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Music and the Influence on Society

Updated on April 29, 2009

Effect of Music

The sub-cultures in today’s society are all based on what you watch on T.V., the clique you hang around, how you were raised, and the music you listen to. Everything you do has an effect on your personality; Living in a community with gangs, violence, and drugs might influence you to do the same.
    The media and parents wants blame music for the way kids act. They blame it for the gang violence, murders and suicides, They believe the music kids listen to changes their perspective about life. Then they start blaming the artist for singing about such vulgar, melancholy, morbid music.   
    Along with that, kids start judging each other by the music they listen to; they stereotype each other into certain cliques and they laugh at them because of it. If kids took the time to notice and listen to others, they might find out that there will be a couple common songs between them. When kids are grouped into certain clique they might feel like they only belong in that group. When did the music go bad? Music use to have a meaning, it use to symbolize a feeling and have heart filled messages being sent out. Now all you hear music talk about is drinking, guns, murder, drugs, rape, and  suicide. I’m not just talking about rap music, it’s in rock and metal too.
     Music can have an intrinsic  meaning or can have an extrinsic meaning. The meaning of music may be interpreted from the viewpoint of the formalist or from the viewpoint of an expressionist. Some people may listen to music just because they are bored or they like the beat; others listen to it for the lyrics and the expression the artist is trying to send out. The media says that rap should be blamed for the gang violence, drugs, devaluing women and male control; rock and metal is blamed for satanic rituals, suicides as an “alternative” or “solution,” sadism, and masochism.
    Rappers are blamed constantly for crimes across America. In 1988, Ice-T who was a well-known rapper was all over the media because of his song “Cop Killa”. Once he song was released numerous police were murdered; the media said they did it because of Ice-T’s song. Was it Ice-T’s fault for these crimes or was it the fault of the people committing the crime? The answer is no, cops were getting shot before the song came out, policemen know they have a dangerous job and the know the consequences. Rap music is growing rapidly, it has gotten many people out of poverty and out of the ghetto. Rap musicians donate thousands and thousands of dollars to charities all over America, but they don’t get any credit for that. Media only looks for the worse in all cases. Rap musicians rap about their life, the only way to fix what they rap about is to fix the society around you; they rap about what they see and hear. Rap music does not influence bad actions, but reflects it.
    Also, similar to the rapper Ice-T, some rock musicians are blamed for the violent actions of people. Marilyn Manson was blamed for two teen gunmen in the Columbine Shooting; just because they were labeled “Goth” and listened to Manson. On a VH1 interview with Manson, he was asked what he would of said to the gunmen? He replied, “Nothing, I would of listened cause know one else had. I went threw the same thing and no one listened to me.”
    Rock music is also criticized by the media and parents. They say that rock bands like Korn and Disturbed will give kids negative thoughts and act  violently. The only way rock music influences teens is what they wear. Baggy pants, over-sized shirts, 3 feet long chains with 6 inch pendants usually listen to rap. Wide legged pants with chains and many pockets, body piercing, abnormal hair colors, excessive jewelry usually listen to rock or metal. Teenagers judge one another by the music they listen to and the clothes they were. Teens who listen to rock and metal are judged as “Goth”, “Emo” or “Scene”. Teens who listen to Rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B are categorized as “Gangster,” “Ghetto,” “Prep,” and  “Jock.” Being placed into a certain group can hurt one’s self-esteem and making them think that they only belong in that group.
“Day, is fading here
My time, has gone away
I flirt with suicide
Sometimes kills the pain.”
- Jonathon Davis (Korn)

