You can get it if you really want - Desmond Dekker and the Aces.

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Reggae.

  • 1960's.
  • Rastafarianism.
  • Bass guitar riffs.
  • Off-beat quavers.
  • 4/4 time.
  • Simple chord sequence.
  • Verse/chorus.
  • Political lyrics.
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Other Caribbean Genres.

  • Ska = fast dance music using characteristic off beat jumpy rhythms (1950's)
  • Rocksteady = more relaxed with emphasis on beats 2 and 4.
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Reggae influences and Jimmy Cliff.

  • Lyrics - fight for justice.
  • Cuban style trumpet lines.
  • Ska/rocksteady organ bass parts.
  • American 'Doo-***' backing vocals.
  • ROCKSTEADY.
  • Jamaican.
  • Born 1948.
  • Musician, singer and actor.
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Guitars, Bass guitar and drums.

Guitars:

  • Muted rhythm picking of the same thing from bars 7-12 in guitar 1 (/ / / /)
  • Accented off-beat quavers playing chords in guitar 2.
  • Anacrusis - upbeat - moving chromatically.

Bass guitar,

  • Intro - playing Db, tonic, root position.
  • Plays root position throughout - follows harmonic structure.
  • Same rhythmic motif throughout - 4 note riff.
  • Heavy and steady - ROCKSTEADY.

Drums:

  • Backbeat = rocksteady.
  • Use of cross stick = reggae.
  • Tambourine used but very quiet.
  • Drum fills.
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Title hook, verses and choruses.

Title hook:

  • Short memorable phrase
    • decorated stepwise descent.
    • appears so often it becomes like a riff.
  • Vocals stick to the same notes - major pentatonic - Db, Eb, Fb, Ab, Bb.
    • Bars 25/43/56 - falsetto.

Verses & choruses:

  • Verse = 2 bars longer (additional I and IV)
  • Different chord progression at the end.
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Structure.

  • Bar 1-3, intro, 3 bars.
  • Bar 4-13, chorus, 10 bars.
  • Bar 14-25, verse 1, 12 bars.
  • Bar 26-35, chorus, 10 bars.
  • Bar 14-24, verse 2, 12 bars.
  • Bar 26-35, chorus, 10 bars.
  • Bar 36-43, instrumental, 8 bars.
  • Bar 44-53, chorus, 10 bars.
  • Bar 54-57, outro, fade.
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Harmony.

  • Main chords - I and IV = Db and Gb.
  • Supplemented with:
    • Ab7, V or V7 (often acts as a structural link).
  • Bar 37 stands out:
    • Brass playing the tonic.
    • Brass isn't imitating the vocals.
    • Extended drum fill (whole bar)
    • After bar 40, all brass playing the chord in harmony.
    • Unrelated E major.
    • Descent down part of the WHOLE TONE SCALE.
    • Repeated 4 bars later with the winds harmonising in parallel triads.
  • Chromaticism in bar 21 - E natural in the bass, intro - C natural leading to Db.
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