Free Essay

Music Censorship

In: English and Literature

Submitted By balrr4life
Words 720
Pages 3
Music censorship began its journey in the early 1950’s with the “controversial” music of Blacks during the time period. It has then evolved from a form of racism to a method of suppression. It touches all major genres, but is most commonly issues with both rap and rock music. Major groups such as the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) have been formed to try and monitor the lyrical messages that are expressed in songs. The RIAA is not out to completely censor music, but to advise buyers of the messages they may be listening to on a certain album. Then there is the party that feels censorship at any level shall not be present. It is suppressing one’s First Amendment rights in freedom of expression and also suppresses an artist abilities to fully paint a vivid picture with their lyrics to the audience. The last group believes that censorship is a must, and that any songs that carry the censored material shall be taken off of the shelves. That specific group believes that contaminating society with explicit lyrics should not reward artists. The side that believes censorship of music should not exist at all states that music is a form of art. Many tend to separate music from forms of art, such as paintings and poetry. However, the lyrics in the music are an art form as well, and they cannot restrict that due in part to the First Amendment. It is part of our Bill of Rights as American citizens, and no governing powers can take that away from us. Also, society favors contemporary words; for it is contemporary words that challenge radical ideas and impressions. It was through expression and challenging words on paper that sparked messages through many individuals(i.e. the American Revolution). The negative side believes that censorship in music should be present and take a strong hold over justifying what should and should not be played for the audience’s ears. People that are for the issue are usually from the older generation. These people consist of government officials that have children of their own. They believe that music pertaining profanity is one of the main factors for the problems that occur in our society. Such problems consist of an increase in violence and drug use amongst adolescents. An example was the incident that occurred at Columbine High School, where the media looked towards music as one of the causes for the incident. They feel that the music promotes sex, drugs, and violence. Critics believe that the children are not quite mature to listen to music with profanity in it. There is also the neutral side, in which they believe music censorship is not the answer. However, their exceptions include placing advisory labels on albums so that the buyer understands what type of music can be found within the playlist. This group consist of the RIAA, which started the entire “parental advisory” labeling. A statement from their website reads as follows: “"All music is not always appropriate for all ages. The music industry takes seriously its responsibility to help parents determine what is and is not appropriate for their children. That's why the record companies created the Parental Advisory Label Program.” They have no problem with artists being themselves and doing so creatively, but with advisory notices to the rest of the listeners. I personally came from a background where the advisory labels played a big role in what music my parents would buy for me. As I got older, my perspective began to change when my parents would give me permission to purchase my own music. I soon realized the difference of the music between the clean and the raw versions, and my interpretations of the artist’s lyrics. Censorship should not be a option for music today, but I do agree with the advisory labels. To a certain extent, there must be an age-appropriate audience to listen to certain lyrics in a song.

Works Cited
Deflem, Mathieu. "Rap, Rock, and Censorship (by Mathieu Deflem)." College of Arts and Sciences. Mar. 2001. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. .

"Parental Advisory." Recording Industry Association of America. RIAA, 2011. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. .

Schneider, Christopher J. "Culture, Rap Music, “Bitch,” and the Development of the Censorship Frame." American Behavioral Scientist 36-56 55.1 (2011). Print.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Music Censorship

...Music Censorship Linnette Carson “Censorship is saying: “I’m the one who says the last sentence. Whatever you say, the conclusion is mine.” But the internet is like a tree that is growing. The people will always have the last word- even if someone has a very weak quiet voice. Such power will collapse because of a whisper.” said Ai Weiwei. There are different genres, or types of music one might listen to. Censorship is the suppression or alteration of ideas, words, images or other forms of communication that are deemed objectionable to a society’s core values or beliefs by governmental bodies, politicians, public interest organizations and corporations. Evidence of censorship dates back to many of the earliest forms of human communication. For instance, pharaohs regulated Egyptian art as early as 3400 BCE, and the Greek city-state of Sparta banned poetry and other literature that did not cover "useful" topics, such agriculture and trade. In England, Parliament passed the Licensing Order of 1643, which required that an official censor examine books for offensive content prior to publication. Music censorship is the attempt or action taken by any agency to limit or hold back anything in music that a community may find offensive to its belief or values. Within the First Amendment the phase “freedom of speech” goes in hand with music. The term used to describe the act of editing, altering, or preventing the listener from hearing the music as the artist created it in order to......

Words: 815 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Music Censorship

...|Music Censorship | |Final Draft | | | | | | | |Emilee Westerfield | | | |University Composition and Communication II/COM156 | | | |11.18.2012 | | ...

Words: 2028 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Censorship in Music

...Essays Essays on Computers Economics Essays Education Essays English Essays Georgaphy Essays Marketing Essays Mythology Essays Philosophy Essays Psychology Essays Shakespeare Essays Essays on Social Issues Sociology Essays Essays on Theater Best free essay resources. Daniel Bagwell Ms. Waggoner English 111 15 November 2000 A View on Music and the Government The censorship of music and other forms of entertainment by the government have long been the topic of discussion among social and political circles. Some forms of censorship such as warning labels for parents can be helpful. However the censorship of music is just not right, and the government has no right to do so. All too often the government gets on a self righteous feeling and thinks that it is it’s right to control what goes in or out of this so called “free nation’s” minds. Censorship in music falls into one of those categories in which the American people and the American government, which is supposed to be a representation of the people, have extremely conflicting ideas on the subject. Some say that the government should regulate the music industry. They say that the American people don’t know what is best for them as a whole. Their proof is in the increase in violence, crime, Unadulterated sex and other “taboos” that have been on the rise in recent years. There are those that say that the government should only slightly be involved. These are the proponents of warning labels and the......

Words: 1429 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Music Censorship: a Violation of Artistic Expression

...Music Censorship: A Violation of Artistic Expression Brandi Yaeger University of Phoenix What if you were told that you could no longer listen to your favorite song anymore because the message that it sends does not conform to someone else’s way of thinking? What reasons are given for the censoring of music, or why have musicians been tortured, jailed, exiled or even killed? Why have certain forms of music been silenced? Music is an expression of ideas and emotions that reflect hopes, dreams and aspirations not only for the artist creating the music but in the listener as well. Music has been used as a form of expression of thoughts and emotions for centuries. People in power sometimes view these expressions conflicting to their current way of thinking what is proper lyrical content or negating to current governing practices. The implementation of music censorship has been done by governments, religions, educational systems and even families. In most cases this censorship is a violation of international conventions of human rights, (Freemuse.org). George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), said “All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All Progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.” (Freemuse.org). Although music censorship is imposed for various reasons, music is a form...

Words: 1485 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Speechless Freedom

...Introduction Music has been a part of American culture since the early sixteenth century and during that time period musicians had the freedom to use their music as a medium to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas without the threat of restraints or punishment. In this day and time, musicians are held to a totally different standard because some people perceive music as being a form of art and literature while others view music as being immoral and detrimental to the Christian principles that are so prevalent in our society. Music censorship was introduced in 1927, by way of the Radio Act, which prohibited the use of obscene, indecent or profane language on radio airways. In 1934 the Federal Communications Commission was created by Congress and at this point, censorship encompassed not only music but all public mediums for artistic expressions. Censorship has been used as a tool to suppress artistic expressions from entertainment to literature and even though the First Amendment affords us the right to freedom of expression, censorship still has the power to dictate how we express our thoughts, feelings and ideas. The debate over censorship deals mainly with the First Amendment and whether or not it is constitutional for opposing groups or individuals to impose their beliefs upon our fundamental right to exercise freedom of speech. Music censorship has become a mainstream social issue because our right to freedom of expression is infringed upon and rap music has been......

Words: 1501 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Lyric Censorship: Language Is Power

...Lyric Censorship: Language is Power Words create powerful emotions in all of us. They are used to express our feelings, thoughts and ideas, as well as communicate with one another. There are countless examples in history where we see language equating power. Within those examples we see people in the position of power, using this power of language to degrade their enemies and those they consider beneath them, and shape language in their favor. Music ties into language completely. The words of song lyrics convey powerful messages. As language is power, those in control seek to repress the power of this language in music, attempting to keep the power in their favor. But this attempt at censorship only gives those words even more influence and any attempt to infringe our right to free speech should be fought for to prevent its loss. The censorship of lyrics has occurred globally and can be dated back as far as music and poetry can be traced. Let’s take Asia as an example. Under the ruling of the Taliban in Afghanistan, music became a crime (Korpe, 2004). Instruments were burned, and people were severely punished for singing or creating any kind of music that was not deemed acceptable by the government. In Kabal, President Rabbani went as far as to create an Office for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which was used to regulate the lyric of song in the favor of the government, and punish those who spoke ill towards those in power. In......

Words: 1913 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Censorship

...Censorship is a practice that restricts and music censorship is a very delicate matter. Music censorship is no new thing, it’s been going on regularly at least since the 1850s (Volz, 1991). Since music began, there is always someone trying to silence or censor something! Plato said “rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul”. Music is art and art in all its forms has always been prone to censorship, usually because of the desire of artists to extend the boundaries of taste and challenge authority (2005) crystal ref encyclopedia Even though music censorship is no new thing and it has been around since the beginning of music, it is not right. I totally reject music censorship! The problem is always with the words. Words are lyrics and with those words artists creatively express their emotions, experiences, thoughts and feelings .Consequently creating an aesthetic quality, transforming words into lyrics. There is nothing more powerful than the written word. Talk is cheap but “words”- words are magic , words are deep. Words are the foundation of history, of feelings, of intrigue. Words teach, words punish. Words give you a release. Words are wonder. Words are weapons. Words can soothe and words can kill ! Words are the symbols that represent truth. Words bring accomplishment. Words bring things into being. Words are the written of what a person is seeing. Words create, they sedate, they equate, they elaborate and they dictate. Words instigate.......

