George Gershwin once said, “True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. My people are Americans and my time is today.” Over the years, no form of art has attached itself to humanity more than music. Music has been creating and destroying cultures in the Twentieth Century at a very rapid rate. Fads come and go, but true music and the heart behind it never dies.
The story of subcultures in and through modern music has to start in the 1920’s America. In the wake of prohibition, popular nightclubs were closing down and music fell by the wayside. However, a strong underground scene reared its head during that time as well. Well-dressed men and flapper girls swarmed speakeasies in search of music, liquor and a good time. Mainstream America looked down on these rebels. They were often thought of as no good young people with loose morals and no respect for authority. Little did mainstream America know, however, exactly how important those few rebels were during the roaring Twenties and how their actions helped mold musical societies for the rest of the millennium.
While guns were blazing and ships were sinking during the Second World War, another subculture arose. Nazi Germany was arguably the roughest place in the world to live at that time. Hitler had his iron fist grasped tightly around the actions of Germans at that period in time. That’s what made the rebellious nature of pacifists in that country that much more amazing. Right under Hitler’s nose grew a subculture of swing music fans who held their own underground parties complete with full bands playing wonderful swing music and wild, eccentric dancing. Hitler tried to disallow these people from liste...
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...ns equally bold.
Probably the most widely known subculture in modern society would be the jam Band scene. This subculture is lead by a band called Phish. Phish and its followers define a new generation that seems to be a mix of late 1960’s drug culture and peace loving hippies. After Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995, people wondered who would carry the torch of being the next band to have a Grateful Dead-like following. Phish was the answer to this question. Although Phish is currently on hiatus, their spirit lives on in their fans who continue to listen to the music and live the lifestyle.
Its interesting to wonder whether this is a Humanist topic or a Social topic. This question doesn’t matter though. Life is its own topic. Culture is also its own topic. It could be very interesting to find out what subcultures will derive through music in the future.
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