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Joni Mitchell - Essay Example

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JONI MITCHELL Introduction Joni Mitchell, born Roberta Joan Anderson, 1943, is a Canadian musician, song writer and painter (Bego 2005). She is revered as one of the greatest talents in popular music, with a vast number of songs in her unique genre. Thus, Mitchell’s “seamless melding of folk, rock and jazz” (Sonneborn 2002: 147) are exemplified in her classic albums Blue (1971) and Court and Spark (1974)…
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Download file to see previous pages Her songs communicate her emotions powerfully, and she connects with her listeners directly and honestly. The album Blue consist of songs that are confessional in nature, where Joni Mitchell reveals her anguish of self discovery concerning her past actions based on selfishness and dogmatic beliefs, which led to her losing important relationships. The artiste is commended by her listeners and critics for her lack of subterfuge or self-justification (Bego 2005). Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the music of Joni Mitchell and her album Blue released in 1971; to determine whether there is a relationship between popular music and wider social, cultural and political issues; to examine the album Blue’s genre, and its lyrical and music creativity. Further, the album’s impact on popular music and on wider culture as a whole will be determined. The Relationship Between Popular Music and Social, Cultural and Political Issues Joni Mitchell’s songs in the album Blue are acknowledged to be poetic and forthright, with a complexity of emotions depicting raw feelings, the beauty of love, the sadness of loss, and the singer’s confession of her own part in creating her failed relationships. Thus, Blue is considered to be the “quintessential confessional singer/ songwriter album” (Bego 2005: 100). Generally, popular music goes through changing genres and styles, and forms one aspect of popular culture, along with advertising, films, and other parameters of public interest. During the last few decades of the twentieth century, popular culture in the west became established through its music as a “predominant, social, cultural, political and economic force” (Walker 2007: 18). The sales of audio-visual recordings, the performance of live shows, and related processes produce high economic returns. This has created an ostensibly limitless earning capacity for pop megastars, thereby raising them to the very heights of socio-political and cultural prominence. The increasing power of popular culture, mostly led by popular music has been evident over the last five decades. Until Rock ‘n’ Roll emerged in the mid-1950s, popular music utilized core elements of music, particularly in melody and harmony. This progressed to the recent historical diatonic traditions of western art music. From well-established rhythm and blues traditions, emerged Rock ‘n’ Roll’s vigorous and powerfully hypnotic rhythm and dance. Diatonic melody and harmony was decreasingly relied upon. In the beginning, after an initial hostility to what many people considered as overtly sexual depictions of the rhythm, the words and the music, rock ‘n’ roll was accepted as an alternative style of popular music, and in the duration of a few decades, it became the preferred cultural mode and norm of music expression. Thus, “from an interesting 1950s socio-cultural phenomenon to mainstream cultural domination by the 1990s” (Walker 2007: 18), the transformation of popular music appears radical in its magnitude. As a result of the changes, in the 21st century now, the term “music” has become synonymous for many people with rock and pop music. Musicians and singers frequently express their political protest through their musical performances. Protesting through music became a popular ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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