Words: 856 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Drill or Not

...1 Music Censorship Kenyetta Daniel Sunday May 6, 2012 Kris Shaw 2 Would it be hard trying to picture the world without music, or thinking about someone telling you what you can listen to or sing in the privacy of your home? That is what it seems to have come down to. Censorship is what the government and others seems to think is hurtful and vulgar to society many have wonder if this is true or not. Many people have found themselves protesting censorship in music, is censorship in music too harsh for kids today. Censorship has been around since the time of Plato and has gone on through the centuries. In this country it was with the beginnings of rock and roll and has continued on today. Rock music is huge when it comes to censorship because of the allusion to sex, drugs, alcohol, and violence. The Government believes that profanity is what they need to censor people from, though the freedom of speech is a First Amendment right to all people. The Government sees it as what the average person would find offensive and lacks any serious value in literature, artistic, political, or scientific. It is the sexually explicit and violent material in the songs that makes it so a person has to be a certain age before they can buy a CD with this type of music. This is why......

Words: 1430 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Censorship on the Hunger Games

...Censorship There’s a great controversy as to whether or not censorship is a necessity in order to maintain a particular moral standard. To understand why censorship has been acquired in music, we must first know what it exactly means. Censorship is counterintelligence achieved by banning or deleting any information of value to the enemy. For the dabblers, this is the act of censoring; examining books, film, music, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts. An example of censoring would be “clean” or “non-explicit” versions of the original product. These versions have a reputation to provide 0-prfantity or sexual inappropriate actions. (Lombardi, 2009.) The “Parental Advisory” label is used wherever needed to warn listeners what they’re about to hear contains indecent content not suitable for younger listeners, or those who don’t approve of it. There’s a reason for everything, so why did censorship start? In 1927, The United States Congress enacted The Radio Act, to bring order to the chaos of radio broadcasting and basically a route for the government to control the content being broadcasted. Rules and regulations have changed, but the basis still remains; whatever is offensive will be blocked. (Censorship of Music, 2014.) My chosen book for the history of Censorship is The Hunger Games; a science fictional novel which introduces sixteen-year old Katniss Everdeen who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where North America once stood, and now split......

Words: 640 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Fahrenheit 451

...since of censorship. Bradbury has shown his viewpoint of society through this novel. Through this attempt, Bradbury got Readers views for Fahrenheit 451 qnd the meaning that goes with it. Reader-response critcism can be an opinion or thought of what the reader thinks or feels about a text or book. According to Owl Perdue it states ” Reader-response criticism considers readers reactions to literature…interpretating the meaning of the text”. From reading the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury uses symbolism to get his point to across to readers about our society’s future. He uses symbolism from the burning of the books, the high use of technology, and the ban of reading books. Bradbury symbolism lead for readers to get a thought censorship used in the novel. In Bradbury Fahrenheit 451, the censorship was the use of technology. The town only watched televsion and lisened to the radio. “Without turning on the light he could imagine how his room would look, his wife streched on the bed…in her ears the little seashells, the thimble radios … electronic ocean sound of music and talk of music”(Bradbury12). This censorship in the novel got the reader’s to believe that Bradbury was showing how adavanced and powerful technology has become that peolpe has become lazy. “They live in a futuristic community that uses technology to contol what they think and feel by controlling what they see and hear”(Eller 2). The burning of the books is also censorship in......

Words: 654 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Government Censorship Justifiable?

...media censorship by the government justifiable? BY: RAUL FRANCISCO BAUTISTA DATE: JUNE 1ST 2013 TUTOR: KEVIN CHIAT UNIT: COMM1001 WORD COUNT: 1537 Media censorship by a government is justifiable to a certain extent. To understand the extent to which censorship is justifiable one must understand that media censorship refers to the supervision of knowledge and information examined and controlled by an entity, particularly a government. Furthermore, media refers to a “public broadcasting service, free of both commercialism and politics” (Jacka, 2006 p. 345) in the form of present communication technologies. One must also define justifiable as the ability to show or prove right. The purpose of government censorship within the media is based on the protection against influential violence, the protection of youth, and to maintain the status quo within society. However government censorship in the media is also seen as manipulative, deceptive and misleading in presenting certain information that would degrade the governmental body and other supporting parties. To investigate thoroughly, we will be looking different forms of government, democratic, an apartheid system and communist. History recalls several accounts to demonstrate both the justified and unjustified governmental censorship in the media that ultimately supports that governmental censorship is justifiable to a certain extent. The arguments to be made are the claim that supports that governmental censorship in......

