There are many different types of music genres to be enjoyed and ska is one of them. Here is a detailed look at this genre.

Where Did Ska Music Begin?

This form of music began in the 1950s, in Jamaica. It appeared just before other genres such as Rocksteady and Reggae came on the scene.

What Is the Music Like?

Ska music has a very unique style to it. It is a combination of the following types of music:

  • Caribbean mento
  • Calypso
  • American jazz
  • Rhythm and blues

What Instruments Are Commonly Used in Ska Music?

The most common instruments used to create this type of music include the following:

  • Electric organ
  • Piano
  • Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Electric guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Drum Kit

How Did the Name Ska Come About?

This is a controversial topic as there is no consensus on how the name, ska, came about. One explanation claims that the name was created with reference to the scratching sound that a guitar makes. Another holds that the name came about during a recording session with Coxsone Dodd, but the guitar mater, Ranglin, says this is not true. There are several other theories but none of them can be proved to be absolutely true.

Whom Did the Original Ska Music Appeal to?

All types of people in the 1960s enjoyed this type of music, but it became more popular among certain groups such as the following:

  • British Mods: This was a group that originated in London, in 1958. They set the tone for fashion and trendy music among the young people.
  • Skin Heads: The groups was formed in the 1960s and comprised of the working-class people in London. They soon spread to other parts of England, and there were various sub groups of Skin Heads.
  • The Queen Mother: To the surprise of many, it was discovered that the Queen Mum was quite a pop fan and loved to listen to ska music.

The Three Periods of Ska Music

Ska music can be divided into three specific periods depending on its history.

The 1960s

This is when the music first arrived on the scene. It came about as a result of the creation of new sound systems. Those responsible for this were Prince Buster, Clement Dodd, and Duke Reid.

The 1970s: the Two-Tone Era

Some may think that this era of ska music also originated in Jamaica, but it actually took place in Coventry, England. It took adopted a different tone, which is why it was dubbed two-tone. The music comprised of the ska rhythms and punk rock tones, which were more aggressive. When compared to the original ska, the two-tone ska was much faster. It got its name from 2 Tone Records.

Third Wave SKA

It was in the 1980s when Third Wave ska made its debut, but it wasn’t until the 1990s when it became really popular. The tone and style had some similarities to the original ska but the music has its distinctive features as well. This new form of ska relied more on guitar riffs and included sections of large horn play. It became popular in many different countries with the most notable ones being the following:

  • UK: Third Wave music became somewhat popular in the late 1980s.
  • Germany: This new form of ska really was really popular in the country.
  • Spain: Some bands producing this form of music became widely popular.
  • Australia: Third Wave ska was welcomed in Australia and grew quickly in popularity.
  • Russia: There were some new bands that introduced this music in the county, and as it grew in popularity, more bands surfaced.
  • Japan: Created its own renditions of ska music.
  • Latin America: The country adopted the Third Wave style, but the traditional ska music was still very popular.