Outraged, Dictated and Dishonored. This was the state of two young blood Pakistanis, stranded under the dominion of a suppressive leader. Unable to curtain their love for music and the torment of living under despotism, they lay off on a journey that broke all barriers of oppression and hate. Developing into the greatest rock band the world has ever seen. The most significant conflict in the universe right at present may not be between radical Islam and the West but between Islam and itself. Moderates and extremists are vying for influence and power in this ancient tradition, and perhaps nowhere is that struggle more evident, than in my opinion, it is in Pakistan. Pakistan, known as an Islamic country was torn aside by the stresses of modernity and fundamentalism. Mullahs living in this country consider themselves truly religious and they feel that other people should share their views and religion. Moreover, they also criticized music as harmful to religion and at the same time it is disallowed in Islam. In the name of faith, they have created this confusion between what is cultural and what is spiritual. In the thick of this maelstrom, a band named Junnon was formed. Not alone did they just write and do random songs, but also raised both spiritual and social questions through their songs. They have managed to transcend politics, culture and religion all through the help of music. Breaking backward in history, during Zia-UL-Haq’s presidential period, being an artist or
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Dissent is deeply intertwined with music. Music gives a voice to groups who are silenced by oppression, it gives people a purpose, and it can create political movements. From the Sex Pistols to Bikini Kill, and now more recently Pussy Riot, all of these bands perform as both musicians and as political activists. In the case of Pussy Riot; their disruption of the mundane through their guerilla performances is form of active dissent against the Putinist regime. Following the 2011 protests, Pussy Riot was part of a larger political moment in Russian history as people took to the streets and took to art as a way of voicing their disgust with the corruption in the Duma. Decked out in balaclavas and bright colors, these women follow the punk tradition of protest through disruption and outcry against oppression in their lyrics. Some critics of Pussy Riot, such as the Russian Government, may say that their actions are not protest, but rather “hooliganism” and that their disruptions have no purpose, but Pussy Riot’s lyrics and performances are clear intersections of artistic expressionism, revolting against the Putinist regime, and a call to action.
For as long as mankind has walked on this earth, music has been an important part of our culture and lifestyles. Each walk of life beats to a different drum. Different cultures use music for many aspects of their lives; for religious purposes, for celebrations, for comfort, for sorrow, for relaxation, for sports, for dances, for energy, for learning, for sleeping, and for sexual experiences. Everyone uses music for something. Music connects with people and reaches them in ways that words simply cannot. Music is a representation of what feelings sound like. It expresses emotion and brings that characteristic out from within us; it tells us a story. Every generation has its’ own sound and different music styles have emerged and become
Popular music is often one of the best lenses we have through which to view our own cultural orientation. Many of the artistic and experimental shifts in popular music have mirrored changes in our own society. For instance, the emergence of Elvis Presley as a public figure would signal the start of a sexual revolution and the growth in visibility of a rebellious youth culture. Similarly, the folk and psychedelic music of the 1960s was closely entangled with the Civil Rights, anti-war and social protest movements. In this regard, we can view popular music as an artifact through which to better understand the time and place in which it is produced. In light of this, the state of popular music today may suggest troubling things about our society.
Some may say music is just music; a song is just a song. However, music plays an enormous role in our psychology, because a single song has the ability to bring about many kinds of thoughts and emotions in the listener. Music is subtly one of the main factors in which people identify with certain groups and establish their belonging in society. It shapes people’s perspectives on how the world functions and the roles they play within it. Music can function the same way in a culture; it can reflect many of the culture’s values and ideologies. Music can have many effects on culture and the people’s idea of who they think they are within that culture. Music can serve in a way that promotes cultural identity and pride, yet it could also play a
Musicians of all genres have spoken up against the racial inequality that is happening in America and throughout the world. These are the voices that have lived and witnessed injustice based solely on their race and skin color. As a result, musicians have deep emotional ties that have affected the lyrics and tones that artists take on in hopes to send a message. This musical revolution is nothing new, it has been around since the beginning of racial oppression as a means of optimism, but now, music can help spread the message of racial oppression. This message is spread in hopes that the views and opinions of society are altered and that future generations learn from mistakes of the
For us to really reach an understanding when it comes to social conflict, it is first necessary to recognize the creative forms of expression that arise from that conflict, the things that inspire and that which is inspired. It is in these forms of creativity, in this case music, that the very core of struggle is expressed in its raw and most honest form.
