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Music In Protest Essay

2722 words - 11 pages

Music has been around for thousands of years. Music has progressed since that time and has slowly become what it is today. Though music has been around for such a long time, protest music just started to develop in the Vietnam Era, the year 1954. The war started the era of protest which, in turn, created a new form of music which incorporated a specific type of lyric that was a way of expressing protest through the song. Since music in this era was already a big thing, artists thought it would be a good idea to get their political viewpoints out there. They did it through something that affected everybody in that time and space. The artists view spread quickly through the country because of ...view middle of the document...

In fact, music is something that almost every human being in the world likes. The style of music changes throughout each person but the core of music is similar in everybody. Music is something that brings everybody together and using it as a way of protest, for necessary reasons, is a great idea compared to the other forms of protest such as picketing, rioting, etc. picketing and rioting are forms of violence in most cases that they are used. In Tibet March 8, 2010, the protests in Tibet turned violent killing ten (10 Dead In…). Tragedies like this are caused when a mass of people are pressured into one place in an angry state of mind. Protestors are angry and are in this section to show their anger toward a set of people. They may also be aiming their anger toward something that is not in the protestor’s best interest. That is not the case when it comes to protesting using music. Acting too rowdy at a concert will get you thrown out (depending on the band playing). At concerts, people may be protesting something using the music. The artist creates this type of music and plays what we call a ‘Protest Song’ (Protest Music…). These songs are named for their purpose. They were written to protest certain subject such as the Vietnam War (Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth), the nuclear crisis (Metallica – Blackened), or even the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (Pearl Jam – World Wide Suicide). These songs were made for protesting, but never have these songs caused riots or anything violent. They send out a message that people listen to and support, but in a nonviolent way.

Protesting music has been around for a good amount of time, as early as 1776 with the introduction of the song The Cutty Wren from a book called “Herd’s ‘Scots Songs’”. This is an old English folk song that was originated, some say, to protest the lack of stability in the lowest social classes of England at the time. The lyrics show this with lines such as:

‘Oh who’ll get the spare ribs said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We’ll give ‘em all to the poor said John the Red Nose
We’ll give ‘em all to the poor said John the Red Nose’ (The Cutty Wren).

As seen in the lyrics of ‘The Cutty Wren’, protest music has been around since that early time in history. Since that time, protest music has been used but in the 1960’s when the Vietnam War was starting, this section of music exploded. There were many artists with music that was made specifically to protest such as Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkel, etc. These artists had many songs of protest including ‘Seven O’clock News’ by Simon and Garfunkel, ‘Here We Are in the Years’ by Neil Young, and “Blowin’ in the Wind’ by Bob Dylan. The Vietnam War was a difficult time for the country. Many people did not support the war and there were hundreds of protests. The most notable protests included the first ‘March to Washington’. This march included twenty...

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