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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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Sister Mary Margaret

SISTER MARGARET MARY, WHO WORKS FOR A LOCAL HOME HEALTH AGENCY WAS OUT MAKING HER ROUNDS WHEN SHE RAN OUT OF GAS.

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT A GAS STATION WAS JUST A BLOCK AWAY.

SHE WALKED TO THE STATION TO BORROW A CAN OF GAS TO START & THEN DRIVE TO THE STATION FOR A FILL UP.

THE ATTENDANT REGRETFULLY TOLD HER THE ONLY GAS CAN HE OWNED HAD BEEN LOANED OUT BUT IF SHE WOULD WAIT, IT WAS SURE TO BE BACK SHORTLY.

SINCE THE NUN ! WAS ON THE WAY TO SEE A PATIENT SHE DECIDED NOT TO WAIT & SHE WALKED BACK TO THE CAR. AFTER LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO FILL WITH GAS, SHE SPOTTED A BEDPAN SHE WAS TAKING TO THE PATIENT.

ALWAYS RESOURCEFUL, SHE CARRIED IT TO THE STATION & FILLED IT WITH GASOLINE, & CARRIED IT TO HER CAR.

AS SHE WAS POURING THE GAS INTO THE TANK, TWO MEN WERE WATCHING FROM ACROSS THE STREET. ONE OF THEM TURNED TO THE OTHER & SAID, "IF IT STARTS, I'M TURNING CATHOLIC".

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