Ska music was created in the 1960 in Jamaica by various artist who
were trying to find a new music that would set people’s feet moving.
The artist had to make Ska because the music scene in America was
going from Jazz and Rhythm & Blues to Rock n’ Roll; the dance steps
for the latter were not what Jamaicans preferred. These various artist
like Rolond Alphonso, Don Drummond, and Dizzy Moore took from their
favorite types of music: Jazz, Rhythm & blues, American Bee pop, and
Traditional Jamican/Caribbean music to make the Calypso music we now
call Ska. Ska was Jamaica’s first real Jamaican owned music; made in
Jamaica for Jamaicans. Ska became a booming hit. Musicians would play
it at clubs, bars, weddings, on the streets, and just about anywhere
they could go because the people starved for it. Even after the
popularity of Ska died out in Jamaica, it bred new music into the tiny
little Island of Jamaica. Later on in the same century Rocksteady was
born and right before the seventies were born the music called Reggae
was born–both having a direct ancestry to Ska music.

The reason behind the name ‘Ska’ is said to come from the sound of the
way the guitar rings in a “skat, skat, skat” sound. This sound is
fairly unique, but it gives you a continuous beat like you hear in
other music like Reggae, Reggaeton, Pokka and Mariachi. Yet like those
genres of music, Ska does not rely on the guitar, but on the Rhythm of
both the Drums and Bass. Most people today that saw a Ska band from
the 60’s would probably think it was a big band, like the ones you see
in Swing music. Most bands would consist of three to four horn players
consisting of various Trombone, Saxophone and Trumpets. Lastly, the
Uniqueness of the sound of Ska would come from the Organ player.

       The talented band Viernes 13 has been around since the 90’s and has
gained great popularity. Their combination of trumpet, trombone, and
drum create a dancing rhythm that energizes the audience to their
beats. Their simple lyrics of “tell me how you feel,” help the
audience connect with the singer by addressing a universal subject
such as love. While listening to this band, all I wanted to do was bop
my head to the rhythm of the trumpet and the voice of the lead singer.
This band has gained such a positive reputation in the music scene of
Los Angeles and has allowed it to grow in years. I will have to one
day attend one of their show, because I was very impressed by their
music. Music is universal and the fact that the music was in Spanish
did not bother me. I don’t listen to a lot of Spanish music but this
band was so catchy that all I could do was focus on the beats.


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

One response »

  1. huera says:

    no,but disco is.

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