The Influence of Protest Music during the 1960’s And Beyond Essay examples

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The 1960’s was one of the most controversial decades in American history because of not only the Vietnam War, but there was an outbreak of protests involving civil and social conditions all across college campuses. These protests have been taken to the extent where people either have died or have been seriously injured. However, during the 1960’s, America saw a popular form of art known as protest music, which responded to the social turmoil of that era, from the civil rights movement to the war in Vietnam. A veritable pantheon of musicians, such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan sang their songs to encourage union organizers to protest the inequities of their time, creating a diverse variety of popular …show more content…
The 1960’s in America was often referred to as an age of protest because of not only the social protests that have taken place, but also for the upbringing of protest music, which became very popular during that era. The roots of protest music were largely from folk music of American musicians during 1950’. Folk musicians, such as Joe Hill, composed labor union protest songs and distributed song booklets, hoping to “fan the flames of discontent.” (Rodnitzky pg. 6) Symbolically, this meant that the songs, the fan, would reduce the uncontrollable social protests that the United States government caused with the misleading information that they did not keep their word on, or the flames of discontent. Other folk musicians, such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, traveled around the United States spreading their “message music” and becoming involved in political movements. Guthrie and Seeger were the pioneers of protest music, bringing their folk music to New York City and merging it with urban music. Woody’s songs were about the masses, often identifying problems and offering solutions. While Seeger was cautious about referring to his music as folk music, preferring the term “people’s music,” meaning that not everyone may had the same thoughts, but they all expressed it in their own unique musical sense. For both Woody and Seeger, folk music was a necessity in these protests, when the needs

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