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Music a Reflection of Culture

An idea or way of life that we live by, that’s culture, and culture affects us all no matter where we live or what we do. We often live and work in these different cultures and we don’t even realize it. Music is a huge factor in the way we are affected by our culture. Hence the fact music is in all cultures even in our own way of life. Think about the last time you said something smooth or cool to your girlfriend or guy friend you probably heard it in a love song or rap song. We often take for granted the fact that music is all around us no matter what kind you listen to. You listen to music in your car, in the mall while you are shopping, in the shower, on television and at parties. Music is a key component in any kind of culture; it is a way to express the ideas and beliefs of that culture. Music has been a powerful force throughout history. Its power has affected all aspects of people’s lives. The ideas and attitudes people have toward their society can easily be seen in their music. Expression in music comes in every emotion you can think of sad, happy, mellow, anger, peaceful and many others. Music, especially in today’s society, brings about certain ways of life or attitudes about life. I often wonder what the next generation has to offer to the wonderful world of music. In the Fifties it was do-wop and swing music, America had its first taste of “Rock and Roll” in this era of happy times. People’s lives were safe and happy and this do-wop bee-bop music reflected the way people’s attitudes were about life. In the Sixties “Rock and Roll” made its collision with mainstream American culture and people like the Beetles and Elvis Presley became the forefathers for a huge cultural gateway. The era of peace love and happiness was beginning and so once again the music reflected this way of thinking, acting and feeling. The Beetles and Elvis were the first real artists to make it big and to have a following of a tremendous magnitude. That rebel rock and roll, grow my hair long, and shake my hips seed was planted into our culture. This started a snowball effect that led into the Seventies and Eighties cultures of “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll”. Here is where it gets good; music found new meaning in the lives of Americans and the world. Music began to protest things like war and political issues for example the environment. America was in an uproar and music played a key part. The nineties began the advance of Hip-Hop, Rap and Pop music. In a culture of fast pace “dog eat dog” type attitudes many new music styles came about. People became inspired to branch out and create their own kinds of music and dance. Dance clubs and electronic music began to make their way on to the scenen. A vast new kind of music called Rap/Hip-Hop made a huge impact on the culture of America. The words and behavior of rap reflect a way of life, an attitude or a “culture”. Most of this music talks about the streets or growing up poor and how the artist has made it big now. Not to really to support this music but it has made a huge impact on my generation. A whole hip-hip culture has sprung up from this urban movement. Apparatuses in this culture have come about to create things like a style of fashion, and its own sort of dialect called Ebonics, All this from a movement of music started by African American cultures twenty or thirty years ago.

Music and life run parallel, music affects my life in many ways. My mood depicts my music, if you catch my drift. When I was younger I used to listen to a lot of rap/hip-hop music, I still do today, but I have learned to enjoy other kinds of music also. My kind of music is progressive, mellow and me being as high strung as I am, this helps me to relax take the bull by the horns. My favorite quote is in this song I once heard by Jack Johnson “ Move like a Jelly Fish Rhythm is nothing you go with the flow you don’t stop”. I take heed to this quote in life, in my way of living and in my “culture”. Johnson’s quote helps me to “go with the flow” and don’t ever stop or give up on life or your goals. Music like this is my therapy; it is one of the few things that is constant in life. People, well at least I do, run to music in times of sadness and joy. Music in a way gives advice and inspires us to do things. Sometimes when you are in a situation and don’t know what kind of stand to make you turn to music for advise. Myself and other countless people use music to escape, if just for a little while, the harsh realities of the real world to gain control of our emotions and to continue in our daily life. Music is a way of life, a map to cultural expression, because a world with out music is a world with out culture.




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