub and Rasta Reggae and I have a pretty big collection of Reggae Music dating way back to it's roots with a lot of early Rasta Reggae in there.. Roots~ Rock~ Reggae~ fresh *smile*
That how 'I' overstands it anyway.
Sorry I am not able to get academic about the differences between these two types of wonderful Music but I sure can tell the difference when I hear them...(and so can my feet *grin*)

Ire
Jude


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 09:52 AM

Hi that is the best dumb question I have read for ages.
Trappers answer was great.
DOnt worry about the other loons mate soem of them have been musos for thirty fourty or more years.
It is unfortunate that some of them(not All, there are loads of realy nice helpful and freindly people use the cat)have also spent so much of that time up their own arses that the only way to tell who they are is if they have theior names painted on the sole of their footwear.
No back to mu my dumb question
What is the best guitar?
Ps I found this all very enlightening I love reggae


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 10:28 AM

Here's a couple of links to Bob Marley [roots reggae] videos for those who can get YouTube:

bob marley - roots rock reggae - rasta vib
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWo-p43bgJQ&mode=related&search=

Added December 29, 2005 ;From sinapoyo

**

Stir It Up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiBteP0qdFE&mode=related&search=
Added November 27, 2005 ;From badassgail


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 10:40 AM

Here's a link to a YouTube video of Mighty Sparrow {calypso; Kaiso} video:

Mae Mae
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U66isr7L8Dg&mode=related&search=
Added November 11, 2006 ;From mack8710

And for comparison's sake, here's a link to a Youtube soca video

Arrow - Hot Hot Hot (clip)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-D9SPn1M0Y

Added June 12, 2006 ;From n00ner
"Arrow performing his blockbuster, international hit. Taken at the OECS Awards show 6/10/06"

[Btw, I personally don't like either of these examples. However, they serve the purpose of demonstrating the difference in the sounds of calypso and soca. Fwiw, I really like both of the roots reggae examples I shared in my previous post.]


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 10:43 AM

My version of these words contrasts Belafonte's "Day O", or "She Gonna Dance, She Gonna Sing" against Marley's amazing innovations (at the time, they were). I think of these two as the archetypal Godfathers of calypso and reggae, respectively. This may be an under-educated and undiscriminating notion.

A


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 11:05 AM

Here's the full online article about Calypso:

http://caribplanet.homestead.com/101.html "Caribbean 101-Trinidad's Calypso Music"

"The Golden Age of Calypso
The year 1914 was a landmark year in the history of calypso. This is the year that the first calypso recording was made. The late 1920s gave birth to the first calypso tents. Originally, calypso tents were actual tents where calypsonians would practice before Carnival. Today calypso tents are showcases for the new music of Carnival season.

By the late 1930s, exceptional calypsonians such as Atilla the Hun, Lord Invader and the Roaring Lion were making an indelible impression on the calypso music world. Lord Kitchener rose to prominence in the 1940s and dominated the calypso scene until the late 1970s. Lord Kitchener continued to make memorable hits until his death in 2001.

In 1944, the Andrews Sisters (an American trio) did a cover version of Lord Invader's hit Rum and Coca Cola. Since then the United States and the rest of the world has identified calypso with the Caribbean.

In 1956, Harry Belafonte recorded his Calypso album containing
the famous Banana Boat Song ("Day-O") - probably the most
internationally well known calypso song. His Calypso album also
became the first album ever to sell over one million copies. This was also the year the Mighty Sparrow burst onto the scene and took the calypso world by storm with his legendary hit Jean and Dinah.

Jean and Dinah, which celebrated the departure of US troops from Trinidad, ushered in a new era of politically charged calypso. This politicized form of calypso, allying itself with the People's National Movement (PNM) party, facilitated Trinidad's independence from Britain in 1962. Socially and politically conscious calypso has had a major influence on many of Trinidad's most important social and political movements.

Together with Lord Kitchener, Mighty Sparrow dominated the calypso scene until the late 1970s. The Mighty Sparrow has continued to record and to date has produced some 90 albums. The National Carnival Commission (NCC) declared Carnival 2001 as "The Sparrow Carnival" in honor of his contributions. Also, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has awarded the Mighty Sparrow with the Caribbean's highest award, the Order of the Caribbean, for outstanding contribution to the development of the region.

