Rock N' Roll A Reflection of American Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Rock n' Roll: A Reflection of American Culture

Music and art are products of the society from which they evolved. History tells us about events that happened in a certain time, but the events themselves do no tell the whole story. Behind these events are thoughts and feelings. Music and art tell us about the passions that drove the events that shaped historical events. Music is one of the oldest mediums of expression available to human beings (Cross, 2001). According to Cross, music and language developed simultaneously in our evolutionary past. We can learn much about a culture through the study of their music (Blacking, 1995).

In America, the 1940s were turbulent times. The 1950s reflected a return to normalcy. Society needed a break from the chaos of war and they constructed a society full of rigid rules about how one should live their life, dress, keep their house and present themselves. Children born during this time period had a childhood full of rigid rules and the media portrayed a life of rigid rules and standards, this can be seen in shows such as "Leave it to Beaver," and later, "The Brady Bunch." These shows "told" people how they should try to model their lives.

The advent of Rock n' Roll represented a crying out of the youth. The children of the 1950s were the teenagers and young adults of the 1960s. Low and behold, America became embroiled in another war, but this war was different than the war of their parents, it seemed to have no purpose. World War II was popular and everyone saw the need for it. Vietnam was not popular and this was evident in the war protest songs of the youth of the time. This research will explore through example exactly what these songs tell us about the important issues of the time about racial injustice, poverty, and the Vietnam War.

Songs of the 1960s reveal the development of a sub-culture. Mainstream society sought to maintain the June Cleaver-like normalcy. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the draft board and an emerging drug culture, this evolved into two combatant worlds existing simultaneously. The drug culture was a blatant rebellion against the ideals and institutions that had created the current situation. The day-to-day, work a day world, was a stark contrast to the carefree freedom of the emerging drug culture and "free-love" society.

1960s music was filled with tension, both lyrically and musically. The experience of psychedelic drugs was mirrored in the music of Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead (CEE, 2002, online). The Vietnam War created a source of tension and the youth tried to escape this tension through drugs. The music became known as "acid rock" or "hard rock." It attempted to create the surreal sense that one gets on drugs. It tried to produce the needed escape from the real world. The Rock Operas such as "Tommy" and "Hair" told the story in its entirety.

While the psychedelic drug songs attempted to provide an escape, some folk artists took a more direct route to expressing their feelings. Scores of youth pleaded in mass unison at a November 15, 1969 war protest using John Lennon's famous anthem, "all we are saying...is give peace chance." Jim Lenahan of the Lousiville Courier Journal wrote, "Learning about the rise of Elvis Presley encompasses such topics as race relations, economics and politics. By the 1960s, rock music became a force of change, a call to action"(in Lenahan, 2001).

The cultural division is explained most effectively by the Five Man Electrical Band in the song "Signs"

And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"

So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why

He said "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"

So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"

Whoa-oh-oh

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?" (Th Five Man Electrical Band, 1969.)

It was the establishment that had created the Vietnam War and the establishment that was responsible for sending thousands of young men to die before their time. Therefore, it was the establishment and everything…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Rock N' Roll A Reflection Of American" (2002, November 13) Retrieved December 5, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rock-n-roll-a-reflection-of-american-138699

"Rock N' Roll A Reflection Of American" 13 November 2002. Web.5 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rock-n-roll-a-reflection-of-american-138699>

"Rock N' Roll A Reflection Of American", 13 November 2002, Accessed.5 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rock-n-roll-a-reflection-of-american-138699

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Shook Up Rock N Roll and Revolution

    Shook Up Rock 'n' Roll and Revolution As a distinctly American form of cultural expression, Rock 'n Roll may be our nation's greatest global export. Its influence on popular, social and artistic mores on a global basis is incomparable. Indeed, one could make the argument that most modern forms of popular music derive from the basic components, if not the underlying attitude, or Rock ' Roll. However, this observation should not be

  • American Pie and Cultural Significance

    Semiotically, however, the term evolved in the region to symbolize a characteristic aspect of shared cultural attitudes related very directly to the motivation for the murder of the civil rights activists. Finally, the 1970s counterculture heavily emphasized illicit recreational drug use: The birds flew off with the fallout shelter Eight miles high and falling fast Again linking the 1950s with the 1970s, the semiotic relevance of high very likely corresponds to

  • Elvis and Black Music the

    Blues music however did not cross racial lines, with the majority of famous blues musicians still residing in New Orleans and various other well-known black music entertainment venues of the South. Gospel music has been an African-American church tradition with influences from traditional African music and especially prevalent during the slavery era. Later (most likely because of those particular ignominious associations and all they implied, especially in the South) gospel

  • Piaf Pam Gems Provides a View Into

    Piaf," Pam Gems provides a view into the life of the great French singer and arguably the greatest singer of her generation -- Edith Piaf. (Fildier and Primack, 1981), the slices that the playwright provides, more than adequately trace her life. Edith was born a waif on the streets of Paris (literally under a lamp-post). Abandoned by her parents -- a drunken street singer for a mother and a

  • Roof Politics Social Commentary in

    And Rock 'n' Roll. Quite distant from the sounds of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and other groups that are firmly a part of the Rock 'n' Roll from the era, there is nonetheless a certain rhythm and feel to this song that makes it a peripheral form of Rock 'n' Roll, and of the more popular songs of the style and the era (Eder 2011). It is also somewhat

  • Rolling Stones Bio the Rolling Stones Gather

    Rolling Stones Bio The Rolling Stones Gather No Moss The Rolling Stones are considered to be one of the greatest rock bands of all time. With a music career that spans 50 years, the Rolling Stones continue to tour and expose millions of fans to their timeless music. In addition to being actively involved in music and touring as a band for the past 50 years, several members of the band have

  • Stephen Rushing 461 35 0813 the Five Years Between 1997

    Stephen Rushing (461-35-0813) The five-years between 1997 and 2002 were a financial and emotional roller coaster for me - a true rags-to-riches-to-rags journey of self-discovery. Almost overnight, my life was transformed from that of a typical undergraduate to that of a celebrated Austin-area dot-com guru and millionaire. I fell from this gilded perch as the Internet industry's long winter of discontent began. I finally hit rock bottom in August 2002, when


Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved