Essay On Music Censorship

997 Words2 Pages

Starting from the previous couple decades, labels such as ‘Parental Discretion’ and ‘PG Ratings’ have emerged. All of this is an effort to challenge the content that roams free in the media around us. Music is a universal ‘language’ that has spread and mostly effects each and everybody’s life simultaneously. Artists create music for their listeners but it goes through all the censorship regulations implied to ‘protect our society’. Is it really working? I don’t think so. Today, people themselves choose to be offended as artists and performers have worked their way around saying what cannot be said.

Censorship has been around in one way or the other in America. Certain forms of music, poetry, and dance were banned by Spartan rulers during ancient Greek times (Newman, 2000). These sorts of actions towards material seen as objectionable have repeated themselves throughout history. Since the 1950’s, and continuing today, music listeners across the country have protested some of music’s content and/or lyrics.

The following are just a few publicized incidents during that time frame:

1954- Webb Pierce’s, “There Stands the Glass”, is banned the radio as the lyrics are believed to condone heavy drinking.

1956- ABC bans Billie Holiday’s rendition of “Love for Sale” because of its prostitution theme.

1993- Superstores Wal-Mart and K-Mart refuse to carry Nirvana’s album, “In Utero”, because they object to the cover art and one of the song title’s Shortly after becoming the number one selling album in America, Wal-Mart and K-mart agree to carry “In Utero”; unveiling the album’s back cover art, and changing the name of the objectionable song from “Rape Me” to “Waif Me”.

1999- The National Football League (NFL) drops a series of ...

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...nsorship in America may become as extreme as in other countries. In 2003, The Rolling Stones album, “40 Licks”, had four of its songs removed from it altogether before it could be released in China. All four songs (“Brown Sugar”, “Honky Tonk Woman”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Let’s Spend the Night Together”) contained sexual content that the Chinese government found unacceptable for its citizens to listen to (Cowell,2003). Censorship, in its current form, may become an argument of tomorrow thanks to the internet and all of the music accessibility sites offered (Napster, i-Tunes, Win-MX, etc.). A recent report released by Forrester Research Inc. suggests that, by the year 2012, the sales of digital music will surpass those of physical music (i.e. CD’s, cassette’s, and vinyl records) (“Study: Music Downloads to Surpass CD Sales by 2012”, Nashville Business Journal.2008).

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