Calypso typically involves social commentary, oftentimes laced with humorous satire on current events. Calypso is the voice of social conscience. However, not all calypsos are socially conscious calypso has always had its risqué side too.

Most of the top calypsonians from the golden age have been male; The Growling Tiger, Lord Executor and Lord Pretender, just to name a few. However, the 1960s saw the rise of Calypso Rose, the undisputed "Queen of Calypso." Over the years, Calypso Rose has written and performed songs with themes ranging from political commentaries to party songs, and has won numerous awards. Her 1996 hit Fire In Me Wire has become a calypso anthem. Calypso Rose has managed to excel in this otherwise male dominated genre.

The 1970s saw a decline in the popularity of calypso due to outside musical influences. Jamaican reggae made its presence known as did disco and R&B from the US. Musical fusions were bound to happen. As a result, the 1970s gave birth to a more uptempo, less socially conscious version of calypso called soca. While calypso is the voice of social conscience, soca is party music. Rapso, with its calypso style lyrics and rhythms influenced by American hip-hop has also become popular. Other styles such as soca-chutney and ringbang give listeners even more musical choices.

Does this mean that calypso is a dying musical form? On the contrary, contemporary calypsonians such as David Rudder have very successfully combined calypso lyrics with dance rhythms - making the music accessible to a larger audience. There's also the annual resurgence of calypso at Carnival time lets us know that calypso is very much alive and vibrant with a bright future."


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,From Here to Four.
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 11:08 AM

One's worse than the other.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 11:08 AM

Here's an online article from Lion of Zion Entertainment about the differences between a number of different types of Caribbean music:

"Frequently Asked Questions
History and Definition of Reggae

Question:

"Is there any possibility to get a description of the differences between Ska, Reggae, Dancehall, Rockers, Roots, Rocksteady etc...?"

Answer:

That is a very good question, there is a lot of confusion regarding the various types of reggae music. There are many different styles within the overall genre of reggae. Out of one root there are many branches.

Birthed in Jamaica in the late 50's this music was first an emulation of American rock and roll and rhythm and blues. The tempo of the music was fast and was created for dancing. Out of this emulation of American music mixed with African and Caribbean influences was birthed "ska". The Christafari song "Keep on Looking up" on our "Valley of Decision" album would be considered ska. In the sixties, as ska music progressed it evolved into a similar yet slower style called "rocksteady". The only significant difference between ska and rocksteady was the tempo, besides this, both styles had the famous Jamaican rhythm guitar and organ bubble complemented by drums, bass, horns, vocals and a groove that kept you moving.

As the music in Jamaica continued to evolve, it slowed down in tempo once again, giving birth to "reggae music". This is where there is some confusion. Many believe that reggae came first, however it is quite the contrary, reggae came third, after ska and rocksteady. "Reggae" was a phrase first coined by Toots and the Maytals and means "to the King" in Latin. The only other significant differences between reggae and its predecessors besides its tempo were its strong emphasis on a treble-less bottom end bass line, a one drop on the drums and its new spiritual emphasis in Rastafari. This reggae in its early or traditional state is what many now call "roots". This is by far one of the most infectious styles of the genre, made famous worldwide by Bob Marley.

Other styles that fit under the reggae genre include 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. There is also another very popular style of reggae called "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"). His name was Daddy U-Roy. This creative combination eventually birthed countless other musical styles. 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!

However, in Jamaica this dub evolved into something different. People began reading poetry over these dub versions and it became "dub poetry". Made famous by such artists as Mutabaruka, Oko Onoura and Yasus Afari, dub poetry is still alive and strong today. 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".

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.

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".

Other types of music birthed from This large tree whose roots are ska are; "two tone ska" (from the U.K. in the 70's), the "third wave of ska" (an American hybrid of two tone ska, punk and hard edge alternative), "niyabingi" (tribal Africa and Jamaican hand drums accompanied by songs and chants of Rastafari), "jungle" (The U.K.'s hybrid of techno and dancehall), "drum and bass" (The second phase of jungle) and "ragga-hip hop" (a combination of dancehall and American hip hop).