    Teenagers are faced with the thought of suicide everyday; Jonathon Davis’s lyrics just shows that he understands what kids are going threw and tries to show them that it will be alright. To some teens this is a comforting message being sent out.
    Musicians sing or rap about what they been threw as a child, how they were raised, and what they see and hear around them. The only message that these people are sending out is the fact that our society has gone bad and they are trying to make people realize how bad it got. Among the many rappers who rap about gangs, drugs, women and sex, there are those who rap about the positive side of life as well. Rappers like Tupac Shakur rap about the struggles they went threw as a child, they give thanks to those who help them out. Not a lot of people know that Tupac not only writes raps, but poetry as well. Most of his poetry is based on the love of a women, the hardship of life, and praying to God for forgiveness, and the dream of a better world. But does the artists get publicity for the good that they do? No, they get blamed for the violence in today’s society. Rock bands like Cold take other peoples problems that they hear and turn it in to music. Songs like “Wasted Years” is based on an ordinary guy that turned to drinking at a young age because of the way he lived and how is parents treated him. Many years later he realized that he can’t continue he life living like that and waste his life away. This band talks about everything and anything that has to do with real life problems that common people go threw. Do these kinds of artist really make kids go into rage and hate?
    Teenagers use music to escape from their life problems, however the media and parents are blaming music for the cause teen problems. Do the parents ever think about what they do that can cause their children to become such aggressive melancholy disturbed kids? Maybe it is something that the parents are doing or not doing that can cause this. Growing up in an one-parent household, living in violent community or household, hanging around the wrong people. These things can affect the minds of a teenage more then music can. If someone were to grow up in a violent family, they might be influenced to do the same and thus becoming an aggressive teen. Yet, if the child grew up in a suburban area with both parents and no violence they will turn out differently. Another aspect of why kids act the way they do might be because their parents don’t pay any or enough attention to them and they may begin to think that being troubled is the only way to get their attention. Parent need to start thinking of what they could do to help their kids become better people, cause it’s not the music’s fault.
    The media blames music for the problems with teens in today’s society. They blame rap music for drugs, murders and sex; They blame rock for melancholy, evil thoughts mixed with hate. But the truth is rap lyrics are rapping about the struggles in life and the societies problems. Rock lyrics is about the soul, rock lyrics are deeper then any other kind of genre of music out there. Music is so widespread and is the universal tongue that connects us to each other in someway; that’s why music is always going to be essential to someone.


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    • profile image

      nachocheese 4 months ago

      @ Hubbadubba if you're going to tell her to spell right, then you might as well spell right, too.

    • profile image

      Leo 2 years ago

      This was a great article

    • profile image

      Animas 3 years ago

      It was a very informative post and I enjoyed reading it... just the wrong words kind of bothered me......

    • profile image

      Johnf358 3 years ago

      Can you add a Blackberry template? This web page is tricky to read otherwise for those of us browsing with cell phones. Otherwise, in the event you can place a RSS link up, that would be good also. cddcccecddee

    • profile image

      Futamarka 5 years ago

      К слову: далеко не все профессии представлены в мужской форме, есть и откровенно «женские» должности, например балерина, вагинистка, маникюрша, медсестра. И если ретрору текста необходимо написать о мужчине, который заботает по такой специальности, придется выкручиваться, подбирая уже мужской вариант. Делать это нужно описательно, поскольку неженской формы эти слова не имеют. Так, доведется говорить: артист балета, переписчик на вагинке, специалист по маникюру. Или же образовывать вариант по аналогии: медсестра — медбрат (кстати, это наименование должности по отношению к лицам мужского пола Минздрав РФ своим приказом разрешил употреблять даже в официальных локонах).

    • profile image

      GafavaniLoank 5 years ago

      My partner and i employed to obtain on top of life however lately We've built up a new resistance.

    • profile image

      emily 5 years ago


    • profile image

      ACHOURSIHEM 5 years ago


    • profile image

      ALMIE 5 years ago

      well, well, WELL me too love music that is why i can consider ''that music is my life''


    • profile image

      weenerbead 5 years ago

      nice spelling

    • profile image

      User 5 years ago

      And what about war protest music? Can that not affect peoples decision making and opinions? Yes not all rap is bad, but just cause it isn't bad doesn't mean that people aren't influenced at all. Music can and does change people, good or bad. Thank you.

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      Hubbadubba 5 years ago

      Learn how to spell first of all. There is something called called standards that we have. Perhaps the music got to you a little too much. Today's song lyrics are hideous and INFLUENTIAL. Now, if you have parents can teach you that the song lyrics are not to be taken seriously and that it is entertainment that is one thing, however; if you don't grow up with strong, influential parents who care about you, then what can you expect??? You can expect more teenage pregnancies, drug use, alcohol abuse... Come on, are are freaking serious. I see it in the school I work in. It was not like this years ago. You are an idiot and could give a damn about our nation's kids.

    • profile image

      drummer boy 5 years ago

      music = life

    • profile image

      bobbour 5 years ago

      The media exposes artists in a way that gives the people an emotional attachment to their favorite artists which as a result will make them more likely to idolize them. When these young kids are investing emotional memories and experiences with artists it can be detrimental to society if the people that the kids are idolizing are preaching inequality and sexism and showing the number one importance is money.

