The Music Of The World Music

1634 Words Nov 18th, 2016 7 Pages
Authenticity through Appropriation Ethnicity is deep and innate within stars and society, therefore it cannot be performed. Artists perform their music. While musicians do not perform their race, since it is an inherent quality of all people, it is often, but not always, seen as inauthentic when musicians perform outside of their race, gender, or class. This is especially true when someone from a more privileged class performs the art of the lower class. While completely replicating a certain style of music can often be seen as inauthentic, certain artists can easily perform outside of a genre while taking (or stealing, based on your point of view) elements, sounds, chords, and styles from those genres and remixing them. The artist achieves “expressive authenticity”, where an artist is viewed as “real” and “authentic” without the consideration of ethnicity (Rudinow 129). One artist who successfully does this, but not without controversy, is Paul Simon through his use of “world music”.
Simon was originally a part of a folk-rock duo, Simon and Garfunkel, in the 60s that achieved great success in the United States. The group, which split in 1970, mostly performed music that is generally considered to be mainstream white American pop music. In the early 1980s, more than a decade after his groups split, Paul Simon was in a creative slump with two unsuccessful albums (Greer 1). In order to explore new sounds and genres Simon traveled to apartheid South Africa. There he met…

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