The construction of a musical memory
in Time and memory in reggae music
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The history of reggae music is long and complex and, in reference to a common expression within reggae and the Rastafari movement, ‘half the story has never been told’. Record labels in Jamaica are sometimes nothing more than a studio and backyard. The presence of both old and new recordings in people's record collections is not only a question of taste or persistence: in reggae music; the new itself also conveys the old, through a process that is characteristic of reggae – the importance of the ‘riddim’. The lyrics literally ‘make’ the history of reggae music. One of the most powerful tools used by collective memory concerns the remembrance of the dead, because it unites the group through a shared sense of belonging, through the memory and emotion linked to the disappearance of their own people. Among others, two examples are especially significant in the case of reggae music: Bob Marley and Garnett Silk.

Time and memory in reggae music

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