Music and Cultural Identity

1236 Words3 Pages

Some may say music is just music; a song is just a song. However, music plays an enormous role in our psychology, because a single song has the ability to bring about many kinds of thoughts and emotions in the listener. Music is subtly one of the main factors in which people identify with certain groups and establish their belonging in society. It shapes people’s perspectives on how the world functions and the roles they play within it. Music can function the same way in a culture; it can reflect many of the culture’s values and ideologies. Music can have many effects on culture and the people’s idea of who they think they are within that culture. Music can serve in a way that promotes cultural identity and pride, yet it could also play a role in the separation of social and economical identities in within cultures. Music played a very important role in the lives of people is diaspora communities. It served as a reminder for the immigrants of their homeland, which allowed them to proudly express their national and cultural identities. Diaspora refers to an international network of communities linked together by the identification of a common ancestral homeland and culture. People in these communities are no longer living in their homelands, with no guarantee of a return either. (Bakan, 19). Music played a large role in African diaspora communities. This was first started by the slave trades many years ago when slave traders traveled to the coast of West Africa to capture Africans and brought them back to the United States to be slaves on plantations. Slaves were more prone to loose a sense of their own culture because every new aspect of their lives was forced upon them, therefore they were undoubtedly forced to abandon their n... ... middle of paper ... ...f this object. The qin was a very important element in Chinese society during the Han dynasty as it was one of the many aspects in the creation of the two opposing social identities within the same culture. Unlike the effect music had on diaspora communities, it was a factor in the divergence of people in a community. Music plays a huge role in the structure of a society. It can have both negative and positive influence on cultures and communities. First, musical sounds and instruments can be a dividing factor between the people within the same culture. These opposing social and economic identities within these cultures can lead unnecessary animosity between the members. However, music can also be one of the forces that unite members of a culture and provide a sense pride for everyone. This makes it easier for people to display their identification to that culture.

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