Discontent Expressed through Blues, Jazz, Reggae, and Hip-hop

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Discontent Expressed through Blues, Jazz, Reggae, and Hip-hop In cultures all over the world, music can be seen encompassing many aspects of life for many individuals. It is a form of mass communication that"speaks directly to society as a cultural form", and often reflects a collection and pattern of personal experiences (King 19). Music is so influential because it communicates on three different levels: the physical, emotional, and cognitive. Not only does it operate in a nondiscursive way, by affecting the physiological mode of the body, causing one to move and dance, but it also encourages one to think. This paper will explore music as a form of protest; showing how a political message, in general form, is presented through music.…show more content…
It was shaped by social and political oppression and it reflects a defiant attitude toward life. The blues represents survival during hard times and it tells the basic facts of life. As can be seen in the music, there is an emphasis on the"immediacy of life, the nature of man, and human survival..."formed from a history of mental and physical hardships (Spencer 39). It is a direct expression of the post-slavery world view, linked to freeing the individual spirit. The 'old blues' redefined America's traditional values, and led to the"vision of a new establishment"(Spencer 56). It directly spoke out against white America and the Puritan ethos that was forced upon the slaves for centuries. The lyrics helped release America from the"moral prison"of this Puritanism, and questioned the morality of Christianity and white society. In the music, there is an emphasis on unity, with the joining of man and woman together, and their ultimate triumph over the machine (Spencer 57). Despite the obvious separation between the blues and the church, the blues is often seen as a"secular religion", as well as a form of art and modern mythology (Spencer 55). In comparing the blues singer to a preacher, Charles Keil states,"Blues singers and preachers both provide models and

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