The Transformation of Music: Radio and Composition Essay examples

The Transformation of Music: Radio and Composition Essay examples

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Try to picture this: Your country has just fallen into the worst economic slump in history. The company you work for has just gone out of business. You lose your job. What will you do? How will you survive? All these questions were surely asked by Edgar Harburg. Like many others during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Edgar Harburg turned to music; he joined Jay Gorney and together they collaborated on songs for Broadway pieces (Edmund and Goldstein 107). Not unsurprisingly, he preferred his new career (Edmund and Goldstein 107). Moments such as those have fortified the ties of music and reality throughout time. Nevertheless, music has been a definite part of culture since the earliest ages. It has also been altered on several occasions in a variety of ways. One defining period of change came during the 1930s, when the United States and the rest of the world saw a significant decrease in economic prosperity. Subsequently, radio’s emergence altered the way music was heard and, meanwhile, the composition of music was modified to reflect society’s general mood.

The invention and widespread use of radios allowed citizens to experience music differently than they had before. Previously, one would have to venture outside the home to listen to music. One might travel to concerts, or into town to listen to a jukebox, or they could stroll down the streets in the hope of hearing locals play in the alleyways. In this way, people were exposed to a variety of genres. However, radio stopped that. People were finally able to listen to whatever they pleased if they could catch it on the airwaves. Not only did the airwaves give people the ability to control what they listened to, it made it difficult for unfamiliar personnel to be heard. Sus...


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Works Cited

DiMeo, Nate, prod. American RadioWorks - Hearing America: A Century of Music on the Radio. American RadioWorks from American Public Media. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. Transcript.
Holland, Bernard. "When Music Reaches a Certain Age." Editorial. New York Times 16 July 1997: C14. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 14 Apr. 2011.
Kaufman, Irving. "Blue Skies." Rec. 1927. Youtube. 12 Oct. 2007. Web. 17 Apr. 2011.
Lindop, Edmund, and Margaret J. Goldstein. "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries: Music of the 1930s." America in the 1930s. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century, 2010. 107-13. Print.
McElvaine, Robert S. The Depression and New Deal: A History in Documents. New York, NY: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
"Music's Degradation." Rev. of Music Comes to Earth, by Adolf Weissmann. New York Times 03 Jan. 1932: BR15. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 11 Apr. 2011.

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