Thoughts On Music And Culture

April 25, 2017, 8:48 AM · Both music and culture go hand in hand. Most would probably agree this is true. In fact it seems blatantly obvious, yet I think I need to reflect here on a few of the paths less visited in this regard, at least these are thoughts I might not have reasoned before in this way.

I am immediately tempted to ask a few questions of the subject to confirm suspicions and hunches. One such hunch is that a fallen misguided culture will most likely foster a music that directly corresponds to the condition.
The United States in the 1860's and before that was a time of upheaval and political friction. Brother fought against brother. It was a very uncomfortable time. A time of oppression, war, famine and death. The pot grew hot, simmered and eventually blew up.

A very good indirect comparison to the state of our country now. Tension and the ripple effects of it are felt even today. New events and new issues. The same kind of men headed for many of the same results and so this has been for thousands of years all over the globe.

As in successful prosperous Rome, the tentacles of success feed off of the less fortunate. The oppressed and the poor never leave us.Neither do those who take advantage of them.

Out of this comes music. What kind of music? The negro slaves sang songs of mourning and hope. Those early Christians under persecution in Rome also sang and hoped and prayed.This was music straight from the soul.

How does this compare to the "culture" of music today? The 1960's were a time of cultural experimentation. As a society the US continues in that tradition continually pushing prior boundaries.It seems new lines are set in place, then those lines are challenged.

The music of that generation was a total departure from much of the music norms of prior eras. Artist didn't feel the need to conform.

At about the same time technology began to grow faster than ever before. By the 1970's-80's it was fully possible to "sample" instruments and play them electronically.Through much experimentation the synthesizer was perfected, yet a remnant of the old ways remained and continued to grow alongside the new ways.

I never seen this total detachment as a good thing. Since then there have been so many variations in music it can be difficult to keep track.

Some would dare to even call some of it music while others are more open to different concepts.

In the new era I see music used as a vehicle for other issues, a shell , a wrapper. I don't feel good about much of it. Almost seems music is devolving on some level.

Music is often used as a political tool, a moral tool.Yet isn't music always an indicator of something else? The composer writes music from his or her heart.

First and foremost music is an outward response of the heart in the purest form.

Playing a composers music is to repeat that feeling.Composing is to express it.

Cultures will continue to change. The heart of men I doubt will ever change.

Music as a form of cultural association or identification
has the real potential to leave the heart out of it.This certainly has to be one of the worst motives for making and playing music ever.Music simply to be identified with a certain group.

Men love groups. This is both a social association and disassociation at the same time. Thoughts?


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