Words: 2041 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Censorship Online

...regarding Censorship of the Internet. According to the textbook, censorship is a way used by governments or religious institutions to supervise or regulate the public access to offensive or harmful materials (Quinn 2012, p.496). Internet censorship applies the same discipline which regulates the public access to harmful content on internet. Nowadays, internet is a place with huge potential for growth. Statistics suggest that the total growth of new internet users is 566.4% from December 31, 2000 to 2012 (Internet World Stats 2012) (Refer to Appendix one). In the mean time, the resources and contents on the internet are growing rapidly at an uncontrollable rate. To some extent, there are almost no restrictions of these materials on the internet. Basically people can almost find everything they want on internet no matter the information they found is right or wrong. Is it necessary to censor the internet and restrict the access to harmful contents? This is a controversial topic that leads to a hot debate these years. Some people think censorship can work effectively and is necessary on internet, while others think not. In the main part, the essay will explain and give evidence about how censorship can work in some cases but may become negatives in others. There is no doubt that internet censorship can work in some cases, especially when it comes to some vulnerable groups on internet such as children, youth and the old. One of the obvious instances for internet censorship......

Words: 1050 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

How American Music Has Shaped America

...How American Music has shaped America Every culture uses music to express their beliefs or feelings. From the early days of slavery, to recent pop culture, hip hop, rock, jazz or techno, music has shaped Americans into what we are today. Music not only gives artists an avenue to express their beliefs, it also gives the listener the feeling that there are people in the world that has the same feelings that they have. Not all music has a meaning or a message. Some music is just that, music; beats of a drum, strums of a guitar, electronic collaborations to make a melody, with no real message. Whether it is political, cultural, social, or just for the sake of music, artists have the means to express what they feel, and the popular ones have an audience. The first chapter of William Roy’s book, Reds, Whites, and Blues, focuses on folk music and social movements from the 1930s-1960s. He states that the importants of music was that, “…freedom songs was less important for their mass appeal than in the activity of blacks and whites joining arms and singing together (Roy 2010). Roy goes on and explains that social movements mobilize around culture, and music is culture. Ron Eyerman and Andrew Jamison explore social movements as it relates to music and how it transforms cultures. In the beginning of the book, they state that, “…nowhere has the “role” of music been more important than in the United States, where social movements have been less ideological and more emotive......

Words: 643 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Throughout the World There Has Been an Increase in Discussions Regarding “Censorship of the Internet, Explain How Censorship Can Work in Some Instances but in Others It Can Be a Detriment to Society.

...Censorship of the Internet – a detriment or a necessity? Kelly Chan A research paper for Matthew Mansour in response to: Throughout the world there has been an increase in discussions regarding “Censorship of the Internet, explain how Censorship can work in some instances but in others it can be a detriment to society. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 INTRODUCTION 2.0 What is Censorship? 3.1 Self Censorship 3.2 Censorship as Protection 1.0 Introduction The Internet has undoubtedly developed into the biggest source of global information and media since its modest inception in the late 1960’s. With the increasing ease of worldwide access due to cheaper methods of producing technology and education, bridging the digital divide. However, Government censorship and regulation of access to certain content available on the internet in various countries has raised issues about whether it is effective, regarding each country’s purpose in imposing censorship and whether it is detrimental to the growth in knowledge and progress of society. In this research paper, the role of Censorship in society and the inherent need for appropriate regulation of different levels of access to available information, based on morals and the responsibility we have to the younger generation to protect them from unsuitable content is discussed along with the technology we have to ensure this. The varying degrees of censorship between China and Australia will also...

Words: 2583 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Cencor

...Hi my name is Kevin Rios and I am going to talk about internet censorship. Anyone what is your favorite song of this year?. Its okay raise your hands! This massage means that you are not allowed to view all the results you wsih to see because. What was once known as a the free domain is now filtered for our protection. If you believe this issue doesnt affect you think again. According to the 2010 US consensus, there are 274.5 million americans us the internet. That means 87% of the nation uses the it daily. Now that we are all on the same page together we will look at the fact that freedom of speech would restriced by cencorship, parents responisibilty over thier childern, and previous laws have failed. The internet alows us to inform others According to google, censorship is defined as the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government. The first words of this definaition alone go against the words of out founding fathers. ACLU professor David Goldberger states that, “Free speech, is communication that flows into the marketplace of ideas that allows us to decide what we think is right and wrong, and truth is and how to best govern the country” So why would we let the governement decide what we can and cant see? It should anger every American that our government would so publicly try to abridge our freedom. The freedom of speech has been a symbol of American......

Words: 894 - Pages: 4