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What's the difference between calypso and reggae?

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mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Peter MacIntosh 05 Feb 01 - 01:16 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 01:22 PM
Sarah2 05 Feb 01 - 01:31 PM
Trapper 05 Feb 01 - 01:54 PM
Trapper 05 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,she who sells seashells by the seashore 05 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM
Jimmy C 05 Feb 01 - 02:02 PM
Bernard 05 Feb 01 - 02:05 PM
Jimmy C 05 Feb 01 - 02:07 PM
Sarah2 05 Feb 01 - 02:08 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,she who sells seashells by the sea shore 05 Feb 01 - 02:17 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 02:21 PM
Mrrzy 05 Feb 01 - 02:27 PM
Pseudolus 05 Feb 01 - 03:56 PM
mousethief 05 Feb 01 - 04:02 PM
Trapper 05 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM
death by whisky 05 Feb 01 - 05:05 PM
Stewie 05 Feb 01 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 05 Feb 01 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 05 Feb 01 - 08:20 PM
Pseudolus 06 Feb 01 - 08:44 AM
harpgirl 06 Feb 01 - 11:03 AM
LR Mole 06 Feb 01 - 12:04 PM
Metchosin 06 Feb 01 - 01:41 PM
mousethief 06 Feb 01 - 01:52 PM
Trapper 06 Feb 01 - 03:37 PM
Metchosin 06 Feb 01 - 03:47 PM
Bernard 06 Feb 01 - 03:54 PM
mousethief 06 Feb 01 - 04:43 PM
mkebenn 06 Feb 01 - 10:22 PM
Twiz 07 Feb 01 - 09:26 AM
Maryrrf 07 Feb 01 - 12:21 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Feb 01 - 12:27 PM
Twiz 07 Feb 01 - 02:23 PM
mousethief 02 Aug 02 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Frogmore 03 Aug 02 - 12:21 AM
RichM 03 Aug 02 - 02:47 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 03 Aug 02 - 04:43 AM
alanabit 03 Aug 02 - 07:23 AM
alanabit 04 Aug 02 - 08:24 AM
mousethief 05 Aug 02 - 03:47 PM
EBarnacle1 06 Aug 02 - 04:12 PM
Wesley S 06 Aug 02 - 04:44 PM
M.Ted 07 Aug 02 - 11:56 AM
mousethief 07 Aug 02 - 12:08 PM
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Tim theTwangler 15 Feb 07 - 09:52 AM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 02:07 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 02:21 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 08:16 PM


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Metchosin
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 03:47 PM

Thank you Trapper!


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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: mousethief
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 04:43 PM

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


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mkebenn
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 10:22 PM

I always assumed the difference between calypso and reggae was ganja, mon. Trapper, if you didn't make all that up, that may be the best answer to a very good question that I ever heard.. Mike


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Twiz
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 09:26 AM

Thanks for the info trapper. I remember a Club called The Roaring 20's in London's Carnaby Street in the 60's. That was the place to hear Blue Beat/Ska. In those days most clubbers were out of their heads on Purple hearts and hash!

Dave.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 12:21 PM

I used to go quite frequently to Trinidad on business. Calypso (I usually heard it called Kaiso there) is definitely still being created although Soca, Reggae and Ska(this is Jamaican in origin - not Trinidadian) is probably more popular. Especially as Carnaval approaches there are a lot of calypsonians who compose current event related songs. I was fortunate enough to have a friend down there who recorded some of the music from the tents for me. Trinidadians know that a lot of people think Calypso is Jamaican and resent it. They're very proud of their Kaiso tradition.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 12:27 PM

Drum timing/rythm guitar timing important characteristic of reggae. Likewise bass guitar sound (eighteen inch speaker, not multiple tens).

I'd have said ska predated blue beat, and blue beat probably almost two tone in the implication of the white boy in the pork pie hat.

And before anyone asks why I think so, about 40 years ago I used to make a few quid with the eighteen inch speakers playing a disco to a skinhead audience in a very sleazy drinking den (now long gone) colloquially known as "Arry's" in Rochester, Kent. Just down from the river where the small merchant boats tied up.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Twiz
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 02:23 PM

Blue Beat definitely came first, There was a tune called 'O Carolina' which I think was made into a pop record a few years back. That was the first tune I remember, I think it was sung by a band called 'Prince Busters All Stars'. The name changed from Blue Beat to Ska then to Rock Steady then Reggae. If you walked through Brixton SE London in the mid sixties there were BIG sound systems blasting out tunes everywhere


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

Okay, to reopen an old wound: is the song "The Israelites" by Desmond Dekker and the Aces, reggae?

