Case Studies in the Cultural and Political Uses of Popular Music Essay

Case Studies in the Cultural and Political Uses of Popular Music Essay

Length: 921 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

For most people, music allows you to showcase your personality and individuality in ways that words or other means of communication cannot convey. There are a variety of methods this can be done through the eight functions of music: political functions, social functions, to block unwanted sounds, create an emotional state, sell products, make money, religious functions, and martial functions. While each one of these functions is important and valuable, the political function of music is by far the most powerful and controversial. The best explanation of this musical function can be found in Music Opposition/ Music of Solidarity: Case Studies in the Cultural and Political Uses of Popular Music: “Music allows them to stand and be counted, it nurtures and sustains a sense of belonging to an oppositional subculture rooted in rejection of unequal power relations” (3). In other words, the political function of music is a form of social protest that also helps to establish ones identity. The country of Brazil exemplifies very well how the political function of music works and how its culture has changed because of it- such as it’s different styles of music and how they show social protest to establish Afro-Brazilian culture in Brazil.
Brazil is known for its beautiful music, unique dances, shantytowns (also known as favelas), and annual catholic festival known as Carnival. What many people don’t know is all of these things that have shaped Brazil came from an African population that was forced into slavery around 1433 to work on the rapidly growing sugar plantations (16). Back when Brazil was first “discovered” by Portuguese explorer Pedro Cabral, many others were sailing around the world as well in search of riches and spices. In the be...

... middle of paper ... expresses their deepest values and provides them with a sense of their life’s worth, of where they come from and of where they’re heading. Music gives many of us a way of being heard. We identify with it as a way to locate ourselves within the cultural matrix that surrounds us” (McMurray 3). The African-Brazilian slaves faced a lot of hardships through trying to maintain cultural identity and tradition. However, they did not surrender to the Portuguese; they fought and rebelled to keep their traditions alive. By doing this, they have managed to not only keep the African culture alive, but also bring along with them an entirely new development in musical history for Brazil. Their rebellious ways have helped to shape Brazil into what it is today – just by fighting against all others to remain to true to themselves, they have established their identity in history.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Cultural Studies By Chris Rojek Essay

- ... Whereas, Williams text is 7 pages of straight text which is much harder to comfortably read, although it does have a more academic feel. Furthermore, Rojeks use of illustration, although admittedly limited use, also helps to engage the reader more with what is in the text as it gives something to connect the information to and to visualise, alongside that, it also helps to break up the text, like the subheadings. Moreover, Rojek uses plenty of examples in his work in order to better explain how culture is present in the world, and what effects it has on people....   [tags: Cultural studies, Culture, Sociology]

Better Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on American Studies : American Literature And Popular Culture

- ... Those who are undecided as to whether study specific areas such as literature and history degrees are aided by being able to explore all aspects of culture in one degree, including American art, politics and music. What should I expect from American Studies. Students should expect to study many areas including: American; history, literature, political culture, material culture, music, slavery, as well as Photography and Visual culture and African-American history. Most institutions will also offer the opportunity to study abroad in America for a year, where students can seek adventure, culture and independence as well as a chance of a lifetime....   [tags: United States, Culture, Cultural studies]

Better Essays
723 words (2.1 pages)

Hip Hop Music Culture Essay

- This essay aims to examine the importance of the Hip-Hop culture in 21st century society. It will begin with consideration of the history of Hip-Hop, discussing its stylistic adaptations, cultural preferences and concerns, referring to the studies of black culture by Ellis Cashmore and Mark Neal. Within this I will explore the ethnicity and authenticity of the culture, with reference to last years Popular Music and its Cultural Context unit. The essay will then move on to evaluate the culture’s relationship with the media, concentrating on the well documented moral panics associated with the culture; I will make particular reference to the theories of Stan Cohen....   [tags: Rap, music and cultural movement]

Better Essays
2154 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Exploring Whether or not Profanity in Music is Corrupting our Youth

- Profanity in music, is it a problem that must be addressed now or is it even a problem that we as a society have the power to fix. There have been many different arguments on the topic of profanity in music, however the question remains should music be censored. In Robert T. M. Phillips’ address to congress he insists that we must act now to protect our society from the damaging effects of explicit music. Becky L. Tatum argues in her article “The Link Between Rap Music and Youth Crime and Violence” that the effects of rap music are basically unknown and extensive research must be conducted before causal assumptions are made....   [tags: music, media violence]

Better Essays
1361 words (3.9 pages)

Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Essay example

- Founded in 1991, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) provides intellectual leadership towards understanding and addressing the issues that affect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender individuals and the members of other sexual and gender minorities. As the first university-based LGBTQ research center in the United States, CLAGS nurtures cutting-edge scholarship; organizes colloquia for examining and affirming LGBTQ lives; and fosters network-building among academics, artists, activists, policy makers, and community members....   [tags: Education, homosexuality]

Better Essays
1568 words (4.5 pages)

African And African American Studies Essay

- A Paradigm is a struggle to define, develop, and defend the disciple. Within African American studies we see different examples of Paradigms. As expressed by Maulana Karenga, in Black Studies, a paradigm is an analytic, empirical, and ethnical framework for studying, understanding, and explication African American life in its historical and current unfolding. Throughout this week we have discussed various paradigm that refer to the black experience. Each one is both unique and important to the to the development of African and African American Studies....   [tags: Black people, African American, Afrocentrism]

Better Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Cultural Imperialism And Cultural Nationalism Essay

- The two terms cultural imperialism and cultural nationalism have played a huge role in the foundation of many countries. These two phenomena are entirely different, but have gone hand in hand for many years. Although imperialism and nationalism were created once upon a time ago, they are still very significant around the globe to this day. Cultural imperialism is defined as “a culture of a large and powerful country, organization, etc. having a great influence on another less powerful country." When speaking about cultural imperialism, it is important to know the back story of it and how significant it is today....   [tags: Nationalism, United States, Culture, Colonialism]

Better Essays
2223 words (6.4 pages)

Classical Music Essay

- Classical Music n : traditional genre of music conforming to an established form and appealing to critical interest and developed musical taste [syn: serious music] Classical music, as the name suggests, is a well-established kind of music, at least in the West. Classical music concerts take place in every cultural center, and they take many forms, from a solo to large symphonic orchestras, from a sonata to an opera. This kind of music has many fans, especially among circles of intellectuals....   [tags: Music Musical Classical Essays]

Better Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on U.S. Influence on Latin Culture

- Since the beginning of the United States' intervention within the affairs of Latin American politics in the beginning of the twentieth century, and since the advent of a U.S. effort towards the "modernization" of Latin America, influences aimed at empowering communities and bringing about democratic movements among Latin American countries have been accompanied by various forms of exploitation and cultural decimation (Leonard, 1999). Efforts at modernization of Latin America have been carried out partly in opposition to the influence IberoCatholic culture (of Spain) which is reported to "deprive the Latin Americans of the essential tools for progress: a future vision, a work ethic, the impor...   [tags: Cultural Political Politics Essays]

Better Essays
984 words (2.8 pages)

Rap Music Essay

- Rap Music Roughly fifteen years ago, the initial rumblings of rap music were eminating from the streets of New York City. Rap music is very much a product of its urbanized, literacy-based environment, as can be seen in the advanced technology necessary to produce the music. Although the connection between rap music and its modern roots is impossible to ignore, rap's dependence upon high technology is often over-emphasized, eclipsing any opportunity to connect rap culture to a time before the world of turntables and written lyrics....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
2117 words (6 pages)