Popular Music Revolution


Music has undergone many changes throughout and history and prehistory. These changes were always somehow connected to sociological movements at the time. Rock music evolved mostly out of a need by young people of the fifties to break away from so-cietal norms. America had just come out of the Korean War, and men looked to settle down into a peaceful life. Also just prior this time period, Senator Joseph McCarthy ac-tively encouraged citizens to conform with his infamously false accusations of Commu-nism. “McCarthy spectacularly charged that there were scores of known Communists in the Department of State” (Bailey 887). This made people fearful that they would be tried as Communists ...

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(Belz vii). This variety reflects the varied backgrounds of young people at the time. Early successes in this new music genre included Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, and Chuck Berry. This music only succeeded because the conditions in society and the opinions of the youth in that time period allowed it to succeed. This music revolution is not unique. Similar revolutions will occur if and when the circumstances permit. Modern music is going this direction, but has not reached the point of a new genre as of yet because conditions in so-ciety have not allowed a radical change.
One of the most obvious elements which separates rock music from previous forms of musical expression is a dominant rhythm accenting a strong beat. Rhythm is de-fined as “a basic element of music concerned with the duration of tones and the stresses or accents placed upon them” (Columbia Encyclopedia). Rhythm, developed in the 12th century, was not a new phenomenon; however, previously, the ...

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the tendency of youth to rebel against laws and authority. “I smoke two joints in time of peace, and two in time of war/ I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints/and then I smoke two more.” This is an ob-vious attempt to aggravate the attitudes of parents, and although added vulgarities and drug references do not constitute a new form of music, under extreme circumstances, the conventions could deviate enough to allow something new to emerge.
Smaller revolutions have occurred. The genre underwent a major transformation on “the day the music died.” Don McLean’s “American Pie” outlines what happened after the historic deaths of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/4/2005 06:48:40 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1491
Pages: 6

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