Music In Politics Essay

1683 words - 7 pages

Topic: To what extent can music be effective in addressing social & political issues?

Since the existence of civilizations, the music has been an indispensable part of their cultures. Music can be an entertainment, but contrary to popular belief, it does not only entertain people but also has a power that has effects on people and on the societies in political or social. The music can either bring people together for any purpose like charity or encourage people to rebel against dominant institutions like the government. As the music has a power to create a mass, it can enable the people coming together to solve social and political issues. Although, the music may not solve these issues completely, it can tell people what they are by reaching the majority of people, even move people to action to do something about them. Furthermore, it can cause the social change by politically mentioning questions about the situations that the public concern about.

Music has a power to bring people together. Therefore, it can be turn into the most effective way so as to raise awareness by using this power to make a community. According to McMasters (2003); "By tapping into the social consciousness of the moment, artists can use their popularity to stir audiences. By providing direct outlets such as telethons and sales of specific albums, artists give the mass music-buying audience the opportunity to respond to social problems through the realm of entertainment" (McMasters, 2003, 1). To begin with, the music can be used to identify social issues. Many producers or artists have used their songs to make political expressions on different problems that contain racism, alienation, and discriminations (Shuker, 1994, 275). As a result of the reaction to sudden increase in extremely racist attacks in Britain and the growth of white nationalist groups such as the National Front in the 1970s, RAR (Rock Against Racism) was established. Pop, reggae, rock musicians participated in this campaign in order to inform the youth about racism and in 1981, the first album called "RAR's Greatest Hits" was released by Virgin Records. And then, artists, organizers and producer tried to reach more audience by also making carnivals and concerts (Shuker, 1994, 275). The campaign's purpose was not to prevent these acts or to stop them completely because it did not have such a power. However, although this organization was unsuccessful in inhibiting the racist attacks, it caused the National Front's votes to be on the decline because National Front gave overt supports to the fascist organizations (Shuker, 1994, 275). Another power the music has is to move people to action. It means that the music can encourage people to solve social problems like famine or starvation. Money that is raised from the some concerts like Band-Aid is sent to the poor countries that suffer from starvation and famine. Band-Aid's first single which was called "Do They know it's Christmas? " was...

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