During the 1960s and the early 1970s, music reflected the political and social changes that America was undergoing at the time. Some of these major changes included the African-American civil rights movement and the conflict over America’s role in the Vietnam War. During these hard times, people turned to music for hope, peace, happiness and answers.
Rock ‘n’ roll and 20th Century Culture According to Philip Ennis, rock ‘n’ roll emerged from the convergence of social transformations which resulted from World War II (Ryan 927). Despite its pop culture origins, rock music is arguably one of the strongest cultural factors to develop in this century. Artists such as Lennon, McCartney and Dylan defined the emotions of a generation and, in the last decade, it as even been acknowledged by members of the establishment which it hoped to change as a major influence in the country. In order to understand how rock went from a sign of rebellion to a cultural icon, it is necessary to understand where it came from.
To many Rock musicians who have helped popularize Rock in the more modern era, they describe rock as having a blues genre mixed in it. It is characterized as music with heavy beats and melodies when it first started to come up. It is also described as Black Rhythm, blues, and country white music. These bands usually consist of a guitar, drums, bass, and keyboard or their instrument that gives Rock it’s uniqueness. It is generally based on twelve-bar blues, and the first and third beats are heavily accented.
The sixties was a decade of revolution. Many musicians from the sixties are still well known and even popular today. Without inventions from the sixties many things would not be as they are today. Things within the sixties changed the way people live their everyday lives. Without the sixties, the United States would not be where it is today politically, and technologically.
Rock N Roll continued its peak into the seventies where it shifted into a more laid back approach. Psychedelic rock declined in popularity after the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and the breakup of The Beatles. Disco emerged for a while to share the prominence, but Rock N’ Roll continued to evolve.
After many of World War II’s harmful effects, the 1950s served as a period of time of musical change that reflected the dynamic of society as well as the traditional norms and values. Many factors contributed to this transformation. For example, the civil rights movement heightened many racial tensions, and the music produced consequently manifested this tension in itself. Rock-n-roll and R&B music universalized music typically associated with African-Americans, and many African-American musicians gained fame; however, as with any relatively-widespread success, there were many musicians as well who missed their opportunities due to the same racial segregation. While “radical” genres such as R&B and rock-n-roll laid the foundation for music future forms of music, the standard pop, jazz, and country music adhered to traditional values, and thus continued to maintain popularity amidst phenomena such as the Elvis craze.
When Rock arrived on the music charts in the 1950's, a merging of African-American and White music, it made a huge impact on society. As a general rule I am not heavily into music, but I was drawn to Rock for some inexplicable reason. It is just the music I like. This genre will be difficult to write about because the origin of Rock is unclear; there are traces of Rock's style back into the 19th Century. It is also a very broad subject and I will have to compress a lot of information into as few pages as possible. Be that as it may, Rock is, in my opinion the best music genre on the charts.
In closing, the undoubtable influence of music, more specifically of Rock ‘n’ Roll on American society is responsible for a number of changes to the status quo. These range from sexual liberation and racial desegregation all culminating with other influences to create an intergenerational identity. Despite the desperate attempts of older generations to smother these influences, these changes ultimately shaped the years that followed, molding the country into what it is today. Along the way these changes as well as individual involvement in them has also eased the lives of many through empowerment and a feeling of community and purpose. Despite a lull and renewal Rock ‘n’ Roll continues to serve as an agent of influence and change in today’s youth culture and continues to burn in the heart of past generations of loyal fans.
“The ‘60’s was one of the first times the power of music was used by a generation to bind them together.” - Neil Young. In the ‘60’s, people had found a way to express themselves freely to a large audience and stand up for what they believe in through music. When chaos and protest clouded the public's eye from anything but violence and the propaganda of the government, music was a light to people in search of peace and helped to “bind them together”. The 1960’s was a decade of experimenting with music and pushing the social limits through expanding genres, expressing political views through music, and putting a new meaning to concerts with the first Woodstock.
In the beginning of the 1960’s Americans believed they were in the dawn of the Golden ages. John F. Kennedy had just recently been elected and it was believed that America was once again great. Unfortunately for most adults, this was false. In fact the 60’s was a troubling time that only brought headaches. Rock and Roll had just become popular which inevitably led to many changes. Teenagers began to rebel against modern family values and began expressing their sexuality. The fashion industry drastically changed and young teens were exposed to sex and drugs. Rock and roll also had an immense influence on the African American race.
Rock and Roll was the start of a new revolution in America. It introduced the world to many of the famous artists that continue to be a part of our lives today. "Artists who became popular in the 1950s such as Elvis, began to pave the way for others such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly" (The History of Rock 'n' Roll until 1960). With the introduction of rock 'n' roll, there came many new changes to the lives of many Americans. Rock and Roll was a major contributor for the change in teens' behavior in the 1950s because it encouraged new freedoms for teenagers, encouraged new fads among teenagers, and caused a generation gap.
It was no coincidence that rock ‘n’ roll and the civil rights movement started at the same time. The genre originated from African American music and was greatly discriminated against. Traditional white Americans would target anything bad about it. But as the teenager demographic of the 1950s started increasing the sales of the music, the genre started gaining more popularity. It was the style of Elvis Presley and his new voice that made girls weak in the knees and boys want to be him. Artists such as Presley had enough influence to change the view of their devoted fans on civil rights issues. Soon as protest songs and rock ‘n’ roll became more popular and influential, it began a gap between the young adult generation and their parents which led to the rebellion of the civil rights movement. Through these factors rock ‘n’ roll influenced a great deal over the civil rights movement.
In conclusion this report has helped us understand the significance of Music in America. Also, the impact it has on music we listen too. Music is very much like a big chain reaction. Rock ‘N’ Roll, much like music today, stood out and was in a way rebellious. Parents now hate Rap and we love it. People in the 70’s loved Rock ‘N’ Roll and parents hated it. This shows that maybe no matter how much older people deny it, the time gap and generation gap is not too far apart. Without Rock ‘N’ Roll the World would without a doubt be changed. Any guess to that of which way would be a good one.
The rise of rock and roll into the limelight is to a large extent attributed to the teenagers of the 1950’s. Early rock music listened to by teenagers during the 1950’s was formed by blending together Rhythm and blues with country music. This kind of ...
While going through our history of rock and roll course, one thing has become apparent, and that is that music brings people together. Sometimes it takes music to get a point across, and our world has endured a lot of social and a cultural change, which is how we music today. Just like our world is evolving, music is the same way. When a baby is born until the day it dies, it has evolved internally and externally and that is the same way I view the history of rock “n” roll. For instance, the great wars and the civil rights movement help influence to history of rock and roll. It gave people a purpose to listen to music and let artist express themselves through their songs. I’m not saying by any means that all the struggles we as a nation have