Music and Movies / Culture And Music

Culture And Music

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Autor:  anton  06 October 2010
Tags:  Culture
Words: 570   |   Pages: 3
Views: 518

As defined in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, culture is “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.” These customary beliefs could also be described as a set of morals or values commonly practiced by a group. Social forms are understood as being the institutions in which interaction and socialization between people take place, such as at school, church, or work. The material traits within a culture would include clothing, food, and art to name a few. Music is a distinct, diverse culture in itself, a subculture. Each musical era had its own code of values, social forms, and material traits.

The Gregorian chants of the Middle Ages were composed and performed specifically for Catholic Church services, as the church was the strongest institution of that time. For this reason, the majority of music in the Middle Ages was of a religious origin. Much of the art and architecture coincided with the religious beliefs and ideals of the era. For example, the architecture of the gothic cathedrals was used, as described in the text, to “[reach] toward God and the heavens.”

In contrast, today’s popular music is of a secular origin. Some types of contemporary music mirror the decline in our value system. The “pop” or “hip-hop” culture is characterized by explicit sexuality, habitual use of profanity, and depiction of extreme violence in music and all other forms of entertainment. The most powerful social form of today’s culture is the internet, which breeds all things immoral. Today’s material traits reiterate the deficient morals in our society. In reference to clothing, look at all the scantly clad women dancing in the music videos. In art, there is the so-called art form of pornography. Music is an expression of the times, it shows the direction in which society is headed, and unfortunately, the aforementioned characteristics are present in virtually all of today’s ethnic, racial, and social groups, rather than in only a couple isolated groups.

While music is an expression of the times, it can also be a personal and intimate expression of the artist. Musical artists may use their creativity to convey their feelings of sadness from a broken heart or pure bliss in a new romance, frustration with the government or disappointment with society’s lack of involvement. Other artists may not focus so much on the message, but attempt to inspire, motivate, or generate a particular emotion or mood in the listener, as in dance music. Occasionally, there is patriotic themed music that resurfaces from time to time, as it did after the tragic events of September 11th. Just as an artist may try to arouse his or her listener, sometimes the artists themselves are inspired by a certain set of circumstances to create music.

Music affects my life in a way that is very soothing. I enjoy listening to music that I consider “easy on the ears.” In other words, I have never been a fan of heavy metal or even country music. I like to listen to the same music that I recall my parents listening to as I was growing up and reminisce about the good ‘ol days. Sometimes there are memories that materialize that you did not even know existed. I also tend to be drawn to music that has a political or societal significance. Artists who have such a gift should use it purposefully, strengthening the fabric of society.

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