Musical Appropriation And Cultural Appropriation Essay

Musical Appropriation And Cultural Appropriation Essay

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Music is something everyone listens to and connects with on a daily basis while cultural appropriation in its own right is not exactly something new; especially when talking to minorities across the world. But musical appropriation is rarely talked about as much as cultural appropriation as a whole, because it is often perceived as a byproduct of cultural awareness instead of an issue of cultural appropriation. Music in one form or another has been a part of multiple cultures since before modern societies were even in place and a reality (Einstein 7). Musical styles help to separate cultures, with each culture having its own styling and beat with which to be recognized but as the world has grown closer together culturally, so have the different cultural stylings. This can have a lot of advantages for larger populations and cultures who as a whole have no one religious nor true historical context and meaning of these other cultures; but for smaller cultures the absorption and twisting of their histories and language taught through music can change the whole meaning of the culture itself.
An example of musical appropriation is Hawaiian music which was twisted through Hawaii’s annexation to America and the introduction of tourism to the islands. Not only was the music itself changed drastically but so was the hula dance which was changed from a more masculine religious dance accompanied by the beating of the male chest and drums to a more feminized, sexually suggestive dance we know today (Lewis, 124-125). “As more hotels opened in Waikiki, commercially constructed “Hawaiian” music that extolled a 19th century romantic Western vision of paradise became the symbolic coin of this new musical realm (Lewis, 125).” This new form of musi...

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...eople culturally in a large way, even now it draws out feelings that show that the listener can connect with the lyrics in a personal way. While music will likely never return to the way it was in the past, it can still be used to teach lessons to many people. Musical appropriation can be damaging culturally but that doesn’t stop people from sharing their musical tastes with others. This blend of musical tastes within cultures has led to a new type of musical culture primarily multiple genres. Until the late 1900’s genres like Pop and Rock did not exist in the way they do now (Jones, 120); yet somehow they have created their own culture by blending together the musical and lyrical practices of multiple communities. This shows that while yes, a lot of communities and cultures were damages greatly by the expansion of music a lot of others were helped and created by it.

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