Other Caribbean rhythms that are cousins of reggae/ska are "mento", "calypso" and "soca" just to name a few."

http://www.lionofzion.com/faq/78da3334050000990067/History+and+Definition+of+Reggae.html


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 11:25 AM

Of course, there are many other genres of Caribbean music besides calypso, reggae, and soca.

For those interested, http://www.zoukstation.com/index2.php is an online Afro-Caribbean radio station that plays reggae, salsa, zouk, kompa, African mix music and more.

Here's an excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zouk :

"Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. It has its roots in Cadence music from Dominica, as popularised by Grammacks and Exile One. Zouk means 'party' in the local creole of French with English and African influences, all three of which contribute the sound. In Europe it is particularly popular in France, while on the African islands of Cape Verde they have developed their own type of Zouk".

-snip-

Here's an excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kompa:

"Kompa(sometimes written Compas Direct, konpa direk, konpa or compa) is a musical genre as well as a dance that originates from Haïti. It was first explicitly named «Compas Direct» by Nemours Jean-Baptiste on a recording released in 1955. It involves mostly medium-to-fast tempo beats with an emphasis on electric guitars, synthesizers, and either a solo alto saxophone, a horn section or the synthesizer equivalent. Unlike zouk, the lyrics are mostly in Haitian Creole, and it has a faster rhythm than zouk.

In North America, kompa festivals take place frequently in Montreal, New York, Miami, and Boston."


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 08:17 PM

Calypso is a wonderful music form. Not including an almost complete Belafonte catalog, I have about twenty each of CDs and LPs of this diverse music.
Often we think of calypso as singing accompanied by bongo drums and guitar, or even steel drums. There are early calypsos featuring multi-piece orchestras ala Lionel Belasco; there are calypso melodies without words. The best, for me, are like broadside ballads. Subjects might include protests against taxation and such; events like the abdication of the Edward VIII, the Graf Zeppelin's visit to Trinidad; FDR visiting Trinidad or natural disasters. There are songs about celebities like Bing Crosby, the Mills Bros., and even Adolf Hitler. Too, there are songs of love, requited and unrequited, usually in a humorous vein. There are religious calypsos, bawdy calypsos and everything in-between calypsos. If anyone is interested I can send a small discography of my collection; I have songs of many artists listed in posts above.
I have one small quibble with Amos. I do not think of Harry Belafonte as an archetype of this music, but more of a popularizer of it, sort of the Kingston Trio for Calypso. And thank God for that!


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 03:10 AM

I'm listening to the Alan Lomax Calypso at Midnight, 1946 album. On the CD, the Duke of Iron says that Calypso comes from only one place, the Island of Trinidad. Messages above seem to indicate that's the truth. A message from Trapper above explains that mento is music from Jamaica that is similar to calypso, but without the political expression typical of calypso.

Agreed?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 03:59 PM

There are definitions in the excellent website, www.mentomusic.com.

"What is mento? Here's a short answer: It's a Jamaican music that is largely unknown outside of Jamaica that is the grandpappy of regfgae. For a ska or reggae fan, mento music sounds familiar and exotic and unfamiliar.... "
Following this is a longer definition.
"Mento music had its beginnings in Jamaica in the 19th century, and was uniquely Jamaican fusion of African and European musical traditions.........
"It wasn't until the erly 1950s that true mento recordings first began to appear [the pre-history is discussed, I have skipped that].
"These recordings reveal mento to be a diverse musical genre, sometimes played with reckless abandon and others with orderly precision.... In addition to mento's African and European roots, by this time it had also encompassed pan-Carribean influences, as well as American jazz."
"During this time, Trinidadian calypso was the Caribbean's top musical export, and the term "calypso" was used generically applied to Jamaican mento as well.....
"Adding to the confusion, Jamaica had its own calypso singers that did not record mento, such as Lord Creator. ....and mento artists would often perform alypso songs in the mento style.... Some mento artists followed the calypsonian practice of adding a title such as "Lord" to their name.

"But make no mistake, mento is a distinctly different sound from calypso, with its own instrumentation, rhythms, pacing, vocal styles, harmonies and lyrical concerns."

Political content entered some of the songs, particularly those with a fusion of styles.

