Music, The Litmus Test For An Era

1911 words - 8 pages

A Litmus test is method that chemists use to find out specific chemical properties of a solution. Its results tell the chemist whether the solution in question is of acid or basic pH. This might not sound all that significant, seeing as though it does not give any deep incite to what the solution might contain or the chemical structure or properties of said solution, but it does allow the chemist to know exactly how that particular type of solution will react with other solutions. Well, this same type of theory can be used when thinking about music. Over the ages, many different types of musical expression have been used to describe an individual or groups emotional state of mind. In the same context of the Litmus test, if one was to dissect the different types of music that were produced in a particular time, it would be possible to get an idea of the overall attitudes of the people creating that music. Again, like the Litmus Test, it would not necessarily reveal exactly what a particular family might have been doing on a particular day, but it allows the listener to have an idea of the overall interaction between the way life was going and how those that were living it reacted to it.

It is easy to just "hear" music, but more often than not, we don't actually "listen" to what the music is telling us. It is much easer to "hear" the music of previous eras and generations, than it is "hear" the music of today. Only when we look back at the whole picture, of everything that was going on at a particular time, is when we can understand what the music is describing. This fact holds true in many different venues, but of some of the most prominent musical eras that come to mind when considering this concept include the "Gilded Age" (1878 - 1889), where millions of foreign cultures combined in America to create the "melting pot," The "Jazz age" of the "roaring twenties" (1914 - 1928), and probably the most prominent, the era of the "Great Depression," or "Dustbowl effect" (1929 - 1945).

When we take a comprehensive look back in time, to the "Gilded Age" of America, we find that the growth of industry and a wave of immigrants marked this period in American history. With the massive wave of immigrants coming into the United States, came music and tradition from their homelands. This early origins of "folk" music is a perfect example of the litmus test, in that it can give the listener an idea of where the songs originated, in addition to giving an idea of some of the struggles and hardships that were faced when leaving home and coming to this new country with nothing but hope for a brighter future. Some prime examples of theses type of expression can be seen in some of the magnificent Scottish/Irish ballads of the time. Another huge influence during this time was the insurgence of classical compositions from Europe, as well as the African American influence of "Ragtime." Even though it was condemned by some at the time as vulgar, ragtime formed a...

Find Another Essay On Music, The Litmus Test for an Era

Music of the Elizabethan Era Essay

715 words - 3 pages to greatly enhance the emotions and moods of the particular play. The combination of music and drama resulted in an increased interest in theatrical productions which continued to escalate throughout the Elizabethan Era. Music played a big part in court life. There were at least 70 musicians and singers employed by the court. These court musicians and singers practiced and performed often and there were special places created just for them to

The Era of Baroque Music Essay

1014 words - 5 pages Occurring between 1600 and 1750, the era of Baroque music was an astounding, inventive and foundational period of classical music. Following the Renaissance period, the Baroque period preceded the Classical era. Originating from the Italian word “Barocco,” which means bizarre or exuberant, the title of the Baroque period was well suited to its composers and music (baroquemusic.org). Many instruments used by the Baroque composers and musicians

The Baroque Era of Music

509 words - 2 pages four different parts which work together to produce a melodic melody which modulates to relative keys. The Baroque period developed from the Renaissance period. These two periods shared the same idea of counterpoint, yet Baroque music differed from that of the Renaissance period by having stronger rhythms and longer melodies. The era was the beginning of a number of dance suites which all have different characteristics. For example the Minuet in

Drug Test: The End The Steroid Era

1298 words - 6 pages Drug Test: End The Steroid Era Steroid use in sports is one of the biggest debates when it comes to organized sports. The number of athletes turning to the use of illegal substances to gain an advantage is growing rapidly. Athletes trying to get an edge on their competitors has been around since the ancient Greeks when they would try things such as caffeine and sugar. Even recreational drugs were used in the 1800’s such as cocaine to try and

How the crucible is an allegory for the McCarthy era

1243 words - 5 pages intended for John Proctor to be an allegory for Edward R. Murro. All in all Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was written to be a perfect allegory to the McCarthy era. Many of the events, strategies and people on both sides are similar in the play and the McCarthy Era itself. Many similarities can be drawn between the two including the basis upon which of the victims were persecuted, the strategy to lessen their sentences and the driving factor

