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How Music Influenced Society Essay

1484 words - 6 pages


Music has played a role in society since the dawn of man. Said to be the beginning of communication in early civilization, music and dance have influenced how we think, act and treat members of our own society. Song and dance are used in rites of passage ceremonies such as births, weddings and funerals throughout the world. American and African people of color have contributed a brand of music that represented a struggle as well as a celebration during the civil rights movement. This Civil rights era fueled a people to stand and be accounted for and take pride in their culture and ethnicity after millenniums of oppression. The music played was the soundtrack to this movement. Soul, funk, rhythm and blues are a music born of a culture, protest and celebration. The use of this music as a reflection of cultural issues, values, and belief has been sampled by many cultures. Though some critics feel Soul music was merely a passing fad. I intend to discuss the Contribution of music on two contemporary cultures and its effect on their cultural issues, values and beliefs.
My Main focus is that of a shared music culture within the reaches of the Ebo and Yoruba Culture and the Black American culture of the United States. In the fifties, Gospel revival and doo-wop merged into soul music. Soul music was enabled by the commercial boom of "race" music in the United States that later led to the creolization of popular black music in many other societies around the world.

Soul music was born from a trend towards black and white integration, as more and more white folks accepted the idea that black culture was, simply different (African instead of European)(.2005) Soul music was indirectly, helped by rock music, precisely because rock music made white pop music sound so obsolete. Rock music buried white pop music but did not quite offer an alternative. Because Rock music was basically a white version of rhythm and blues it legitimized black pop music.

As the civil rights movement gained momentum and increased African-American pride, soul music became more than “party” music for young blacks: it became the voice for the Black Nationalist movement. While not controversial in nature, soul music's rise in popularity came to represent one of the most visible successes of the civil-rights movement. As a child, I had heard James Brown's before music on the radio. I hadn’t seen the electrifying showman perform until the early seventies on television. His talent and visibility provided the world with a lens on the American black experience. The word "soul" was coined during the 1950s and was very much more than a musical description too. "Soul" personified the culture and mood within many of the black communities during this era, a period when the civil rights movement expanded, black popular culture blossomed and many felt racism was near an end. (2000) For years African Americans were made to feel inferior and treated as less than human, second...

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