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The Effect Of Music On Behavior

1667 words - 7 pages

The Effect of Music on Behavior

Music has a huge impact on the everyday lives of individuals in America today. It is an important part of the sociological self, which causes a person to feel and act in a certain manner. Sensual guitar playing, a suggestive song, hard rock power chords, or a tune from the past are all highly powerful forces in shaping one's actions. I have taken a particular interest in the way that different genres of music affect student's actions at this university. This paper will take into account the effects that particular genres of music have on people. Because we are in a college town such as Austin it is easy to observe the effects that music has on people. Whether it be at parties, clubs, concerts, or in the dorms, I have seen the effects that music has on students. In many situations in today's world, actions that would normally be deemed inappropriate are viewed as acceptable due to the fact that a certain type of music is playing. Through a few experiences and observances, I have discovered the sociological importance of different music in the lives of many students.
At many heavy metal and rock and roll concerts, there are areas where a large group of people congregate and physically shove each other during the performance. This area is most commonly referred to as a "mosh pit." At the beginning of this semester, I attended an outdoor concert here in Austin. The headlining band was the Stone Temple Pilots, a band that performs songs that often contain some heavy metal guitar riffs. As the concert progressed, there arose a massive mosh pit engulfing the area from about one hundred yards away from the stage all the way to the front of the stage. Three rows back from the stage I could hardly breathe. I was not standing under my own power, but by the pressure of all the people around me pushing in every direction. There is no doubt that these actions are the direct effect of this particular music. This type of music can lead to a state of mind where these activities are a main focus in a person's way of life. According to Freud, the id is the part of the person which desires certain things, but is controlled by the ego and superego (Freud, 65-68). When a person enters a stage such as this in their life they are completely controlled by the id. The music is an ally to the id, helping it achieve its desires. To illustrate this point further, a closer look at the actions is necessary. A concert's purpose is to allow fans to listen to a band perform live. If the rational part of one's self, the superego, were in control, it is highly unlikely that someone would begin shoving random people to the beat of a song. Though this behavior would not normally be tolerated, it is viewed as acceptable because the participants are at a certain music concert. These actions "toe the line" between expression and violence. For the most part, this aggressive behavior is instigated and carried out by males. ...

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