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    Jamaica - Timothy Travis

    Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean. In 1494 it was discovered by Christopher Columbus, who used it as private property until 1509. After some skirmishes it fell under British rule and the sugar trade on the island flourished. After the abolition of slavery in 1834 it was only granted Home Rule in 1944, but it remained a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Whereas the export of cane sugar used to be Jamaica's main export product for many years, nowadays music has taken over this role. At first American music used to be very popular on the island. Later, however, Jamaican musicians started to experiment and thus in the end created their ownmusical style called Reggae. Well-known Reggae musicians are Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The most important instruments used in Reggae are the bass and the drums. Together they form the base for the style: the riddim. A bass drum accent on the second and fourth beat are characteristic of a typically reggae drum beat. To this syncopic patterns are often added. The rhythm guitarist plays chords in a characteristic Reggae rhythm, not on, but between the beats.

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