Ska

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Ska is a kind of popular music from Jamaica that was developed in the 1950s. Ska music played at a slower tempo turned into reggae in the late 1960s.

How it sounds[change | edit source]

Ska music bands include singers, electric guitars, electric bass guitar, piano, organ, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone.

In ska, the electric guitar and piano normally play short chords on the off-beat. If you go "one and two and three and four", the off-beat is the "And".

In ska, the singer does a style of Jamaican singing called "toasting." When a singer is "toasting", they make sounds, repeat words, invent rhymes, and shout into the microphone. The Jamaican "toasting" style of singing and talking turned into rap music in the 1980s.

How Ska musicians dress[change | edit source]

Musicians who play ska dress in hats and suits. Many ska bands wear clothes with a chessboard pattern of black and white squares. This pattern symbolizes the way that ska music mixes of Black and White musicans and styles of music. However, after the bass player from Scotland's best Ska band, Ska-Beat Jakes started performing all his gigs in a Kilt and Dr. Martens, most Ska fans wear this attire while playing or listening to ska.

1980s Ska Revival[change | edit source]

Even though ska was developed in the 1950s, it became popular again in the 1980s in Britain. In the 1980s, ska bands such as The Specials, The Selecter, The English Beat (known just as "The Beat" in England), and Madness played ska music.

1990s Ska mixed with punk rock[change | edit source]

In the 1990s, some bands mixed ska music with Punk rock to make ska-punk. This kind of ska music is from England and the United States. Some pop-punk bands from the 1990s mixed pop-punk with ska-punk.

Examples of Ska Bands:

  • No Doubt
  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • The Specials
  • The Selecter
  • The English Beat (known just as "The Beat" in England)
  • Madness
  • Prince Buster
  • Desmond Dekker
  • The Bodysnatchers
  • The Skatalites
  • Andy and the Jivers
  • Streetlight Manifesto
  • The Toasters
  • The Slackers
  • Rustic Root
  • Westbound Train
  • Reel Big Fish
  • Suburban Legends
  • Catch 22
  • Less Than Jake
  • Lord creator
  • The King Blues
  • Ska-Beat Jakes