What Is Country Music Telling Us?

1464 words - 6 pages

Country music, for many of its listeners, is an emotional outlet that allows a comforting companion during times of struggle. When a fan feels depressed, country music is there to support and leave its listener feeling uplifted. A genre with such an impact on its listeners is guaranteed to have a strong influence on their emotional well-being. An unfortunate implication of this relationship stems from the negative habits displayed in a variety of country songs. These negative entries are taken in the same light as their positive counterparts, thus including negative content in the mix of emotion-altering country music. With the influence that the country genre has on its listeners, one can ponder the positive and negative reactions it creates. The negatively-natured country music may contribute unhealthily to the behavior of its listeners in their everyday lives.
Fans of country music are naturally drawn to its inviting melodies and flavorful style. This aspect of the genre contributes to its success and provides an opening for music to portray its message powerfully to its listeners. Morinville indicates that studies conducted “have shown that positive emotions from listening to music were associated with greater emotional well-being” (Morinville 2). Music in general has this effect on listeners, strengthening an emotion and successfully blocking its opposite out of view. Morinville later adds to the analysis that “very few studies have examined the role of music in association with a more stable and global conceptualization of happiness” (2). Music is stated to provide its listeners with happiness and positive emotion, yet cannot be attributed to the grander role of happiness within a person’s life solely through listening alone. A certain quality of a genre in particular may be attributed to happiness in a person’s mind without truly activating the emotion within them (5). This phenomenon can cause people to misinterpret their enjoyment of music and the affect is has on them.
Country music in particular holds a controversial role concerning whether or not it holds a positive or negative impact on fans. In 1995, Forbes magazine challenged the idea of whether or not country music held a correlation toward the suicide rates among adolescents. While there was no correlation at the time, the investigation of the matter implies controversial tendencies within the genre, as well as its listeners (Snipes 1). This controversy only evolves as time continues, with teenagers becoming ever reliant on music as an outlet for emotional stress. While music can be a positive outlet to immerse oneself in, most listeners are not careful about the message behind the music which they find themselves invested in.
The investment of fans within country music can have an incredible positive effect. The dedication that listeners and performers demonstrate with their music is laudatory. Forbes magazine quotes Garth Brooks saying, “[performers] treat...

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