Essay on Impact of Music on Culture

Essay on Impact of Music on Culture

Length: 973 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Perhaps the most formative years for rock and roll were from 1945 to 1964. It is evident that the social climate of the time period shaped music. However, the music also shaped the social climate. The musical meaning of the songs of the era is vital to an understanding of the social implications of the music. On a primitive level, the lyrics of a song give some insight into its musical meaning. Often, however, the lyrics paint an incomplete picture of a song’s true social significance. By studying other factors, such as the instruments, the melody, and the artists themselves, one can gain much more insight into a song’s musical meaning. Through this analysis, common themes of sex, drugs, and race relations are usually found.
The 2004 motion picture Ray chronicles the life of Ray Charles. The film takes place from 1948 to 1979 and epitomizes the social impact of the music of Ray Charles. It shows how society shaped the music of Ray Charles, and additionally how Ray Charles and his music shaped society. One clear focus in the film was the importance of music to Ray Charles. The raw passion Ray Charles shows for his music adds to the musical meaning of his work.
One Ray Charles song with an important musical meaning is “What’d I Say.” The lyrics of this song provide a starting point for an analysis into the musical meaning of the song. In the film Ray, after recording “What'd I Say,” the producer says “It is just too damn sexual for kids.” This quote exemplifies an important social aspect surrounding the song “What’d I Say.” It is one that appears throughout rhythm and blues music of the postwar era, the generation gap.
One manner in which fifties teenagers rebelled against their parents was through music. Acco...


... middle of paper ...


... Georgia, as the film Ray portrays, segregation in Georgia was present. The fact that in a state where black people and white people could not even drink from the same drinking fountain selected a state song sung by a black man shows great progress in race relations. It is best summed up as it is in the movie Ray, “Ray Charles changed American Culture by touching people’s hearts,” (Ray, 2:24:05).
It is clear that music shaped the social climate and the social climate shaped music. By analyzing the musical meaning of the songs of the time period, one can gain insight into the postwar era society. The music of the post war era helped establish a generation gap and ultimately was a precursor for the civil revolution of the sixties. Given the gravity of the social changes inspired by music, it is evident that musical meaning plays a vital role in shaping culture.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Hip Hop Music and its Impact on American Culture Essay

- It was a Tuesday morning in the Information Technology class at State College. An older student was doing his best to ignore the loud, obscene disruption occurring next to him, the result of two younger students ignoring the lesson at hand. Finally, he gave in and spoke up against their sanctimonious display, and was quickly bullied and threatened with violence in front of the entire class. Both aggressors exemplified and embodied every aspect of the hip-hop culture: Ebonics spewing out of their mouths, expensive and baggy clothing draped and sagging from their bodies complete with headphones around their neck blaring expletive laden song lyrics....   [tags: rap music, music genre]

Strong Essays
2442 words (7 pages)

The Impact of Music on Society Essay

- “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato. Profound memories are often linked to listening to music many of which are latent; or unintended, even unrecognized until later in time. Then at that moment it is suddenly apparent the impact music actually has on life. Music has been vital to society essentially since the beginning of civilized existence, and has directly shaped life and the way people express themselves still today....   [tags: rock and roll, counter culture, music]

Strong Essays
1299 words (3.7 pages)

Impact of Rhythm and Blues on African-American Culture Essay

- Rhythm and blues, also known today as “R & B”, has been one of the most influential genres of music within the African American Culture, and has evolved over many decades in style and sound. Emerging in the late 1940's rhythm and blues, sometimes called jump blues, became dominant black popular music during and after WWII. Rhythm and blues artists often sung about love, relationships, life troubles, and sometimes focused on segregation and race struggles. Rhythm and blues helped embody what was unique about black American culture and validate it as something distinctive and valuable....   [tags: Music, Genres Jerry Wexler]

Strong Essays
901 words (2.6 pages)

Music- The Beginning of the End Essay

- At a young age music is brought into a child’s life, parents even use music to sooth a baby before it is even born. Music has a huge impact on pop culture. What is popular culture some may ask. Well you can break pop culture up into two words, popular and culture. In Merriam- Webster Popular is defined as commonly liked or approved (“Popular”). The word Culture is defined in the same dictionary as the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education (“Culture”). With that said, is this pop culture hit a good influence on childrens’ lives....   [tags: Music ]

Strong Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Chinese Music

- Chinese music is described as a unique form of art. Even today, the Modern Chinese music has a Western Modern Music style. The music has it's own characteristics and is very much distinct. History Chinese music dates back to 1000 BC. A man named Ling Lun created the first of the musical instruments in China. Ling Lun developed a set of 60 bells. From these bells, he created a mathematical method for creating pitch pipes to tune the bells. One of the first instruments created was a bamboo pipe. Composers and philosophers idea behind this music was to calm and relax people from the calming sounds....   [tags: Chinese Music, China, Music,]

Strong Essays
642 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about Similarities in Culture of Jazz and Hip Hop Music

- Jazz and Hip Hop: The Ghetto and Music as Language African-American cultural forms and developments are as vast as they are diverse. However, because of white America's consistently racist and oppressive treatment of black peoples in this country there exist certain commonalities between African-American cultures as a result of this continuous subordination. In this paper I will attempt to present some of these existing similarities within hip hop and jazz cultures. Although they are both musically and culturally quite different, each arising out of a particular historical moment with its own distinct musical and cultural practices, there exists enough similarities between that two that it...   [tags: Music Culture]

Strong Essays
3032 words (8.7 pages)

Swazi Music and Culture Essay

- Swaziland has a fascinating culture that is often celebrated through its unique blend of musical styles. The country, which is landlocked by the Republic of South Africa and by Mozambique, is the last remaining country to use a system of government similar to the structure of an absolute monarchy. Although today it now has some democracy, most of the power still lies with their ruler, King Mswati III. In 2004, a humanitarian crisis was declared in Swaziland because the country was experiencing drought, land degradation, increased poverty, and HIV/AIDS....   [tags: african culture, africa]

Strong Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Music and Christians Essay

- Music is an everyday occurrence for most people. In some way, shape and form, people listen to music. For Christians, specially those at bible college, this can be in chapel day to day. For others it may be in a car or even in the workplace, which can be the case for Christians also. Music for me is an everyday occurrence, not only in chapel but also in other places such as my dorm room and when I get ready for sports. These things has caused me to research the topic of music. It has a huge impact on my life....   [tags: Music ]

Strong Essays
1349 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Puerto Rican Music as Representation of Their History and Culture

- Puerto Rican Music as Representation of Their History and Culture Puerto Rican music is an evolving art form that expresses Puerto Rican culture and identity. The development of Puerto Rican music is also a reflection of their history, both being complicated by several layers. Social, political, and economic conditions are all related to the musical expressions of Puerto Ricans (Glasser, 8). Puerto Rican migration to the United States and the culture clash experienced by migrants is another layer complicating the evolution of Puerto Rican music (Glasser, 199)....   [tags: Culture Cultural Puerto Rico Essays]

Strong Essays
1411 words (4 pages)

Popular Music and Youth Culture Essay

- Popular Music and Youth Culture My chosen topic was popular music and youth culture. A focus for my project started to develop after I observed that the range of music genres represented through media formats such as multichannel TV and the radio is becoming increasingly diverse. I also noticed that pop music itself if becoming more diverse, and that youth culture seems to be fragmenting into smaller more niche groups....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
667 words (1.9 pages)