Psychedelics on American Music and Culture the Research Paper

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psychedelics on American music and culture

The evolution of American popular music and culture in the late1960's and 1970's was an influential factor in the inspiration of musical artists. The creativity of music and its variety in modernity indicates that, most American artists claim for music ranges from the religious beliefs to the love interests. However, the driving force of creativity for the music in United States has come as a result of the usage of drugs subculture. The research carried out shows that, without the use of recreational drugs by the artists in America, the popular music could have resulted to a different evolutionary path resulting to a different musical world. Music has been taken from the drug culture by the Americans to be incorporated by the mainstream culture. When looking at the popular music in the past, there is a clear indication that shows a bond existing between the use of drugs and popularity rise in musical movements introducing "hippie" culture and the use of drugs like LSD and marijuana (Acker & Tracy, 2004). This research paper will analyze the influence of psychedelics on American music and culture during the 1960's and 1970's and how the use of mind altering drugs such as LSD and marijuana has helped in shaping the American music during the 1960's and 1970's as well as the culture (hippies).

In the late 1960's and 1970's, the people of USA were faced with a lot of social changes in their culture given that the country was filled with drugs, sex, as well as rock and roll. The major trend was the widespread of illicit drugs which were used by a million numbers of Americans. Conversely, the music was basically inspired by the "mind-expanding" drugs, and the most common drugs used were Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and marijuana that attempted to recreate the drug-induced states by the use of amplified feedbacks. However, in the modern world, the use of such drugs have developed a taboo status and it has become impossible to ignore the tales that may have been reported by the cultures who still use the drugs as well as the rebels who continue to use those illegal drugs in the world of today (Acker & Tracy, 2004). Psychedelics on American music and culture has been along for quite some time and it has really changed the today's popular music. Psychedelic is, "of or noting a mental state characterized by a profound sense of intensified sensory perception, sometimes accompanied by severe perceptual distortion and hallucinations and by extreme feelings of either euphoria or despair." Psychedelics on American music and culture started in the 1960's with the discovery of LSD and use of other various psychedelic drugs. However psychedelic did not only affect music, but it also affected people, cities, and the way people was thinking (Acker & Tracy, 2004).

In the 1960's and early 1970's music was a strong force that had a greater effect on how a lot of people thought and the way they acted. There was awakening on what was hip or unhip around the world. This period was more than just a decade, but a state of mind. Psychadelia in music has been around for a long time and has changed much of the popular music to date. The psychedelic era took place in terms of social, musical and artistic change that was greatly influenced by psychedelic drugs. Music was likely the most heavily influenced aspect of this era. Some genres including pop, soul, folk and rock were severely affected through the use of psychedelic drugs. Some of the best know psychedelic musicians include the Beatles, pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimmy Hennix. The use of psychedelic drugs paved way for the rise of hippies who explored different states of consciousness, promoted life full of freedom and peace.

The musician artists managed to possess an incredible social influence putting the society to emphasize on the lives and the attitudes of the musicians. During the period, different rock groups emerged and the Beatles was one group known to be most influential, however other rock groups such as the British was mainly the catalytic band who were in the rock and roll history in music despite them coming from the shadow of the Beatles (Acker & Tracy, 2004). Other bands also emerged during this era such Jefferson Airplane, although it was deemed to be the first San Francisco psychedelic rock groups even after it was considered to be a psychedelic rock group which was not the case until Beatles felt in the category as well. It was because of creativity and experimentation with drugs that made the entire above groups to earn those titles making them to write songs that were alluding to drug use at one time (Belenko, 2000).

The use of marijuana and LSD shaped American music by contributing to a spiritual awareness that was considered by then viable as well as meaningful alternative to the institutional religions. Even with the known dangers in addition to the bad trips which are associated with LSD, the use of this drug has provided the Americans with vocabularies in describing their personal religious experiences completely disconnected from the conventional language which are used to identify sacred and not to quite, but it is not completely separated from the deep-rooted histories of spirituality. The use of LSD has on the other hand unlocked the door of perception to the U.S.A. culture that is imprisoned by conformity hemmed in by the doctrine as well as ideas of the social propriety. In other words, the experiences with LSD as well as the publicity surrounding the Americans gave shape with content to the modern understandings of the spirituality (Laderman, 2011).

The use of marijuana and lysergic acid diethylamide which is also known as an "Acid" on many streets of USA pervaded the lives of the American youths. The use of Marijuana and lysergic acid diethylamide were both within the context of the hippie generation; however lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) had the most profound effect on the Americans counterculture outlook which started to emerge on San Francisco streets in the late1960's. The use of such drugs gave the people "freedom from the restraints of ordinary consciousness and everyday sorts of socialized behavior." The use of lysergic acid diethylamide led to the saturation of the American society as well as to a variety of negative connotations that came with its' rampant abuse, lysergic acid diethylamide in America was categorized as a one of the drugs indicated to be illicit and was rather not accepted as a drug for medical use in the United States (Acker & Tracy, 2004).

The psychedelic era had an extreme impact on the American culture during the 1960's and 1970' brought about a big revolution in several aspects of the society that range from attitudes of citizens, to fashion and a drastic altercation of musical and artistic styles. Those who were in the young generation bracket adopted an attitude that was much more laid back that was caused by the use of psychedelic drugs. This laid back attitude led to a more relaxed fashion and a more free life where people in their teens lived independently without jobs and spend most of their time using psychedelic drugs and exploring other methods of relaxation such as promoting and playing music. The older generation on the other hand did not like this lifestyle though they did not stop the psychedelic era from imparting the society. Psychedelic music became extremely popular with the young generation, the youth's favorite musicians used the psychedelic drugs and hence they influenced them to use the drugs. This was during the counterculture and during this time the new music and drugs took the generations by storm (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2012).

Music in that time was a form of measuring and responding to problems and possibilities in the society. The music in the 1960's was directed towards a description of social conditions and a call to improve them. It was shaped by the conditions of the larger paranoia of the socio-cultural movement. There was an increased diversity of styles and musical genres that emerged during that time thanks to a variety and intensity of social phenomena's like the use of psychedelic drugs. There were many intense influences of that in combination produced music this include governments influence on peoples life's and the fact that peoples life's were getting wore not better and hence many musicians were compelled to respond and integrate some matters like drugs and they did so in creatively unprecedented ways. Music was that way musicians used to respond to dominant concerns and also shaped the way people thought and responded to the society. Music during this period was associated with rebellion and rebellious period among the youth population. The music in this psychedelic era was also termed as being too loud, too experimental and too tied up with the emerging drugs. Psychedelic music was closely…[continue]

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