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Jamaican music and it's effect on the Jamaican economy 2nd Part

05/05/10

Permalink 08:30:21 pm, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Jamaican music and it's effect on the Jamaican economy 2nd Part

In the seventies, while reggae music started to establish itself as an international force, Jamaican musical culture had begun to change and a new form of music was created: The final stage in the evolution of popular Jamaican music has been the development of ‘Dance Hall’ music. This form of reggae was created by the minimalising of the music, mainly through the removal of various instruments until only the bare minimum remains. The move to Dance Hall started with the Djs, who became popular in the early seventies, although they had been working on sound systems for a number of years previously. King Sitt, URoy, Big Youth, Dennis Alcapone and Scotty, among others, made rhythmic talking the craze of the dances during the Rock Steady era as they chanted on ’versions’ of songs sung by the popular artistes. This Dj phenomenon continued and intensified with Reggae, until it represented more than half of the new music being produced. With the arrival of the drum machine in the 1980s Dance Hall was born.

Because of reggae’s overseas success during the seventies and early eighties, the artistes, almost exclusively from poor economical backgrounds, were enjoying more fiscal rewards than ever was thought possible. Many of them who still resided in Jamaica came back with the idea of reinvesting that money into the creation of studios, sound systems and other music and non-music related businesses. This created new employment of hundreds of disadvantaged youth who might have had to elsewhere in order to “eat a food.”

Another effect of Jamaican music’s popularity, both locally and abroad, was the inception of the stage show. These live musical performances provided new avenues were people, and in some cases whole communities, could generate income on the day of the event. By far, the biggest event is Sumfest, an annual international music festival featuring reggae music, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world… Also, there are major annual dance hall concerts, like Sting, and Saddle to the East, which attract people from all over Jamaica, from the Jamaican migrant communities, and from the hard core fans of Jamaican music as far away as Japan. There is of course a plethora of income earning activities ancillary to the main musical event, whether it is the concert, the carnival, or the dance. Apart from the services required to set up the shows – promotional posters and radio ads, musicians, lights, sound, security, various specialized labour services, and so on – there are a variety of vendors of cooked food, fruits, refreshments, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, souvenirs and other music related paraphernalia. Also of note is the expenditure on clothing and other articles of fashion that the dance and partygoers favour. All this expenditure, though informal in nature, has become critical to not only people from the lower end of the society in the last couple of decades, but to the middle and upper class as well. As pointed out by Michael Witter in his study Music and jamaican economy, “the house party gave way to the pay-party held at up-town locations, such as the big lawns of private homes, clubs and hotels. These events also used big sound systems playing similar music to what one would hear at the dances of the working class.”

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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