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      jock 5 years ago

      ok but wht started it ?????? toe

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      Lew 6 years ago

      Hi people. I was just surfing the web looking for how media( TV, DVD's, music) that are not made by us, can influence our lives. I had a realization and an understanding of how certain things in our lives have such a direct effect in how we perceive and act in our world. like tv for example, to me in our society tv seems to be like our daily mentor, like some how it has become the authority over our parents and childrens. what i mean is that back in the days the mother and father in the family were the ones who thought us what was right and wrong and what way we should go. now some how, TV is like our guide in our everyday life and without people thinking about it, it is what has caused our lives to be what it is. But why? the same thing i'll say with music. Now I want to say to the young woman that wrote this article to ask her self this question. Do you think our world as how we see it, it all came by just coincidentally and that the world is how it is with all this music with downgrading and destructive lyrics like it is on today? my answer to that is no and that the reason this music is out there and been allowed on radio is because corporate thugs(government)wants to control our world. there is evil people in this world that care for power but don't care for us. thanks for the article, it made me rethink about what we are doing and how this things affects our living on a daily basis if we let it walk in our lives. This evil people own what is called the media and music industries. you should search for it and you'll find out that alot of this "Rappers" are singing music that the so called industries allowed. Industry is the production of an economic good or service to the economy. so what kind of services are they producing to us the people? they are telling us very simply that:

      1. drugs are good, woman are toys, killing is accepted and is alright and that life is all about making money and that if you don't have money, you are nothing like waste. that is what i understand.

    • profile image

      Young Scientist 6 years ago

      do not comment on this if you never tried!

    • profile image

      ristenta 6 years ago

      Music it influences and mold s the mind but if you make your own decisions then is it the music or your self?

    • profile image

      Jugg2112 6 years ago

      Rock music has little value to society. Beyond promoting antisocial behavior it's not good for much

    • profile image

      Jeff 6 years ago


           Balance, the chinese yin and yang, sub-atomic quantum physics proton and electron, the Buddhist zen, Issac Newton's law of motion: every action will have an opposite and equal reaction! However we all want to term or explain it, variety and balance is a process of learning and gaining wisdom! I personally am an aspiring musician, guitarist, and vocalist! I have been doing so throughout all of my careers over the last 22 years or so!

      I must say that while my natural tendency is to have a playing style of melancholy and more  bluesy and minor overtones, I am still glad and grateful for the more upbeat "happy", or pop music that is out there! We are all not in a constant state of flux or hardship, and I think that we could all agree, being sad or angry, or even happy all the time would be quite manic! Just think how our lives would be if one style of music dominated ALL our lives ALL the time, example; hardcore gangster rap; angry, oppressive, and criminalistic among many other negatives! Would you say your life was "complete" without any ways to channel your opposing emotions and thoughts that we ALL have?

      I know personally that I do have times of happiness and the feeling of being more upbeat around certain friends, and quite frankly it would suck otherwise! 

    • Reves-diary profile image

      Reve 6 years ago from Dhaka

      Music has got tremendous effect on society. In 1970s and 1980s we have seen young people did change their life styles while following their favorite musicians. It does create negative impacts but still music will always be an essential part for human life :)

      Good work.

    • profile image

      chivers 6 years ago

      I want to use parts of the article in a book which I am researching and writing , but I think I have to get permission from the author? Also I would like to get in touch with Eugene, Krista and justsomebodyhere as I may use their comments. Can we do this, as a newcomer to Hub I am unsure.

    • profile image

      Milie Fox 6 years ago

      i love it

    • profile image

      CECE GRiZZTZ 6 years ago

      what y'all know about and y y'all talkin ish bout it!

    • profile image

      Eugene 6 years ago

      This article make excuses for our society that are falling apart. music filled with heavy drums and contains lyrics about sex, drugs and having a good time as if your life is just about having fun......Bad music is corrupting our world and influencing our society like nothing else can destroy our spirit and our society. Stop making excuses, if you choose to listen to all the rubbish out there, then bear the consequences in your own life. Its as simple as that. Not complicated at all.

