Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Steven Shaviro


In the early 1970s, the culture of Jamaica shifted politically and culturally with the introduction of the mixing board in music. This writing centers on the ways in which technology created a culture of dub reggae that has gone on to affect the world. The major albums and engineers that influenced this change are the focus here. By doing so, we can view how large changes in technology affected the society of Jamaica and how this led to significant cultural development. With Raymond Williams’ definition of culture and Thomas Vendrys’ structure of Dub music, the culture is defined, furthered, and discussed. Engineers like Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby, and others used the technology to break into the music landscape and to establish what is known today as dub music.

The differences between the preceding music of ska and reggae and dub are looked at as well. What created these differences and what led to the shift are the focus of this presentation. Examples of dub music, and how they differ from reggae will be heard and discussed. The split between the social classes in Jamaican society is also a part of this conversation. Dub music situates within the working-class of Jamaica at this time and stands outside of the music industry in interesting ways. The mixing desk and other forms of technology were used to create a specific shift in the culture of Jamaican society. This shift is still being felt today and the developments of these early engineers and producers are still being used to construct dub music. By focusing on the early developments of the music and how these developments created a cultural shift, we can see how technology changed the way that Jamaican popular music impacted the world.