Classical Music and The Era of Symphonies

889 words - 4 pages fast then it ends symphony like in the Listen seris CD 2 track 23-37 “Haydn “Symphony no .95 in C minor” which it start off very fast a then it slow down but then end with a fast part. In the era instrumental style that the took place was sonata that develops into a big deal with all of the composer during the period. Sonata form was the necessary structure when composers needed to write an instrumental music. Sonata form applied that a single

Music Styles in the Renaissance Era

1075 words - 4 pages .” (Kerman, p.77) Mass is “the largest and most important service of the Christian liturgy” (Kerman, P. 68). Instrumental music was introduced for the first time. An “instrumental genre was the dance the pavan and the galliard” (Kerman, p.79). Most famous composers of that time were Dufay, Despres, Ockeghem and Dunstable. “During the Baroque period, the foundations were laid for the following 300 or so years of musical expression: the idea of the

Music of the Civil Rights Era

1289 words - 5 pages veins. That expression of power and revolt was music. Music acted as the horses that pulled pearlescent chariots of liberty and freedom to the front doors of the White House through public protests, involvement of musical artists, and its impact on the lives and culture of those who were oppressed. As a person against “civil rights”, it was viewed as a very simple matter, the music of the era was the devil’s work and needed to be stopped. Those

Study For the Test

1033 words - 4 pages tested for the presence of drugs in their systems in order to keep them from doing such things. This act has come under much scrutiny from some, saying that it is too expensive, ineffective, and an invasion of privacy. While some of these claims may hold some merit under certain circumstances, drug testing of students is the best way to combat drug use and should be used on students participating in extracurricular activities.The act of drug

An Investigation into the Market for "Western Music" in China

2978 words - 12 pages questions were designed to gain information for four area of aims, the first two of which focused on the familiarity of customers ,and the next three were designed for their preference ,while the sixth one was to know their way to access western music and the rest were for investigating their opinion about the price and image of an album. For each question, we all tried to give plenty of choices with an additional one for interviewees for state

The Turing Test: An Overview

752 words - 4 pages 3/16/14 The Turing Test: An Overview In this essay, I describe in detail a hypothetical test contemporarily known as the Turing test along with it’s respective objective. In addition, I examine a distinguished objection to the test, and Turing’s consequential response to it. Created by English mathematician Alan Turing, the Turing test (formerly known as the imitation game) is a behavioral approach that assesses a system’s ability

Similar Essays

An Essential Era Of Music Essay

942 words - 4 pages heart of musical knowledge during the Classical era. Because of this fact, this era has also sometimes been called the “Viennese Classical Period” (Sherrane). Overall, the style of the Classical Period can be seen as a reaction to the incredible emotion of the Baroque era. In the Classical Period, music became much more emotionally reserved, or as Pogue and Speck note in Classical Music for Dummies, “music with a corset on (Pogue & Speck

The Classical Music Era Essay

1111 words - 4 pages Introduction The Classical Era was a time of great change in both culture and music. Previously, the Baroque Era had been influenced mostly by the Catholic Church and the conservation of aristocracy. Their architecture was very ornate and was meant to impress visitors. Baroque palaces would usually have courts, grand staircases and reception rooms to show how wealthy they were. The Classical Era, on the other hand, was focused on a philosophy

Misconceived Progression: An Era For The Will

1674 words - 7 pages into account, and their ideas put into play. Without the involvement of the entire population it is impossible to define an era as one of regeneration and improvement, because improvement must be for all. Yes, the United States did offer the opportunity to prosper during the new progression, but this was not open to all after the Civil War. So to those who believed that the Statue of Liberty would inspire a new advantage to the nation’s

Dbq Test: The Progressive Era Essay

345 words - 2 pages his side, because of the Pullman Strike. Well he was wrong, Theodore offered him a square deal in which both sides were represented equally. This is significant, because it caused the Department of Capitol and Labor to be created in 1903 to settle disputes between capital and labor. From this the Bureau of Corporations was created to monitor businesses in interstate commerce. This paved the way for an Era of "trust busting".Bibliography Me and my knowledge. It was a DBQ test so documents were already provided.