The above sounds confused and there is no clear explanation, except to listen to the music and note its differences.

I like to listen to it, but I don't know anywhere near enough to offer a useful definition.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,Potatoman1773
Date: 22 Mar 15 - 02:14 PM

Calypso has less weed


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,Jungle Jack
Date: 03 May 15 - 10:42 AM

This is bound to muddy the water a bit. First time I heard island music was in 1960 at a bar in Newport, RI where a music teacher there played "island" music including "The Big Bamboo" and the Banana Boat song. Not sure but think he was from Barbados. Heard Muddy Waters play ska sounding music at a club in Philly in 1965, and Santana play island music in San Fran in GG Park in '70s. Lots of great music out there, too bad all the kids here in Belize hear today is explicit songs when we have Punta Rock, great island music.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 May 15 - 11:39 AM

I first heard calypso at the beginning of 1958, when I was 8 years old and emigrating from England to New Zealand. The ship called in at Trinidad. There were calypso singers near the harbour entertaining visitors like us: one of them made up a bit about my father's red beard. I'd never heard anybody make up a song on the spot like that and was entranced by it.

That sort of busking must have been a pretty marginal occupation, even then. Do they still do it?

The other things I remember from that trip were driving out to the asphalt lake through the forest, and the unbelievable amount of floating filth in Port of Spain harbour (which I think we saw close up, coming ashore in launches) - it was like boating through a gigantic blocked toilet. It would be surprising if the asphalt industry and that pollution didn't both get songs about them.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 03 May 15 - 08:01 PM

Moses on a motorbike, that first reply up there is a real 'Cat Classic! Ironic considering calypso can be one of the most racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic forms you've never heard and has since been demoted to a "style" of the reggae "genre" in the largest user built discography on the planet. Laugh-ah while you can monkey-boy!

The difference between calypso and reggae is everything. They have nothing in common save the relative physical proximity of Jamaica (reggae) and Trinidad (calypso) in the Caribbean. As to calypso, what we're reading here is a rigid dictionary definition that bears insufficient correlation to reality. Noted calypsonians Lord Executor (Philip Garcia) and Lord Protector (Patrick Jones) both cited Martinique as the source for the better songs of the late 19th century pre-tent era.

From about 1900-1950 the party line will do for now, sort of. The commercial-institutional aspect of "Calypso Monarch" is what's missing here. Same general concept as the Trini steel drum (pan) and "Panorama" competition.

The mid-20th century world "calypso craze" however, is none of the above. Harry Belafonte "The King of Calypso" and Irving Burgie "The Father of Modern Calypso" are deemed unauthentic by textbook musicologists. The "Paul Whiteman" of calypso as it were. Yet one can still read "Calypso" in the title of albums from Bermuda to Barbados. The repertoire is usually a mix of lounge, pop & world folk standards. "Western-eared" Americans such as Norman Luboff (Yellow Bird,) Conrad Mauge (Zombie Jamboree,) Alice Simms (Island Woman, Calypso Island) and Burgie (Island in the Sun, Jamaica Farewell) were responsible for more "traditional" titles than a lot of born and raised Caribbean musicians.

"The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Calypso Organization" (TUCO) is a ghost of the "golden era" but they still compete. Hat's off to this year's repeat Monarch - Roderick "Chucky" Gordon.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 15 - 12:08 PM

Phil, can you give examples of racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic calypso songs? It wouldn't be too surprising from a poor working-class population in the 1930's, but despite listening to every calypso song I could find I've never heard any. Unless you're referring to something like "The Cooks in Trinidad," which only protests treatment of servants by the white over-class. Lionel Belasco, who gave many of the early Calypsonians their rich accompaniment, was Jewish.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 15 - 12:14 PM

I was surprised to hear the comparison between reggae and polka. Could be; I don't really know polka. But from a dancer's point of view Reggae is basically skipping, except that you skip in place (like running in place), and you kind of reverse the movements, as if you were using skipping to back away.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Ed T
Date: 04 May 15 - 12:40 PM

I can't vouch for tge accuracy of this site, providing a brief historical perspective on Carribean music.


the evolution of Carribean music 


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 May 15 - 01:19 PM

"Reggae"(reggay) as a term came into wide use in 1968 or thereabouts, for the contemporary groove being employed in Jamaican popular music. Most of the music in that industry/sphere could be casual labeled as "reggae" of some sort, though other stylistic terms are often preferable for accuracy. Roughly every 2-4 years since the coinage of "reggae," the dominating rhythm of Jamaican music changed, and nowadays -- with producers creating things instead of bands of individual musicians -- one can expect the unexpected.

