A Look at How Music as an Artform Shapes Society - FAD Magazine

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A Look at How Music as an Artform Shapes Society

Perhaps it only takes a walk through history to understand the role that music plays in shaping a society or a culture within. For those of you who were born previous to the eras mentioned below, much of what you listen to today has been shaped by musical fads that went before. Here we will take a brief look at just three of the musical fads that had a hand in shaping society and the cultures of the day. When we are through, perhaps you will see just how the music you listen to today has a way of shaping a cultural mindset.

Image by CSalem from Pixabay

The British Invasion

Until the Beatles came on the scene in the mid-1960s it was an early rock ‘n roll sound like that of Elvis that literally owned the industry. Consider all the movies released during that time and if it wasn’t Elvis singing it was a sound quite close to his. Then the Beatles stepped off the plane in New York City, were featured on the Ed Sullivan Show, and the rest is history. From there, the Beatles took off on an Eastern philosophy with George Harrison learning the sitar and all their music at that point was influenced highly as was their mindset by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The British Invasion of music brought about a cultural revolution much like their invasion did back several hundred years when they colonized India for the trade in spice and tea. However, this time it was the soul being revolutionized and not the market.

Anti-War Climate of the ‘60s

Now let’s take a look back at the anti-war mindset of the late 1960s when sounds like the Mamas and the Papas and Peter, Paul and Mary took over the folk genre of the day. It was all about peace, love and understanding and what expressed this mindset so well were the amazing harmonies these groups excelled in. Today, if your group lacks that ability to harmonize like Simon and Garfunkel or Queen, you can always use a harmonizer plugin that will write harmonies for vocals and instruments that you can learn from there. You no longer need to be a master in harmonics! There’s technology to do all that for you. Speaking of harmonies, that’s one of the things that made the music from that era so important. It was the harmonies that expressed a way to live harmoniously with our fellow men.

The Motown Sound

Although each of these ‘sounds’ overlap each other to some extent, they were all instrumental in defining a culture at that moment in time. Motown was the intersection of R&B with rock and other musical genres expressed through the black voice not heard until that era. It wasn’t until artists like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder hit the charts that black music became socially acceptable. Can you see how this Motown sound helped to shape a more inclusive society?

There is no denying just how integral music is in shaping a cultural mindset within a society. Whether your genre seeks to awaken your audience to a new understanding of life in the 21st century or you simply want to express your worldview in music, you should know that music is definitely an artform that can shape history. There’s no doubt about it.



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