Bob Marley: His Music, His Words, His Legacy

1516 words - 6 pages

The 70's - musically, culturally, and politically - was a transitional phase, and a

emotional link between two very infamous periods. This decade was also the recess from

reality, in which people used music to escape from the real world leaving behind all their

worries. People were consumed by appetites, addicted to their guilty pleasures, and soon

there would be a price to pay.

During the late 60's and early 70‘s, reggae music was created by combining the

characteristics of the North American rock and African Jamaican music. This new style

had a lot of influence from rhythm, the blues, and some jazz. Though the textbook

"America's Musical Landscape" the author Jean Ferris states that, "the polyrhythms are

more complex, the bass lines are stronger, and the tempos more relaxed" (Ferris p.

207). Reggae music gives a very soulful and religious feel to its listeners because of the

close relation it has to the religious movement known as Rastafarianism, and because so

much of this genre has religious connotations explaining the singers beliefs and views on

situations from a Rastafarian perspective.

The Rastafarian religion, the heart of reggae music, based itself in belief of "Jah"

which was a metaphor for a god of goodness and love. Jah was the force fighting against

the oppression from "Babylon" which meant the destructive force. Metaphors of

oppression and freedom, explain the social problems and ways of liberation. Many of Bob

Marley's lyrics delivered this kind of message and as a result his music was accepted by

many people that shared or at least agreed with his point of view. It is said that when

Marley spoke of things that were accepted by his audience, his words impacted the

listeners incredibly.

Bob Marley worked hard to increase awareness among people around the world.

His music spread through the hearts of Europeans, Africans, and Americans. He made

lyrics and music work together to offer messages comprised of both theoretical and

emotional content through the constructs of virtual experience (lyrics) and virtual time

(music). Both virtual experience and virtual time must exist for music to function.

However it can sometimes work out otherwise. It was the unique style of Bob

Marley's reggae that allowed him to connect with the people. He abandoned the classic

style of "ska" and adopted a new style of a rhythm known as "rock steady".


A lot of emotional content can be taken from just the rhythm of music. Much like

classical music, reggae gave all people a vision. Smooth rhythm, thick bass lines and light

percussion is what makes this rhythm stand out and me enjoyable. Instrumental pieces

may not have carried with them a deep and intense message as songs with lyrics did, but

it was another way for Marley to reach his audience. He gained respect for his unique

ways of creating music, and you...

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