Music Influences Society
Music Influences Society
Music Influences Us
“Singing and music have always played an important role in learning and the communication of culture” (Shermon). Throughout the years music has changed the way it influences people. In earlier years music was used more for celebration and now music is used to voice your opinion and try to influence your audience to believe what you stand for. In time of war musicians tend to lead the way in protests and like to call out their government. Religion has always had music of some form and the songs that they sing influence people to believe in their god. Music influences how people act, what people do and our religion.
It Effects How People Act Towards People
Some music, both negatively or positively, is aimed at different groups of people and tries to direct people’s point of view. Politics seems to be a hot topic for many artists and their music. “…several artists had written songs depicting social problems in Haiti, but had been seen with a bad eye by the authorities. A group called "Les Frères Parent" was jailed at Fort Demarche and later exiled because their criticism of the system was too vocal,” (Cloutier, Music and Politics, 1897). Les Frères Parent were making their complaints about their politics through their music and where exiled for it. The songs and the fact that they were exiled influence people and will make them want to follow beliefs. The author of this article also pointed out that, “In America, the sixties saw the coining of the phrase "protest song," as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and a plethora of author artists were protesting the Vietnam War,” (Cloutier, Music and Politics, 1987). Many more musicians also protest their opinions on the war which result in enormous protests that led to rallies. Music continues today to be a leading protest in politics.
Racism plays a big part in a lot of music today, majority being in the R & B and rap music genres. Rap artists sing about other cultures and use slurs that in today’s world is frowned upon. There have been many groups set up to go against such songs and artist. One group in particular is called ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ has made it their mission to stop racism in music in Europe and around the world. “Racism seeks only to divide and weaken us. Love Music Hate Racism was set up in 2002 in response to rising levels of racism and electoral successes for the Nazi British National Party,” (Love Hate Music, 2002). Racism is a major ongoing topic around the world and some musicians may use racist slurs but some musicians, like Michael Jackson, have sung song against it. The song ‘Black or White’ has a line in it that says "And I told about equality and it's true, either you're wrong or you're right, but, if you're thinking' about my baby it don't matter if you're black or white," (Jackson, 2000). This shows that to him race does not matter. Racism will not stop with just one artist opinion or a group’s mission, but with everyone putting their part in to stop it.
Some Songs Can Promote Wrong Doings
Songs can influence people against individuals or groups and they can also promote wrong doings. A lot of songs promote early sexual activity. “Rap music and hip hop, with their particular emphasis on sex and demeaning depictions of women, were blamed for encouraging early sexual behavior, leading to the spread of disease and underage pregnancies,” (Rap Music Blamed for Teen Pregnancy, 2006). Many artists promote sex not only in their songs, but in there videos as well. There are only a few rap and hip hop songs today that don’t show some sort of sexual acts and it highly effects how teens act about sex.“Some psychologists warn of the effects of sexual content in videos on the young. Girls sometimes want to copy the dress (or lack of!) and behavior of the gyrating stars when they don't have the emotional maturity to cope,” (Iredale, 2010). Not all musicians are promoting sexual activity though. In a new Video that ‘The Situation” took part in, after filming he stated, “I totally respect abstinence ... I mean it actually has the word abs in it," the "Jersey Shore" star says in response” (Bristol Pallin and Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Promote safe sex in a new Music Video, 2010). Artists should not be the reason that teens want to have sex, most of them do not realize the amount of teens that look up to them and want to be just like them. The more artist that come together against early sexual activity the more effect it will have.
Gun violence and harmful acts towards people has become a growing site in many music videos and also in the lyrics of some songs. “During the last decade we have seen music lyrics become more and more violent and sexually explicit. Experts argue that this can cause problems in children and adolescents,” (Psychology And Music Violence, 2003). Artist sing about using their weapons for violence in their songs and it is a bad influence for children and teenagers who look up to the bands. An example of this is, “Must have stabbed her fifty fucking times, I can't believe it, Ripped her heart out right before her eyes,” (Sevenhold, 2010). How musicians act outside their songs also plays an effect to their fans. When R & B artist Chris Brown hit and abused his girl friend Rhianna the example he showed to his young fans was that it is alright and could lead to them acting similar. Even though he later came out to say he was sorry, the example was still there and he still influenced many kids. When advertising campaigns use artist in their advertising they do so because they know that people look up to them, the artist needs to know that like the ads they do people will look to them, so they need to act accordingly when they are in public and when writing songs. The advertisements that artists do also influence the kids because it makes them want to be skinny like the artists wear the same make up or have muscles like them. “Both girls and boys think that they must achieve physical perfection and an obsession with body image can lead to unnecessary dieting,” (Iredale, 2010). Musicians need to realize their effects on children and teens and try to influence them to good things.
