a thoughtful discussion about music


"The Political Song"

"Music, I argue, is not simply a distraction or a pastime, but a core element of our identity as a species, an activity that paved the way for more complex behaviors such as language, large- scale cooperative undertakings, and the passing down of important information from one generation to the next." -Daniel J. Levitin

Music serves many purposes in our culture. It connects us together through expressions of emotions, information, and narrative. What a musician is inspired by or compelled to express in regards to can vary from the aesthetic experience of sounds themselves, to relationships and love, to tangible events and experiences. One type of song writing that has always intrigued me is that of a politically charged nature.

Throughout time people have been trying to figure out ways to openly express critical opinions about the world around them. Art often becomes the vehicle for these analytical and critical views to be transmitted on a more digestible level.

Artists such as Bob Dylan, Ani Difranco, Conor Oberst, John Lennon, The Clash, Immortal Technique, and many others are known for the commentary they give on society and politics. But this genre of political expression through song goes back to Beethoven and can be seen throughout many cultures around the globe. Their use of contextualization and stray from ambiguity mixed with clever and poetic lyrics makes for compelling and beautiful interpretations of the often unexplainable things going on around us.

I am going to be doing a series of blog post, investigating further into musicians that go into this political realm and try to see what types of perspectives are expressed through their songs.

We'll look through the words and melodies of artists to get an idea of both the past and the present.

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