A style of Jamaican dance music that became prominent in the late 1950s and is a predecessor of reggae. Ska is characterized by fast tempos in 4/4 meter with the 8th-note upbeats accented, usually by piano or guitar. It contains elements of Calypso and mento, traditional Caribbean musical styles, and it donates many of its rhythmic features to the later (and slower) Rocksteady and reggae.
Ska is notable in its resilience. Its popularity with British and American skinheads extended its longevity into the 1970s. In the late 1970s, a new wave of British ska bands, including the Specials, the Selecter, and Madness, added punk-influenced distorted guitar to the style. A third wave of ska arrived in the 1990s with groups like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones achieving hit releases.