The Message Behind Music

The following is an analisis of the message behind the 10 most relevant music genres of the moment. A dauntless task with enough material to write a book, I will do my best to condense such vast information in the following post. That being said, no music style is superior to another.

Music through history

1. Classical Music: Harmony

Clearly not of actual relevance, this genre makes the list because of its long history: the oldest wind-pipe and string instruments dating back to 7000- 6,600 B.C, China. In his book Fedon, Socrates states that there are only two pure things in the world: the soul and harmony. He then states that classical music is pure harmony. No point in trying to argue agaisn´t such a wise man.

2. Traditional Folk Music: Culture

1800s. Folk, Waltz, Salsa, Merengue, etc. fall under this category. This type of music and dance are reflections of the society´s they sprouted from. They transmit the traditions, values and beat of their creators. In other words, the culture of our ancestors.

3. RnB: Festivity

1940s. RnB is short for Rhythm and Blues. This type of music sprung from the saloons, tabarets and gentlemen clubs of Lousiana (Moulin Rouge, etc.) Its beats, which are derived from African heritage, and are very contagious and danceable. They promote a festive, yet formal enviroment where social and romantic interactions are encouraged.

4. Pop: Popularity

1950s. The word ¨Pop¨ is literally an abbreviation of the word ¨popular¨. It´s the cameleon of music genres, as it tends to adopts the popular sound and music tecniques of the moment. Pop has no caracteristic sounds of its own, and is thus can only be defined by it´s goal: to be ¨popular¨.

5. Rock & Roll: Rebellion

1960s. A rebellion agaisn´t everything that opresses the human spirit: be it loneliness, authority, social conventions… It gains strength in a time where society is going through some remarkable cultural changes (the 60s). It´s a cry of the human soul wanting to be free.

6. Reggae: No Stress

1967. Sprouting from rock, reggae adds the elements of racial equality and poverty to the spirit of rebellion. This rebellion is agaisnt the system of Babylon, which opresses the common man through repetitive work.  Reggae music views ¨stress¨ as negative agent, and thus seeks to promote happy, stress-free moments.

7. Hip-Hop: Protest

1970s. Hip-hop originates in the slums of New York City, where life for the avergare poor African-american was really tough. Thus, originally hip-hop was afro-american´s way of protesting agaisn´t the violence, poverty and social inequality that sorrounded them in the 70s. From there it transformed into a music genre capable of promoting violence and sex. But heck, nobody is perfect and neither is hip-hop.

8. Indie Music: Different

1980s. The word ¨indie¨is short for independent. It originated in the early 80s when artist found the need to break the abusive grip of the big label companies had over the music industry. This group of artists was tired of having to modify their music to their contractors wishes. So they decided to strike out on their own and have provided original, innovative music ever since.

9. Reggaeton: Pleasure

Late 1980s. Reggaeton draws elements from reggae dancehall and hip-hop. While it may contain some violence, modern reggaeton is more about transmiting pleasure through dance. And, what a pleasurable dance it is. While controversial, this dance is also consentual and contrary to what some may believe: brings joy to both parties.

10. Techno: Chaos

1988. House, Trance, Electronic, Acid House… are all derivatives of Techno and thus fall under this category. This music genre is a perfect reflection of the society and lifesytle of the 21st Century. A society dominated by frentic work hours, chaotic cultural developments and lack of tranquility. A stage in human history where chaos seems to triumph over order, where ¨fate¨ is replaced by chance.

Interesting Comparisons

Opposites

Classical Music/Techno: mind over body, or body over mind. Harmony and order vs. Chaos and letting go

Pop/Indie: being popular or being different.

Traditional Folk Music/Hip-Hop: reflect a society or protest agaisn´t it.

Hand in Hand

Rock & Roll/Reggea: they both rebel against opression of the human soul. (some through violence and others through peace)

Rhythm and blues/Reggaeton: they are both pleasurable music. The only difference being in their formal/explicit nature.

Same End, Different Means

Reggae/Techno: they both provide solutions to liberate stress. Reggae´s solution is slowing down our lifesytle and not following society´s speedy footsteps. On the other hand, Techno´s solution to stress is speeding up and embracing modern society´s chaotic lifesytle.

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1 Comment

Filed under Culture

One response to “The Message Behind Music

  1. Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

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