Songs Influence In Religion
Religion has always used music as a way of communicating their love towards their Gods, either through praising or worshiping. In the Christian religion the earliest hearing of music to God is in Exodus, “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: ‘I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted, both horse and driver, he has hurled into the sea’” Exodus 15:1. Firstly Christian music influences them to believe more in there God and is a way they gain love with God. Secondly the songs are usually about joyous things and make the audience feel happy, which inspires them to do good things. The lyrics in Christian songs are about either doing good or praising God. The songs about doing good influence the listener to want to help others and show love to everyone. The songs about God will lead the audience to love Him and want to go to heaven. Thirdly in earlier years Christian inspired music was soft and mellow usually referred to as hymns or gospel songs, but now the stereotype has been broken and Christian music is in every genre. The change to every genre has made the people who get influenced a wider range. Christian music will only continue to grow and the people who get influenced will also.
Other religions also influence people with the power of music. The major goal of each religion’s music is to steer the listener to their God and want them to believe and love the God. Devotional songs lead the way in influential songs. They tend to sing about wanting to be closer with the God and want to learn more about him. Prayer songs also influence the listener and singer to be more thankful, for example before eating most religions have a song or prayer type song that they sing to thank there God for the food. Before bed they also have songs to thank there god for the day. A major thing in religions music is that some religions sing against things such as praising one God and yet another religion will sing totally against that God. In some religions the religion has Gods that are only music Gods, like Apollo. Apollo is the Greek God of music whose only mission is to influence people to believe in the Greek Gods through music. Music will always lead in the influential aspect in religions.
Music is the leading way people are influenced. From the beginning of time when the first person or animal realized they could make sound they used it to either get people to listen to what they had to say or used it to help show what they want to influence people to do. Music has been used to influence people think, act and believe in what others want them to believe in. Whether it is a God playing music to his people or a random human being who finds his best way to show his point of view is through music, there is always someone who will hear and who can be influenced. Music is a strong power that can be used to influenced good but can also and tends to influence bad.
Bristol Pallin and Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Promote safe sex in a new Music Video. (2010, November 16). Retrieved November 30, 2010, from New york Post : http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/bristol_palin_video_mike_report_IEblQ9GWzA5PomwvHkGxCM
Cloutier, J.-P. (1987). Music and Politics. The Haiti Times , p. 1.
Iredale, A. (2010, May 22). Banned Sex Videos on Youtube. Retrieved November 30, 2010, from looking for clues: http://www.bkserv.net/LFC/article.aspx?ArticleID=223
Jackson, M. (2000, April 21). Race and Racism Songs. Retrieved November 25, 2010, from Social Justyce Song Index: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/arts/race_songs.html
Love Hate Music. (2002). Retrieved November 25, 2010, from Love Hate Music: http://lovemusichateracism.com/about/
Psychology And Music Violence. (2003). Retrieved December 2, 2010, from Free Essays: http://www.freeessays.cc/db/39/pnl251.shtml
Rap Music Blamed for Teen Pregnancy. (2006, august 23). Retrieved november 30, 2010, from Mail online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-401684/Rap-music-blamed-teen-pregnancy.html
Sevenhold, A. (2010). A little piece of Heaven. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from elyrics: http://www.elyrics.net/read/a/avenged-sevenfold-lyrics/a-little-piece-of-heaven-lyrics.html
Shermon, M. (n.d.). The influence of music and Rock Videos. Retrieved November 25, 2010, from beach psych: http://www.beachpsych.com/pages/cc43.html