There is no "the reggae style/beat" per se, therefore, as reggae covers Jamaican popular dance music through the last 50+ years. There was, however, a sort of "export reggae," which reflects what consumers outside Jamaican tended to hear: groups in the style of the later incarnation of Bob Marley and the Wailers. "Reggae beat" seems to have been abstracted from that, and imagined as having a specific groove, though if the groove is at all accurate it only applies to a specific time period. Jamaican music producers seldom go back and do "old" things in that way.There is a sense of continuity and heritage and even "tradition," but it is not articulated by playing the grooves from 1978 as if they were a standardized thing.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 04 May 15 - 08:11 PM

Guest: "Phil, can you give examples of racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic calypso songs?"

Me: "...you've never heard." So obviously... no. Last year's mudflap was between Michael "Sugar Aloes" Osuna and Roger "Bodyguard" Mohammed over "False Papers" but, as they say, you had to be there. Seriously tho, if you really wanted to find it and listen to it you already have. From what I hear it was fairly mellow this year. Btw Lord Protector was aka "Chinee" Jones (born into the "Dreyfus Affair" era) and let's not even start in on Richard "Rex West" Chen. Xenophobia can be funny and not.

There is no one thing to be said about calypsonians ergo calypso "poor, working class, etc." The tents were sponsored by the "beke" or planter classes and that was fine too. In my experience the biggest dividing line on any island was Catholic-Protestant and ev-er-y-thing else came last. Harry Belafonte's grandparents were actually a complete nonstarter as "an issue" in spite of the take-away one gets from the "Island in the Sun" movie.

What would have really surprised movie goers is none of the female characters had the right to vote and that was just fine with men of all races.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 05 May 15 - 02:13 AM

If by chance anyone is interested, I have "studied" the development of reggae sound pretty explicitly (i.e. rather than just casual observation), so I can offer a few examples to start hearing what reggae was in its earliest years.

The following track is mostly the rhythmic groove known as "rocksteady" (which was still in effect in 1968), however it is overlaid with some elements —most notably the organ part — that foreshadow "reggay." The original instrumental groove was created in early 1968 and produced by Clancy Eccles.

"C.N. Express"

The next track was produced at Studio One with their session band, Sound Dimension. The guitar sound was new, using a delay pedal to give the "double" sound. There are still elements of rocksteady, but occasional syncopations and business in the drums depart from the norm of rocksteady.

"Nanny Goat"

This track produced with Harry J's group, in a way, combines the new elements of the preceding, namely the heavy "bubble" played on the organ, and the regular double-hits of the guitar.

"No More Heartache"

This later Clancy Eccles track moves the development forward with a drum rhythm that is a complete departure from rocksteady. While the preceding examples could all be called reggae, this track and ones like it marked the real turn into new stylistic territory.

"Don't Brag Don't Boast"

There's lots more variety, and all that is just in one year, 1968. The reggae grooves continue to develop in the hands of a half-dozen studio bands, and they will get more different before they get more similar to the groove known to international/non-Jamaican audiences.

Early reggae rhythms were energetic and/or intense, not languid. However, as mentioned earlier, live bands (especially outside Jamaica) that would be inspired by the cultural movement exemplified by later Bob Marley, have tended to adopt a sparser, perhaps more simplistic and softer groove. Such groups are essentially anachronistic, since after Marley's death in 1981 most of the Jamaican music scene shifted to gritty dancehall music, which in the beginning (in terms of rhythm) was first largely a throwback to rocksteady and thereafter developed into completely new rhythms. Few latter day live bands seem to master (or bother with?) earlier/other forms of reggae rhythm, but one that has done a great job with this is the California-based group The Aggrolites. Here they show their mastery of a 1969/70 era groove:

"Mr. Misery"

I included that last example, though I could have chosen hundreds of other examples of period music played by Jamaicans, to illustrate that non-Jamaicans can get on fine mastering the Jamaican rhythms -- that it's all about putting all the parts together. Reggae is not some plain off-beat guitar thing! Nor is much of it droopy, stoned-out music for people about to fall asleep and off their stool.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Ed T
Date: 05 May 15 - 03:29 PM

Not sure if it is Raggae or Rocksteady, but, I can detect the Jazz impact in many of Prince Busters songs.