Alex


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: GUEST,Frogmore
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 12:21 AM

I was first attracted to this website because so many of the participants seemed to be mature and educated in "musicology." Questions like, "What is the difference between......" are silly. They waste my time. If you really don't know, you can better use your computer to answer that elementary question without invading our time. I like "Google". I will admit that qestions like this do generate some useful responses, but Curiosity alone made me read this. Nothing more to say, I'm busy with real stuff. Sorry to sound like a snob, but........................................... I'm not from Jamaica. Even my non-musician friends can detect different rhythms. I'll confine myself to commenting on more intelligent issues in the future. I'm sorry to have wasted the time of anyone who actually read this far. G'nite.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: RichM
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 02:47 AM

There's an easy way to solve your concern, Frogmore.
Don't read the thread if it wastes your time. It was your choice to select this thread, and your choice to read it.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 04:43 AM

Gee, and I always thought that the reason we uneducated dumbfucks post questions like, "What is the difference between......" is so that those of us who are educated in "musicology" can share their knowledge with their less educated fellows. If we're just supposed to spend hours sifting through websites and databases to find the answers, then why is this forum here in the first place? I kinda thought it had something to do with human interaction.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 07:23 AM

A fair question Mousethief - and like you - I am shocked by some of the rude and spiteful replies. Better musicians will answer your question than I, but I believe the answer essentially lies in the way the accents are played in a four/four rhythm. As far as I can make out, the third beat of a calypso is stressed. "Hey Mr.TALLyman,Tally my baNAnas" is an example which comes to mind. I am one of the least expert musicians on Mudcat, but I believe that reggae musicians stress the first and third. It's a fair question which I might have asked myself if I'd had the bottle. I'm sure we'll get an erudite answer. Bad manners are not necessarily a sign of good musicianship!


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: alanabit
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 08:24 AM

Good question - so I'm going to refresh.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:47 PM

Yes, God forbid anybody should use Mudcat to ask questions about MUSIC. Forgive me for not being born with all the information you were born with, Frogface. Forgive me for finding a music forum to ask questions about music instead of going off into a corner by myself and doing what you apparently do in your spare time.

Jeezis, some people.

Alex


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 04:12 PM

Thanks for bringing this thread back up. I found stuff I didn't know even though I lived through the New York end of it. If you want to hear the new stuff, just come to Brooklyn on Labor Day Weekend. The annual parade on Eastern Parkway always has a few people coming in with new stuff. You will also get to experience THE SOUND and rhythm. They have been known to cause internal damage.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: Wesley S
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 04:44 PM

Alex - Back to your question about Desmond Dekker. I have that particular LP in my collection and it fits my defination of reggae. No doubt someone will disagree.

You might also want to consider this question. If polka gets slow enough { imagine a Wisconsin polka band on ganja } doesn't it turn into reggae ? Just imagine Frankie Yankovic and the Wailers. It boggles the mind.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:56 AM

Reggae is a bit like a slowed down, backward polka,(in four) think about the snare on the first beat and the bass drum(and the emphasis) on the second, snare on the third, bass on the fourth--The calypso beat as is a lot like a rhumba with the emphasis on the on the first beat--The polka isn't really that far out a comparison, the merengue beat is, more or less, a polka--

As to you, Frogmore, *most* people can hear the difference, but few can explain what it is, and fewer still can play the two styles--I assume that if you could explain the difference, you would have done it--


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: mousethief
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:08 PM

Fascinating, and thanks everybody for the insights and information!

Now, is there an affinity of some sort between some klezmer, and ska*? Or is it just my crazy imagination?

Alex

*both of which I very much enjoy, btw.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:55 PM

Thanks M.Ted for a polite and musical explanation. I thought we would eventually get something of the sort from a Mudcatter.


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Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:16 PM

You are welcome, Alanabit--I hope that my explanation is useful--Of course, he best way to learn to play is to play with musicians who know the music. I have found Island musicians of all genres to be very welcoming in this regard--

Alex, as to your inquiry, I can only say that I have heard a number of reggae bands cover "Hava Nagila" to good effect--


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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
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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