Music And Politics: Louder Than Words
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Politics and Activism

Music And Politics: Louder Than Words

Music has always had a massive effect on the social and political climate and is a pivotal figure in the history of our nation.

Music And Politics: Louder Than Words
Live For Live Music

This week, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. There were many levels each with different aspects of the Music Industry going up in a pyramid. The bottom floor covered the History of Rock: where it came from, what it led to, it's greatest heroes and mountains of memorabilia. The second floor covered the industry: Les Paul and the history of sound/instrument engineering, Sam Phillips and the perfection of the record label, and looking into how radio and MTV rapidly changed the music industry. Floor Three had the food court and a theater showing the 2016 induction ceremony.

Floors 4 and beyond were a special exhibit: Louder Than Words. It was a winding showcase of Music's effects on American history and politics. Starting with Dwight D. Eisenhower and the births of Rock and Roll and the Civil Rights movement, the exhibit examines every president's tenure and music's effect on the social and political climate of the time.

A video playing as you entered spoke about the civil rights movements of the 60's, 90's and today and how music has shaped all of them, from Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," to Public Enemy's "Fight The Power," to Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" African Americans have been using music to push for equality. Look towards old Afro-Spirituals and Slave songs about freedom and hoping for the good Lord to come to their rescue.

The video made a stellar point saying "Music has always influenced politics: it either encourages the status quo or pushes the envelope." This became truer than ever during the Vietnam War era, when some musicians were simply singing for respecting the troops and those fallen, and others, like Johnny Cash and John Lennon leading the Anti-War movement.

Music truly has always influenced the social and political climate. Look to Beethoven or Verdi, using their music to fight against invaders and foreign pressures. Alternatively, Prokofiev who wrote to order from the Soviet Union. The Jazz Age influenced people to let loose and have fun, giving us some of the most dance-inducing tunes. This era was high in parties and living in the fast lane. Rock and Roll leading to the takeover by the Youth in American society, and subsequently the Anti-War movement and the counterculture of the 60's. Spirituals, Gospel, Jazz, Motown, Soul, and Hip-Hop being a large boost for the African American community and a push forward in the fight for Civil Rights. Disco music was a major step forward in the Gay Rights movement. Rock gave women a place in popular music that wasn't sexual or pristine and pure. Janis Joplin, Blondie, Heart, these women got gritty and dirty and were lauded for it.

Music is a pivotal part of History. It has been a driving force in many major social, political, and military revolutions. It has been scientifically proven to improve moods, increase levels of focus and intelligence. Music has always been a force to bring people together. The most successful movements have all had anthems: We Shall Overcome, Give Peace A Chance, or Born This Way. Music is the driving force towards change, progress, and the People waking up and taking control of the world around them.

Maybe that's why music is continually cut from our schools.

Music must be protected, it must be fostered, it must be cultivated, so as to continue growing as a nation.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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