Many Muslims are similar to other Americans, they go to Mosques to pray (equivalent to churches), they listen to music, they run for political office, some follow American fashion trends, and they do much more to relate to American society. Throughout Abdo’s book, she discusses the role of music in a Muslim’s life. Americans lives are often shaped around music, in most cases, Americans listen to music on their commutes to school or work, throughout their day, during their meals, and more. The relation to Muslim Americans is clear, some Imams advise against listening to music as it can be “seductive”, but other Imams advise that their Muslim followers listen to it. Not only do Muslims listen to music, but some create it as well. Islamic hip hop is increasing in growth and extremely popular among young Muslims. “...Rami hung posters on telephone poles and on bulletin boards in neighborhood stores announcing the arrival of Napoleon, a star from California who raps about his Muslim identity.”2 According to, Nielsen Music, the second most popular type of music in America is R&B/Hip hop. This is a direct comparison showing the integration of American culture into a Muslim American’s
Music is often said to connect people to each other and have positive effects on people. However, what happens when the music talks about a much darker topic? An example of this type of song is "American Terrorist" by Lupe Fiasco. In the song, Lupe Fiasco sings about "a smallpox blanket to keep us warm/On a 747 on the pentagon lawn/Wake up the alarm clock is connected to a bomb/Anthrax lab on a West Virginia farm" (Fiasco, 8-11). Lyrics like this seem harmless, until they come a reality. This reality is the horror we have faced for awhile now in this country, terrorism. In this paper, my focus is on ISIS and how dangerous their current recruitment of US citizens truly is.
“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it” (Bertold Brecht in Askew 2003: 633). Despite evolution across the globe and the continued development of societies and cultures, one entity has remained present throughout – music. Though manifested in various forms, music has and continues to play an integral role in a multitude of settings, ranging from religious ceremonies to theater to pop culture and beyond. With universal influence, music possesses the ability to unite a nation behind a single cause yet simultaneously subjugate a people through musical propaganda and censorship. For instance, due to a lack of literacy and economic means in countries such as South Africa (plagued by apartheid sanctions), oral communication through music increases the accessibility of critical ideas. Nonetheless, though musical artists have the capacity to assert politically subversive statements through song, vehement government censorship and even propaganda reflect music’s immense influence. Thus, a vessel through which sound is transformed to expression, music has tremendous political ramifications. Exploring the transformation of South-African music from “a mirror” of the apartheid struggles to a “hammer with which to shape”
The greatest honor the band had ever received was in April, 1980, when the band was invited to Zimbabwe to play the country’s Independence Ceremony. A month later the band released a new album called “Uprising”. The band then decided to go on a vast tour. They were breaking festival records throughout the continent. They gathered up many people to come watch them.
Music is a popular form of art that uses sounds to express ideas and emotions through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color (Dictionary). Not only is it used for entertainment purposes but artists also use music to voice their opinions and get messages across to their listeners. ‘‘‘Protest songs’ are based in the philosophy that social protest, intended to achieve social change, is the fundamental purpose of music,” states Lawrence M. Berger (Berger 58). Protest music is a form of nonviolent protesting that raises awareness of social issues that occur in today’s society in a peaceful manner. This type of music comes in various forms and genres, including
For example, in Africa in 1994, during the Rwandan genocide, “Rwandan radio broadcast songs encouraging the killing of Hutus by Tutsis before and during the 1994 massacres” (Polter 31). Another well-known incident with violent acts caused by music occurred in 1988, as discussed in the Vance v. Judas Priest case, where two young boys made suicide attempts while listening to musician Judas Priest’s music. This resulted in the suicide of one of the boys, which has led opponents to claim that the lyrics of Priest’s music encouraged the boys to make these attempts (Fischer 32). Censorship would assist in preventing such acts of violence. On the other hand, any proposition that music is the sole reason behind acts like these is sheer madness. Even though music and the talented artists and musicians behind them does hold the potential to spark an event such as these or add to a certain influence, “no musician or songwriter is capable of single-handedly turning our sons into skinheads, our daughters into anarchists, or ourselves into saints or sinners” (Polter 31). As a matter of fact, while music could lead to negative events and actions, music can also inspire positive actions and unite a group of people. Jill Suttie, a psychologist, has discussed this idea of positive inspiration via music, stating that music “is also a powerful social magnet” (Suttie 1). Suttie reveals how
Idan Raichel is known to be one of the most influential and powerful musicians in the Middle East. He is missioned to break down barriers currently affecting the residents of the region, because if you take a look across today's Middle East, it's easy to lose hope in the possibility of peace. Whether it’s the random bus bombing in Jerusalem, the Syrian- Conflict, or the increasingly dangerous streets of Iraq, the region in becoming more and more unstable and starved for progress. Sometimes hope hides in the most unlikely of places.
In our society today, some musicians and their music drain and plague the moral and spiritual well-being of the people; therefore, censorship offers a necessary action that we must take to keep the world from becoming a land of decadence. The musicians lives are not examples for the children or the adults. The lyrics of many songs are not suitable for anyone. All types of music need some kind of censorship. Censorship makes a person realize that music is good for the heart. Censorship totally makes people act better, and when thinking better, this sustains a better society. The lives of some musicians contain types of anarchy and self-gratification. Once the musicians realize that people want not just their music but them as well, they act
Middle Eastern Pop music is extremely popular. However, the dominant theme to most of the Pop songs is love and romance. Many believed that religious Pop music, which concentrates on faith and good human virtues, has a place in the market. Islamic Pop music is one of the best alternatives for the youth to drift their minds away from the forbidden content found in some Pop music. In addition, Islam was poorly portrayed in the media. Islamic Pop music plays a very significant role in correcting that image and changing people’s perspectives about Islam. Islamic Pop music is a combination of spiritual faith and modern ecstasy. It is the voice of the new generation that is characterized by meaningfulness, inspiration, and entertainment.