Essay on American Music: Where Did it Come From?

Essay on American Music: Where Did it Come From?

Length: 2958 words (8.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Who would have guessed that a set of drums, guitar, bass, and vocals would have had such a profound effect on American history. Even at a time in history, when all was well in the country, some people still felt the need to “escape” from the troubles in their life and other negative circumstances. At one point in American history, people were oppressed as slaves and to try to cope with their situation emotionally, they would sing. They would create music to be able to express the feelings and emotions that they would have otherwise not have been able to express. As time progressed, many musicians who were victims of racism in the South, used the same coping mechanism and expressed how they truly felt about their position and circumstance through songs. Their music was filled with such emotion, that others who felt oppressed within their own life would make a connection while listening to the older music, which was the blues. These younger musicians would turn to the blues music to help them escape from their problems. Specifically, these same musicians, who were fans of blues music, were influenced by what they liked, but they did create their own type of music. Their music, which came to be known as rock and roll, was not simply black music under another title it was its own type of music. On the surface, rock music did seem to challenge the systems of inequality and oppression that plagued America in the 1950s and ‘60s, however after further analysis it is evident that it in fact did reproduce those systems of injustice. In analyzing several artists, it will be concluded that rock and roll is its own distinct type of music and it did reproduce the systems of inequality and oppression that plagued America in the 1950s and ‘60s.

... middle of paper ...

...e and Fall of
The 60’s (New York:Canongate, 2007.

Echols, Alice. Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin. New York: Holt and
Company, 1999.

Johnson, Robert. “Cross Road Blues.” Accessed December 8th 2013,

Miller, James. Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll 1947-1977. New York:
Fireside, 1999.
“Time – The Generation Gap,” Accessed December 8, 2013,

“The 1950s: Happy Days.” Accessed December 8th 2013.

Yamasaki, Mitch. “Using Rock 'N' Roll to Teach the History of Post-World War II America.” Accessed December 8th 2013,

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

American Music at the Turn of the 20th Century Essay

- To understand whether an ‘American’ music emerged out of traditions in the turn of the 20th century, we need to focus on the term ‘American’ and what musical genres fall under that category. For one, America, in a cultural sense, is seen as one huge ‘melting pot’, an amalgamation of cultures, ethnic traditions, beliefs and styles of music. It is very difficult to label one genre under the category of American music, as a vast amount of styles, in historical terms, have come about from a mixture of styles such as Jazz and Country music....   [tags: Art Music History]

Powerful Essays
2093 words (6 pages)

Finding Significance in Music Essay

- As a performance major, time has generally been more devoted to “face time” with my interest than learning the important intricacies of the deep, rich world in which my profession inhabits. Thus, it is an exciting opportunity to be able to delve more deeply into this area of study which my education has so far found lacking. Yet, I find myself so extraordinarily indecisive. In a profession that spans multiple millennia, of which I am myself only the briefest of moments, how does one go about selecting a single topic with which to delve and explore....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
1713 words (4.9 pages)

All-American Music Essay

- What could be said to be more American than apple pie, more American than baseball. Well baseball and apple pie are certainly the first things that come to mind when asked what you think of when you think of America but what if I asked what would be an all-American music. I believe the first thing that should come to mind would be bluegrass music. Bluegrass music; mainly played with acoustic and stringed musical instruments and vocal harmonies has a few variances and cultural roots from other countries, but remains as American as apple pie....   [tags: Music History ]

Powerful Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Music : The Popularity Of Music Essay examples

- The popularity of music Music has become a popular stepping stone in the world today, the various sounds and beats is what makes it so coveted in people’s everyday lives. The different tones of music often can be used to bring out certain moods in a person. Whether it’s from a soothing melody being played to help calm one’s mood, or to a heavy, loud instrumental to get a person’s adrenaline pumping. These all can be seen as the impact music has made on many lives today....   [tags: Hip hop music, African American, Country music]

Powerful Essays
751 words (2.1 pages)

The Effects Of Slave Music On American History And African American Music

- African-American music is a vibrant art form that describes the difficult lives of African American people. This can be proven by examining slave music, which shows its listeners how the slaves felt when they were working, and gives us insight into the problems of slavery; the blues, which expresses the significant connection with American history, discusses what the American spirit looks like and teaches a great deal from the stories it tells; and hip-hop, which started on the streets and includes topics such as misogyny, sex, and black-on-black violence to reveal the reactions to the circumstances faced by modern African Americans....   [tags: African American, Jazz, Hip hop music, New Orleans]

Powerful Essays
1289 words (3.7 pages)

The Effects of Music Essay

- Music is one of the few things that has remained constant through the centuries this world has existed. Not only does music provide entertainment, it also has several effects linked to it. Music allows emotions of happiness and sadness to arise. From those emotions, physical effects, negative or positive, can occur. Music has a profound effect on the emotional, social, intellectual, and physical aspects of a person. Emotions are easily affected by outside forces. Music can provoke emotions of sadness, grief, joy, and even ecstasy....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
2204 words (6.3 pages)

The Music Of American Fanfare Essays

- To start with, American Fanfare was created in the year 2006 and was embraced by a Lieutenant Colonel is a wonderful experiences. It was created by the conductor Jim Stephenson, with the rest of the performers, and they should give themselves a pat on the back for creating a new aura around the concert with such an amazing melody in so many ranges of ascending. Yet, the music was able to lead in the making of rhythms to be in a constant motion between adagio, andante, and allegro. Making the audience feel as if they are on the edge of their seats and feeling the homophonic texture....   [tags: Music, Orchestra, Musical instrument]

Powerful Essays
1136 words (3.2 pages)

Revolution of Music Essay

- Music has continued to change throughout each decade, but the 1960s was the most influential decade in the history of music. Starting in the early 1950s, rock music was first introduced. Major record labels issued recordings of white singers performing renditions of songs previously released by African American singers (Rock and Roll). These renditions often altered the original lyrics to make them more appropriate. The most prominent star of the 1950s was Elvis Presley, the “King of rock n’ roll”....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
1571 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on An Overview of Reggae Music

- Reggae is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica during the late 1960s. It is known for the heavy and strong emphasis on the bass within the background beat. Reggae was perceived as a kind of music used to express feelings about the social, political, and economic hardships in Jamaica during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was performed by musicians from black ghettos who used unhurried beats to make a style of music of their own. Reggae became an important part of the lifestyle of many Caribbean islanders; expressing a sense of pride of their Caribbean culture....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
1259 words (3.6 pages)

The Blues Music Essay example

- Different from other forms of music, blues was only recorded by memory and passed down through generations through live performances. The blues began in the North Mississippi Delta post Civil War times. It was heavily influenced by African roots, field hollers, ballads, church music and rhythmic dance tunes called jump-ups. This eventually developed into music that was set up in a call-and- response way so that the singer would sing a line and he would then respond with his guitar. The blues, a uniquely American art form, was born on the dusty street corners of the Deep South in the late 1800s....   [tags: american art, music]

Powerful Essays
859 words (2.5 pages)