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Social Solidarity through Pop Music - Essay Example

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Culture has the power to separate us, or it can exert the power to bring us closer together. High school athletics can promote a feeling of belonging to their school and create a unifying force among the students. Major League Baseball, America's pastime, will find New York residents solidly behind the New York Yankees, while Los Angeles residents experience a spiritual revival as they cheer for the LA Dodgers…
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Social Solidarity through Pop Music
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Download file to see previous pages Of the many artists, Bob Dylan and John Lennon exemplified the experience and in fact Jimi Hendrix had an album titled "Are You Experienced". This expressive revolution brought an audience together through a common bond and satisfied the pop music listener's quest for solidarity.
It is not too much to say that the 1960s were the root of the expressive revolution of sacred realism through music. Breaking traditional forms of folk music by combining folk music and rock music, Bob Dylan was one of the most influential artists of the era and together with the Beatles were able to ignite a pop music revolution. The music was powerful and was able to unite listeners into a 'collective consciousness" by just appreciating their music together. Strangers passing on the street would be drawn together as friends by the acknowledgment of a familiar song. This collective solidarity gave the listener authenticity as well as a verification of a meaningful existence. This justification for one's life became the sacred authenticity that a generation was in search of.
Breaking the mold and blending new styles opened the gates for listeners to detach from the tired past and experiment with their own identity. For Bob Dylan, unlike many artists who pursue only one style of music, Dylan did not stick with one genre. His music can be divided into many different genres such as folk, folk-rock, gospel, and country. Dylan's early music was inspired by a famous folk singer, Woody Guthrie, who had a great influence on the young Dylan. In a Los Angeles Times interview, Dylan said, "Woody's songs were about everything at the same time. They were about rich and poor, black and white, the highs and lows of life, the contradictions between what they were teaching in school and what was really happening" (Hilburn 2004). This indicated Dylan's understanding that integration meant collective. We were all one in search of a common medium. Dylan expressed current social issues through his lyrics as opposed to many traditional folk singers' upper class oriented music. His music was well blended with traditional instrumentation such as acoustic guitar, and harmonica. In addition, Dylan broke the stereotypical ideology that folk music cannot exist without its traditional form. By 'going electric' at the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan defied the norm and explored a revolutionary act that was widely criticized as a commercial sell out. However, Dylan had opened the door to his own identity and had invited millions of listeners to join him. Those that had been categorized for decades were free to become a part of the new consciousness. As Eyerman and Jamison contend, "The musician, songwriter, or composer must first learn the notation and the melodic and rhythmic procedures of the tradition in order to make music; otherwise it could not be passed on. But, at the same time, artistic creation requires that those rules be broken, or at least amended, so that the tradition can be rejuvenated by adding something new to it" (29). Dylan was able combine our cultures in a way that gave us an unspoken agreement and a silent bond that would soon become sacred. This bond would become a large part of our new identity.
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