Music has always had the strange yet very evident way of effecting people around the world. The times of The Rolling Stones saw music causing revolutions, change and leading protest against the way society was run. Nowadays music might not have as much of a political effect but the effect it has on individuals is vast. Whether it makes us feel happy, sad, angry or simply uplifted there is no doubt of the ability of the human brain to link every life situation to a song or melody.

 

A well written love song such as Meatloaf’s I would do anything for love, might have you crying your eyes out while staring out your misted up windows, remembering your first love and how you felt like nothing in the world could be worse than loosing that 15 year old boy. Yet, a song like Eye of the Tiger from the famous Rocky movies might be the perfect song to pump you up before a big race like the Cape Argus. Music can uplift you, it can make you cry and it can serve as a kind of photo album of your past adventures. Something only you in your mind can relate to.

Here is the problem, music and its effects thereof should not be kept to oneself. That is possibly why so many mass murders and teenagers making themselves the worlds very own grim reapers blame music for their actions and get let off being sent to a mental asylum. Yes, you listened to some satanistic music, played it backwards, put on black make up and clothes and then the wrong move you made was picking up that gun to kill a few classmates because Marilyn Manson told you to. ‘Pebble Pebble, bitch bitch, rebel rebel, party party, sex sex and don’t forget the violence’ yes, this is provoking to an unstable teenager in the midst of an apathetic mood. But is it really? Do lyrics of songs really have such a hige effect on a person that they forget all they were brought up with and all that they are as a person? One would think not, surely it has more to do with your upbringing and beliefs than the lyric of a song some guy with black hair putting on a show to earn some money for more drugs said to you.

 

The music industry is full of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yes! But is that not what makes it so utterly appealing. Imagine Led Zeppelin writing Whole lotta love sober? Music was born from it. So yes it will have an influence on us. It will have terrible lyrics about sex, violence and drugs. Themes all relating to rock and heavy metal. Rap and Hip hop are blamed for gang violence .People are quick to blame Slipknot for setting of a mass murderer but Lil Wayne speaks of bitches and hoes and guns. All that is different is once again the effects of music on people and how we associate people with certain music themes.  Surely a blond teenager with a name like Candy will not listen to Ramstein; she will listen to the likes of Christina Aguilera and Rihanna. Surely. This just illustrates the stupidity and naivety of human nature. Relate a person to a genre of music and box that person, you classify them and mould them into who they become because they enjoy a little bit of heavy metal .

The problem as to why there is no longer a positive link between music and society is because lyrics no longer mean anything, musicians seem to have moved away from the art of making music and now wil do anything to make a quick buck.

Music does have the ability to make a difference, as a force behind political reform and as a way to bring people of the world together in peace. Just ask the men who made up the Beatles, ask Bob Dylan or Janis Joplin. The common trend is that since the world has become dominated by money, fame and glamour; so has music. There is no longer a need for creating good as that is not generally what sells to an audience interested in popular vote. Music can have the ability to change politics, create uprisings and on an individual level change people. The question is whether we allow it to be positive change or if we continue to let it be negative.

 

You have most definitely found yourself humming a catchy tune in the shower, whistling a melody on a bus or using music to change your mood. We all have this link in our minds to let music rule us and it is without a doubt part of all our lives. We have all imagined a song we would choose for the soundtrack to our lives. What would play while we are walking into a test we are doomed for, perhaps what would play after a boyfriend broke your heart? Maybe a little bit of Eamon could help you out. Whatever it is music has had an influence on you. It had caused you to cry in movies, because quite frankly without that tragic music playing in the background you probably would have burst out laughing. Or that scary movie with the faint piano in the background, it was the music that made you jump was it not?

 

So yes. Music does have the ability to change our moods or change us as a person. We cannot steer away from the fact that some heavy metal bands do encourage phycodellic behavior. We cannot deny that Eminem does speak openly about abuse and drugs. We cannot deny that music is real and speaks about reality. We must however remember that the effect music has on us is up to us alone. We cannot continue to blame the state of the young people in our world on lyrics produced by a musician thousands of kilometers away, one these people have never met. We can blame it on upbringing and people we surround ourselves with. Let music have an effect, let it create change and uplift you. Let your theme song be Thunderstruck by ACDC. Let it be uplifting. Music has the power to change the world, if society will let it.

 

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