Free Essay

Music Identity

In: English and Literature

Submitted By themark311
Words 1624
Pages 7
Mark Izquierdo
Tim Melnarik
English 1A
March 21, 2016
Music Identity Music is a form of art that has been around since the dawn of man. It touches our inner soul without psychically feeling its presence. Without music, the world would be dull and dreary. Music is one of the most expressionistic forms of media known to society. It sometimes gives you the extra push for moments of inspiration and self-confidence. It helps express our feelings, and assist us to get through moments of sorrow. It also unshackles us from reality, and takes us into a euphoric state of mind where our problems become inexistent. Music can quickly change the mood into a romantic setting, or can completely change it into a blissful dance affair. It’s a bridge that connects our inner self with the outside world. Even though music can be portrayed as a form of art and entertainment it can also posses a much greater force that some tend to belittle. Music plays a vital role in pop culture, and has the clout of shaping ones identity. The development of self-identity is a vigorous process in both internal and external interfaces. One’s self-image is something that is crucial growing up, and our choice of musical preference inclines to influence that journey dramatically. To begin with, the personality trait that we all develop is a primary example of an internal type of self-image interface. As we grow older, we tend to be exposed to different types of music that influence our personality, and it tends to alter that internal self-image interface through their lyrics. The lyrics in all music have either negative or positive influences. As a result, they change and alter people’s perspectives with each generation forming a profoundly different opinion in society. It all varies depending on the person’s perception of the artist’s lyrics and the message they’re trying to get across. Musical genres tend to develop different styles and attitudes that are expressed through their lyrics.
Hip Hop and Rap lyrics for instance, express different types of feelings through their music that can alter one’s personality. It can also be portrayed as either a positive or negative influence, depending on the person’s point of view. For example, in the song “Fuck the Police,” by NWA, they express their thoughts in regards to police brutality and racial profiling in Los Angeles. Many people have different views towards that song, and tend to change their perception towards authority. Some people state that the song provokes and encourages rebellion violence against law enforcement. Others just relate to NWA’s displeasure with the law, and have the same opinion to create awareness. This song is an example of how the lyrics in music can change a person’s personality depending on how they interpret the meaning of the song. Another Rap song that’s known to have powerful lyrics in which shapes people’s personality would be “Keep Ya Head Up,” by Tupac. In this song, Tupac delivers a positive message to everyone about having respect for women and children. He addresses the contradictory perceptions of women in culture, and compels his view towards oppression with the social groups in poverty. This song opens your eyes with problems that still exist today. I definitely developed more appreciation towards the women that are in my life, and the song also helped me develop greater respect towards women in general.
Another powerful musical genre that shapes people’s perspective with lyrics would be Rock music. For example, John Lennon’s famed song “Imagine,” asks the listener to imagine a world with nothing but peaceful living, a world with no politics, religion, greed, or materialistic possessions. The song’s lyrics depict awareness and encourage tolerance as well as equality in society. It certainly shapes personalities to have a more humble like mindset, and it brings awareness that there is more to life than materialistic possessions. Another rock song that revolutionizes self-image through powerful lyrics would be Blink 182’s song “What’s My Age Again.” In this song, the artist’s lyrics tell stories of a 23-year-old performing pranks and how his friends keep telling him to act his own age. The artist justifies that by saying that no one likes you when you’re 23, and he continues with the disruptive behavior. The lyrics in the song can be interpreted in different ways, either negative or positive. Some people may interpret those immature pranks as something cool and acceptable to do and may attempt to perform those acts. On the other hand, there is people that may interpret the stories as lessons to be learned in order to be an adequate adult. Everyone makes mistakes growing up, so those people may see it as a mere joke of typical stories as a young adult. These are perfect examples on how lyrics mold our thinking or our behavior.
There have also been studies, and accusations with music contributing subliminal messages to the public; specifically aiming towards Rock music. Subliminal messages influence people’s perspective subconsciously unnoticed. It alters their way of thinking and may attribute to destructive behavior. Subliminal stimuli effect ones perception just below the threshold of consciousness. Subliminal stimuli may influence ones behavior by sending controlled messages that bypass conscious perception. Famous bands since the 1960’s like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest have been accused of having subliminal messages in their tracks by playing them backwards. Most are claimed to send satanic messages, and influence their listeners to worship Satan. This gave Rock music a reputation of people referring to it as the devil’s music. This displays a perfect example on how music has the power of formulating our identity. Music with subliminal messages can change your perspective and advocate destructive behavior unnoticed to the audience. For example, in the song “Stairway To Heaven,” has been accused of having hidden messages that are delivered to the audience without notice. Some people claim that when the song is played backwards, lyrics to admire Satan become apparent. On the other hand, there are people that state that it’s just a mere coincidence. In either case, the fact that people accuse of songs to satanic verses opens the fans minds to those possible ideas. That can influence fans to consider those messages as being real, and may alter their perception to pursue their idols alleged vision through those messages.
In addition, music also formulates people’s wardrobe and fashion selections that alter their external type of self-identity interface. Choosing ones wardrobe is picking out your public self-image. In other words, it’s what you display to the public, and assists them to portray the type of person you could be. It has been observed that there’s a big correlation between fashion and music. For example, people who generally listen to Hip Hop and or Rap music tend to follow their artist’s style by wearing baggy clothing on males, while for females tend to wear clothes that are more revealing. An example of this occurring is when Jessica Simpson wore UGG boots in one of her music videos. The next following weeks, a lot of females started to wear them and quickly revealed their trend following abilities. Another paradigm is people who generally listen to Rock music tend to follow their favorite artist’s style of clothing by wearing dark colored, and more fitted clothing. Sometimes even males wearing make up to follow their favorite bands become possible. For example, the band Green Day use stage makeup eye shadow when they perform, which includes dark colored fitted clothing artifacts. This fashion trend creates stereotypes throughout generations. In which it’s easy to predict what kind of music or personality other people have highly depended on the type of clothes they prefer.
Furthermore, famous musical artists also portray an image to their biggest fans and consequently an influence emerges that alters self-identity. Fans idolize their favorite stars and tend to routinely copy their lifestyle as much as possible. For example, TV shows on big networks like MTV, display artists’ lifestyle and personality behind the music. Their personalities surface and subsequently create an impact to their audience. Therefore, fans attempt to be more like their idols, by keeping up to date with their favorite artist’s lifestyle through TV networks. For example, there is a TV show called “Cribs” in the MTV network channel, where famous artists display their homes to the public. While they display their home, their personalities and way of thinking become apparent as well. They display all their possessions and their lifestyle via television. These network episodes become imbedded to the audience’s mind as a sample of a lifestyle that is luxurious and do-able. Consequently, fans would try to copy their lifestyle, or attempt to pursue that route through materialistic possessions. This type of influence to self-identity can be categorized as an external interface. Famous musical artists displaying their possessions influence their fans with a possible new trend, and alter their external image. In conclusion, self-identity is a huge step when it comes to determining who you are as a person, and music plays a substantial role on formulating your own distinctive character. Throughout human existence, music has always been an impactful artifact in pop culture. It may play a positive or negative influence depending on the interpretation the audience may observe. Whether it’s through the music’s lyrics, to the artist’s lifestyle, people are always going to have different interpretation of that pop cultural artifact. At the end of the day, people have the choice to make changes in their life to accustom their desired identity. You only have one life, so why not make it the best life possible by being the person you wish to be.

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