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Social Upheaval In The 1960s Essay

Decent Essays
How Music Reflected Social Upheaval in the 1960s

Cynthia Norris

HIS 1380 – Contemporary America and the World
Professor Davis
August 24, 2015
How Music Reflected Social Upheaval in the 1960s
The 1960s was an era that was shaped by many differing circumstances; each of these dealing with the United States. Events such as the launching of Sputnik I by the Soviet Union, the ongoing Cold War, the invention of the color television, and the unending fight against Communism each impacted the era in unique ways. In many ways, “the Sixties were [to become] the most conflict ridden, turbulent decade in the twentieth century…” This can be seen through the effects that these events had on popular culture in the sixties: especially within the music scene. The Cold War caused a lot of social upheaval in America because of the constant threat and fear or safety among citizens. This obviously and greatly impacted the music of this time. One can see the impact that the Cold War on music
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A publication in The Musical Times and Singing Class Culture spoke in-depth of popular music in the early 1900s. These typically were recitals or chorales. The article also talks about many of the songs that were usually sung at a recital. Most of these were religious songs such as “Elijah” or “The Hallelujah Chorus.”
Standing in stark contrast to those genres of music was the era of Rock’N’Roll, Motown, R&B, and music from a very popular British band known as The Beatles. Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and The Everly Brothers were just some of the very popular music artists in this time. Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” was an enormous hit as was “All You Need is Love by the Beatles.” Even the names of these songs are much different than what one would hear in the early
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