Landa International Blogger: Music Influencing World Culture Part 2

Music has long been an outlet to express frustrations at social and cultural conditions. Even as far back into renaissance era in England, classical music was composed in an attempt to return to the “classical” time of ancient Greece. In the early 1920s and 1930s, jazz music expressed a dissatisfaction for the control record companies had over swing music. Jazz music also encouraged the women’s liberation movement by giving women a sense of independence and confidence. The improvisation that filled the jazz genre was the pure feeling of rebellion.

Jumping to the 1960s, music still reflected general rebellion against authority as music had been doing in the past, but this decade was called the “psychedelic age” for one reason in particular, the rise of hallucinogenic drugs.

The 1960s are a prime example of how music and the artists who produce it can change society. Major bands such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and The Grateful Dead were commonly known to be taking drugs to explore different manners or writing music. This movement encouraged and popularized the use of illegal substances at concerts, venues, and home for the rest of the decade.

A newspaper article from 1967 on how LSD can cause malformations in children if you’re interested in the language and thoughts from that time.

The point of this somewhat scatterbrained post is to support the idea that music, no matter what genre or type, reflects the social movements and standards for it’s time period. In my first post about the effects of music on world culture I wrote about the importance of griots, musical storytellers and composers in Africa. This was kind of to tie together the idea music from the last century has kept past era’s preserved.

By listening to the music of different decades, you can hear the distinct differences whether these changes are the cause of new technology, a political change, social standard, or something else.

Maybe the next time you listen to a song from a different decade, it’ll make you think about what was going on when the song was composed.

student research center

Sources (I used the San Antonio Public Library Student Research Center database to find some of these!) :

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