Enjoy yourself 


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 May 15 - 02:24 AM

Ed T,

"Enjoy Yourself" would be labeled by most as ska, the predominant rhythm variety of 1963-65. However, one can distinguish this form of early ska, which is little more than Jamaican musicians' interpretation of boogie-woogie, from more unique ska grove that came to prominence in 1964, when drummer Lloyd Knibb innovated a new beat. I call the former "ska-shuffle, and it was a main style from '62-'63. The latter style came in in late '63, with tracks like this:

"Artie Bella"
It's still a type of jazz, as all the musicians were active jazz players though they'd developed new Jamaica-specific rhythms. The drum set playing is very syncopated and absolutely thrilling. And during the ska revival as "two tone" in UK, you really didn't hear groups that could manage that. What they (two played) really was indeed more akin to polka, and gave birth to the very plain rhythm that I think international audiences associate with "ska" today.

The Jamaican popular music industry began in earnest with local musicians replicating or adapting the predominately African-American popular music styles, jazz and r&b (in various shades), so yes, the impact is there in most of it.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 15 - 10:19 PM

I like the early/mid 60's Wailers recordings, with Bunny wailer and Peter Tosh. Those tracks had a really sweet child-like quality. And they sound like maybe they were trying to emulate the Motown artists of that time. I'm surprised they're not on YouTube. I think they're historically important. Maybe I should digitize them and upload them.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:02 PM

Thanks for your posted links and commentaries, Gibb Sahib--it reminds me that there is body of interesting and diverse music out their that was overshadowed by the "export" stuff which tended to co-mingle Am, G, ganga, and revolution.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 May 15 - 11:41 PM

GUEST,

I'm surprised they're not on YouTube. I think they're historically important. Maybe I should digitize them and upload them.

Of course they're there :-) You just need to know the songs to look for. In terms of tracks by the Wailers that are totally in the style of U.S. r&b (doowop, etc), there are a few.

It Hurts to be Alone

I Need You So

And this one which I posted myself, alongside the original by The Moonglows:
The Ten Commandments of Love

But remember why the Jamaican music industry mainly started: to provide the local market with the U.S. r&b style records that the sound systems had been playing. So they absolutely were emulating Motown, etc artists.
In the first half of the 60s some Jamaican artists made recordings like the ones above, in full on 12/8 meter doowoppy style.
An early example is this 1961 recording:
My Heaven

After that, with the advent of the rocking' ska rhythm in 1964 (the remainder of the Wailers' early recordings), the US r&b/soul/whatever influence remained in the vocal part, but the accompanying rhythms were distinctly Jamaican.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 08 May 15 - 04:50 AM

I confess utter ignorance of most of the genres discussed above but I do remember calypso from days of yore, particularly on the BBC's Tonight programme. It seems to me that the rhythm, if one wishes to put it in music notation, could be given a time signature of 8/8, with groups of 3+5 or 3+3+2, so emphases on beats and 4.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 15 - 09:15 AM

Thanks, Gibb Sahib. Those recordings are just what I was looking for. And that "Soul vs Reggae" series makes the Motown connection clear.


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Subject: RE: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 May 15 - 10:05 AM

I remember Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), who came to the UK on the "Windrush" in the 1950s - also the English attempts at it by Lance Percival. If you compare Lord Kitchener's "Cricket, Lovely Cricket" to, say, Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry", for example, there are some obvious differences. His calypsos were topical, energetic, busy, up-tempo, etc., while Marley's reggae was very laid back, more arranged, slower, etc.

Just a crude comparison, to illustrate some basic differences.

I remember seeing that great guitarist (Dr.) Ernest Ranglin some years ago in Brighton - great mix of jazz and reggae and ska. (I believe he produced Milly's "My Boy Lollipop").


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