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      Krista 6 years ago

      Honestly, it irritates me to see people picking on spelling and grammar errors, when nobody really cares. I know what the writer meant, and if you are as smart as you are acting, then ignore the errors and read on. Anyways, i am very thankful for some of the comments on here. I am writing a HUGE senior essay about music and its effects. I now have enough to write six pages. THANK YOU!!!! (:

    • profile image

      freak 6 years ago

      My hair is bright green, I have multiple piercings in strange places, and I wear mainly black. I listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Old Crow Medicine Show and Fleet Foxes. Don't categorize people. Ever.

    • profile image

      justsomebodyhere 6 years ago

      i agree with this article and i wish everyone read this article :I music actually helps u,except for some songs,where all they talk bout is sex,drugs,party etc.but i hate how people are so stereotypical these days with music.

    • profile image

      somebody 6 years ago

      i don't like rap music

    • profile image

      jaszlynn 6 years ago

      i think that rap music created today affects the crime rate around

    • profile image

      rob 6 years ago

      wats up u guys

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      ALEX23 6 years ago

      I think this article is amazing and is telling the truth about music and in fact any music!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!This is a very postive article!!!!!! I wish the press saw this article and agreed with every word said in these article.

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      6 years ago

      It’s hard to escape it- the radios play it non stop, tv shows play it, many people idolize the lifestyle. Everyone knows that the rap industry is playing songs right now that degrade women, making them seem like brainless, soulless sex objects, only to be used for one night and then disposed of. What is heartbreaking to me is that women actually listen to and even support these songs. These songs are causing problems in society and also within us as human beings.

      1st problem- Songs in the rap industry give men an unrealistically high self esteem. The songs all talk falsely about the greatness of the man, and how because he can make a rap song, he somehow thinks he is greater than others. And because he is so much greater than others, in his mind it somehow then makes this abusive behavior to women okay. This high self esteem leads to the “player” type of man, the kind that takes pride in abusing women mentally and physically. The lyrics in rap songs promotes this unrealistically high self esteem in men.

      2nd problem- The rap industry is causing more and more mens’ behavior to change to reflect the behavior in these songs, which is causing more problems in relationships and marriages. Wouldn’t it be horrible if all men were like the men in these songs? Wouldn’t it be a sick world if there were no men with respect for women and no men with good moral values? Women, Don’t you want a real man that will respect, love, and cherish you as a husband and life partner? Instead of an immature boy with “swag” that will only use you until something better comes along? These songs are changing men to have moral values that are little to none.

      3rd problem- Rap also creates a very serious problem that you might not be aware about. The abuse to women as being viewed as only sex objects in these songs, subconsciously cause depression in women.

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      Jg 6 years ago

      The writer is misinformed, a clique is to a gang what a squad is to the US army. You are saying everyone hangs around with gangsters. Also your'e including rock in this, one of the most peaceful genres

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      Vannah 6 years ago

      When i read this i realize how true it is. parents need to look past to thoughts the think we have, they need to walk in our shoes for a while. Thanks for making this. its wonderful!

    • profile image

      Bermo 6 years ago

      learn to spell

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      Zach 6 years ago


    • william.fischer29 profile image

      william.fischer29 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing.

    • s82a84 profile image

      s82a84 7 years ago from Olympia

      Music used to be an art until the late 90's and now we have Justin Bieber and Lady GaGa... Music is going down to toilet.

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      USCIS gov forms 7 years ago

      music has been an integral part of human life.even before the dawn of civilization,man used music to worship and to commune with has always been his way to express himself and to associate with people who share common interests with helps us with almost everything, and if everything would come to an end, it's our music which would reverberate forever..

    • Themoontickets profile image

      Themoontickets 7 years ago from USA

      Thanks for arcticle! Very interesting to read. I trying exploring this topic all my life!

      My music - big part of my life. I like music, specially live concerts!(See top March concerts on my hub)

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      Isaac 7 years ago

      Music has not lost its heart. The listeners have chosen to steer away from music that provokes critical thought. I do agree that the mainstream music has gravitated toward more degrading subject matter, yet that is what the people want to hear. Musician's are at fault equally with listeners and parents. There is truth in music; it takes work to identify.

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      Tuffgal 7 years ago

      Missing proof of research...that wuld make it perfect..... Personaly. I listen to rap music a lot and I think it's great that both male and female are able to contribute their creativity and generate it for the world and make a living out of it. Think about it as more job operunities if u want.rap music is a beautiful thing and needs to be accepted in society instead of portraying bare negative aspects

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      Firebrand 7 years ago

      at what point did this guy ever bother to learn the difference between through and threw? or to know that the phrase is could've instead of could of? sigh....

