In reggae music, it is very common for artists and producers to take an existing song, record a new voicing over it, and re-release it as if it were a completely new song. While a song consists of a deejay singing over a riddim, the riddim is not exclusive to that song, but is typically used in many other songs. The riddim has its own name, its own producer and owner, and its own musical life independent of particular voicings by deejays. Some of the most popular riddims have been re-released hundreds of times.
A study of the correlation between economic prosperity in Jamaica and the usage of existing riddims in reggae music between 1960 and 2007
It is generally told that this riddim tradition originates from the old days, when poverty prevailed in Jamaica. In her project study, student Lisa Dalhuijsen researched the correlation between Jamaica's wealth and the number of riddims used over a long period. As she discovered, the correlation is not as you would expect from the rumours, or as she states in the conclusion of her paper "poverty is not an excuse for re-using existing music". Read more about Lisa's research into Reggae Riddims in Prosperity.
This project was undertaken as part of the Creative Research course. The question asked in this project is unconventional in science, and quite creative. Also, it comes from her personal interest and experience within the reggae music scene, something that is highly valued in the Media Technology programme.