Impact of Music During Various Decades Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Media Has Shaped the Ages through Music:

Music is a medium that has shaped the ages in relation to its significant role in social movements. Actually, music has acted as one of the various methods and vehicles through which social movements have existed and developed. The role and significance of music in shaping the ages is primarily attributed to the fact that it represents more than entertainment as it has spoken for generations and exemplified belief systems. Generally, music has had a tremendous relationship to and impact on social movements in every decade from the 1960s through 2000-2010. Music has been used as a means of exemplifying the mood of the decade in terms of high profile events or movements that took place in the respective decade.

Music through the Decades:

As previously mentioned, music has played a significant role through the ages by shaping social movements and exemplifying the mood of the decade. During the 1960s, there were winds of change that blew a considerable varying collection of musicians. These winds of change came after the post-War expansion, the assassination of an idealistic president, and America's involvement in the Vietnam conflict. Bob Dylan's seminal, "The Times They Are a-Changing" can be considered as a song that encapsulated the message and mood of the 1960s decade (Holz, 2010). The song reflected a musical genre that was influenced by issues like poverty, nuclear disarmament, war, racism, and environmentalism. Through this song, Dylan encouraged his listeners to open their eyes, highlighted problems, and demonstrated his feelings of outrage and compassion. Media outlets helped the song's popularity or representation of the 1960s' events by helping listeners to share Dylan's feelings and to find them within themselves. The lyrics of the song that represented the changing times include "Come gather 'round, people; Wherever you roam; And admit that the waters: Around you have grown."

Edwin Starr's song, War, represented the mood of the 1970s since it was a blatant anti-Vietnam War protest. This decade was characterized with controversies surrounding the debate on whether to release war. The media promoted the popularity of the song and its representation of the events of the decade through using it as a tool to reflect the general anger and dislike the antiwar movement that was demonstrated towards the Vietnam War. Actually, upon its release, Starr's song quickly became a runaway hit and was position one on pop singles chart for nearly a month. As the most successful protest song, which was a pop hit, the song exemplified the belief that war is not beneficial since it brings pain instead of peace. The protest is quite visible in the song's lyrics such as, "War… What is it good for?; Absolutely nothing & #8230;; War I despise; Cause it means destruction of innocent lives."

Redemption Song by Bob Marley was the song that represented the events and mood of the 1980s. While the song abandons the reggae components for a direct folk feel, the folk classic focused on the general idea of freedom. Bob Marley's song was used by the media to inspire and celebrate social change to an extent that it became an important part of the protest movement. Some influential people during that period carried the song to every meeting with politicians, presidents or prime ministers. As a popular folk song, Bob Marley's Redemption Song focused on slavery in the new world and acted as a reminder that freedom usually comes with a cost (Hector, 2013). The lyrics that show the then world of slavery include "Old pirates, yes, they rob I/Sold I to the merchant ships/Minutes after they took I/From the bottomless pit."

The song of the 1990s was Fight the Power by Public Enemy, which is considered as one of the most influential and famous songs in the history of hip hop music. The authors of the song were renowned for expressing the concerns and frustrations of African-Americans. As the media continually played the song, it became an anthem for many youths from the black community…

Sources Used in Document:


Hector, H. (2013, June 14). Understanding the History of Slavery through Bob Marley's 'Redemption Song.' Retrieved August 2, 2014, from

Holz, A.R. (2010, October 18). Musical Decades: The Revolutionary 1960s. Retrieved August 2,

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Suddath, C. (2011, October 21). ALL-TIME 100 Songs. Time Magazine. Retrieved August 2,

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