Twentieth Century Music and It's Reflection of History

1894 Words Apr 18th, 1996 8 Pages
For many hundreds of years, man has enjoyed and played music for various reasons: meditation, dancing, rituals, entertainment, to express feelings, to reflect on past events and to show what is happening in his world. In the Twentieth Century, music has been used for all of these, but none have been so important to making this country what it its today as the music that has reflected on past events and that shows what is happening in the country at the time that it was written.

The 1930s was the first decade of the Twentieth Century in which the music of the time reflected what was happening in the world around it. The Great Depression left its imprint on the music more than any other event of that time. Most of the music of the 1930s
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Rock music reflected attitudes of the youth of that time, the Baby Boomers. In the early '60s the youth looked up to President John F. Kennedy. His assassination on November twenty-second of 1963 sent shock waves throughout the country. The youth were disillusioned at this fact and had nobody to turn to. Quickly after, a new group came into the music scene from Europe. The Beatles offered American youth a new identity at the time when they needed it most. Songs of The Beatles such as 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' projected optimism, enthusiasm, and fun. The four members refused to take themselves seriously and offered American youth a new way to see their world. The Beatles' new music was anything but new, in fact, it sounded more like the R&B of the fifties.

Rock music was the biggest promoter of the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Bob Dylan put it best in his 1964 song 'The Times They are a 'changin'. Many songs of that time period addressed social and cultural issues of the time in which they were written, in fact, many singer/songwriters of that time period such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan were active participants and sometimes the main speaker in various political rallies. Bob Dylan, however, was probably one of the most important political voices in America from 1963 to 1969. Songs Dylan wrote such as 'Blowin' in the Wind', later recorded by Peter, Paul, and Mary; became the unofficial anthem of the Civil Rights
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