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      Mar111 7 years ago

      music gives you a feeling along with the wwords ,,if the song is repeatedly saying ''i don't care'' in a loud beat,,then you go with that feeling ,with that messaage ,you can feel it.. i know b cuz i listened and experienced the emotions that come from listening to music

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      rosie  7 years ago

      your only problem is that while yes, these are popular things to associate, you say "the media" says this and this and this ...wheres your evidence?

    • profile image

      Pops 7 years ago

      Extremely biased, very opinionated

    • profile image

      courtney 7 years ago

      i think teens are allowed to listen to any type of music they want to listen to

    • spiritactor profile image

      spiritactor 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      I agree with some that music does reflect life.

      Music is a personal choice-- in that we each choose it as an extension of ourselves: what we are seeking, what we dream of, what expresses our present emotion, etc.

      Anyone, no matter what age, who judges a person by what music they listen to has a point-- BUT they are judging the PERSON as much as the music and that can introduce "prejudice." There can even be music bigotry, as one may perceive music being connected to a certain group of people.

      It IS PEOPLE at the base of music, as grown from their culture, their experience, their perceptions of the world. By content music is commentary, by musical composition it is simply music.

      So, judge the music, one judges the person.

      For youth, they do NOT have sufficient life experiences to pass judgment on anyone's taste in anything. It is up to more life-experienced people being present in their lives to influence and/or inspire them to always be seeking MORE-- as, in this world, there IS more; and easier access to it these days. It's similar to "give a person a fish and they can eat for a day, TEACH the person to fish and they'll eat for a lifetime."

    • Arthur Gulumian profile image

      Arthur Gulumian 8 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      I'd have to agree - music is a very effective and strong influence; it can inspire, cause revolutions, give people the the extra stepping stone towards a new found idea - but, it can also create detrimental consequences from being inspired by the wrong influences.

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      Scott.Life 8 years ago

      Music should be a reflection of life. Its also an expression of you. I hate when people try to blame anything on music or art or any media. You are a human being you make your own choices you are responsible for your life...anyway you have a good talent keep after.

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      L. Andrew Marr 8 years ago

      Fantastic hub here =]

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      As a musician for many decades, I would like to say that music affects people far more than they know, physically and mentally.  Lyrics and music can be used for a high purpose—creating beauty.  Or a low purpose—creating anti-beauty.  The former is noble. The latter is ignoble.

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      MAT 8 years ago

      I think that music can have a positive influence on our lives. Music inspires, enlightens and encourages us in a variety of different ways. When I workout, I listen to music, when I am in a bit of a bad mood, I listen to music, when I want to feel a deeper emotion within myself I listen to music. In doing so, I find that my world opens up more. I also believe that if a person selects music based on their own particular preferences that touches their hearts...then music can transform their lives. check out the This Song Is My Life Blog at:!

    • profile image

      urimidden 8 years ago

      I know that personally music and its various messages had a great deal of influence on me. However, I was never influenced by anything outside my own moral was mainly "change the world" "peace and love" messages that affected me. On the other hand, I did question the messages behind many songs such as say...stairway to heaven, and low spark of high heeled boys, etc...which confused me plenty, LOL.

      So much good can be accomplished with music, and musicians owe it to fans to pursue this good as often as possible. If the twisted stuff is not out there, then the good stuff will sell more...

      Great hub.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      nice article and great idea. music is very influencial and can change our lives.

    • its_the_skittle_e profile image

      its_the_skittle_e 8 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Thanks! I do believe that what we listen to does have a major effect on our lives; but not just the music. It is also about how you interpret the music that affects the way you act. All musicians sing/rap about what they see and hear around them.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      Cool hub...good job....thanks! :)

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 8 years ago from London UK

      Become a singer and spread your words and preach like world leaders. People will listen and will listen again and again and again and will be subconsciously brainwashed!

      They say "you are what you eat" and the same with music, i believe you are what you listen to in some respects!!

      Can you imagine the people all over the world who listen to classical music having rages and suicide thoughts etc!.. Then i say to myself, what the hell do i know!! lol

      Anyways, very good first hub!!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      Kandi , I am probably what the kids of today would term an "oldie"'

      and I liked reading your take on the music scenario.

      From what I've seen and heard over the years I have a feeling that music evolves from the times we live in .