noun \ˈre-(ˌ)gā, ˈrā-\

: popular music that is originally from Jamaica and that combines native styles with elements of rock and soul music

Full Definition of REGGAE

:  popular music of Jamaican origin that combines native styles with elements of rock and soul music and is performed at moderate tempos with the accent on the offbeat

Origin of REGGAE

origin unknown
First Known Use: 1968


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Jamaican popular music and dance style. It originated in the mid-1960s as a music of the Jamaican poor, reflecting social discontent and the Rastafarian movement. Its instrumentation features an electric bass played at high volume as a lead instrument, around which an ensemble of organ, piano, drums, and lead and rhythm electric guitars plays short ostinato phrases with regular accents on the offbeats. Reggae was popularized in the U.S. by the film The Harder They Come (1973), starring the singer Jimmy Cliff, and through tours by Bob Marley and the Wailers and by Toots (Hibbert) and the Maytals, whose influence was felt among white rock musicians.


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