Culture and Cross-Cultural Linkages in American Music Essay

580 Words 3 Pages
Culture and Cross-Cultural Linkages in American Music

I have recently been listening to a lot of Motown music and even jazz. I have never before explored music in the extent that I have done this semester. I always thought of myself as “cultured” but this semester, I’ve begun to realize there are more areas of music that I have not explored than those which I have. And as I explore culture and cross-cultural linkages in our music, I realize how much one generation’s music ‘speaks’ to the next.

Currently, the song I am intrigued by is “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. This song is very moving. When Billie Holiday sings, you MUST listen. However, this song, unlike most of her other music, is not about love.
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The imagery is vivid. You can see and smell everything Holiday sings. It is through this song that I can really connect with the generation of people that dealt with such issues.

My parents never really listened to music as I grew up. My grandparents used to always have country music playing in the background no matter what was going on. In my early years, this was the extent of my musical background. I received my first record player when I was in 1st or 2nd grade. I remember it was red and blue. It was a Disney record player that played all my favorite Disney records. But it wasn’t until I was about 11 or 12 that I really got a test of music. My grandpa had given me his old yellowed record player/radio. I was ecstatic. It was the first time that I had the power to listen to whatever I wanted to. It didn’t matter what my parents thought about it. It didn’t even matter that they didn’t regularly listen to music. So I would turn that radio on and listen to good ol’ country music just like my grandparents. I thought it was wonderful. I never even tried any other station until one day when I was in the 7th or 8th grade. My friends came over and laughed when they heard the music I was listening to. So we changed it to some pop radio station. I remember listening to it and telling them that I could not understand it. The words were spoken way too fast. But I listened on for their sake and was turned on to what was mainstream music at the time. Since
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