Reggae music is a genre of music that was birthed in the country of Jamaica during the 1960s. Sometimes it's used in a broader sense to include all of the music styles found in Jamaica, it is traditionally understood to be the style of music that originated after the musical genres of rock steady and ska were developed. This genre of music is based on rhythmic style and the off-beat, which is called skank.

Reggae music was first acknowledged in a published document in the 1967 edition of Jamaican English. In the entry, it states that reggae music is a newly established term that came from rege-rege, a term that can mean rags or ragged clothing.

Reggae music was strongly influenced by American jazz, African, and rhythm and blues, but it was directly descended from the development of rock steady and ska. The way ska and rock steady records were played, and the effects that were added to the music, created the genre.

Popular music in Jamaica before Reggae music took hold was rock steady. A transition took place around 1968 when Reggae pioneer Bunny Lee illustrated the organ shuffle. Some of the earliest Reggae hits that reflected this new sound included "Say What You're Saying" by Clancy Eccels, and "Long Shot Bus Me Bet" by the Pioneers. Around this time, Reggae music started to influence rock music as well. One of the most glaring examples is the Beatles song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."

ReggaeThe most recognized band that played Reggae Music was The Wailers, a band formed in 1963 by Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh. This band is known for riding through the transition of all three types of Jamaican music, rock steady, ska, and Reggae. Some of the other people that are credited as pioneers of Reggae Music include Desmond Dekker, Prince Buster, and Jackie Mittoo.

There were also producers that were famous for producing Reggae records. Some of these included, Chris Blackwell, Leslie Kong, Duke Reid, Coxsone Dodd, Joe Gibbs, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and King Tubby.

Reggae music is either played in swing time or 4/4 time. Because of the beat of the music, Reggae music does not lend itself to classic set ups like 3/4 time. Harmonically reggae music is very simple and can sometimes just consist of one or possibly two chords. Because of this set up, some people feel that reggae music has a hypnotic effect.

Many different instrument groups are used in reggae music. Some of these instruments include the bass, guitars, keyboards, and horns. The eclectic mix of instruments is part of what gives reggae music its unique sound. Another distinguishing feature about reggae music is that it focuses less on the vocalist singing the music and more on the beat of the music.

Reggae music lyrics are known for having social criticisms, although there are some songs that talk about topics that aren't as serious, such as socializing or love. Many artists in this genre are very socially conscious and pay attention to the current events that are going on in the world and put it into their music. Reggae musicians are also known for their support of cannabis in all of its forms.