Music as a Social Force

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Kyle McPherson
Journal 4: Music as a social force

Music has proven itself to be the ultimate way to express ones feelings while at the same time allow one a viable escape from reality. In my own experience, I have found that when I am feeling distressed or lonely, music helps stabilize my mood, when I am feeling great, music helps me concentrate on tasks, and allows my mind a break from potentially stressful situations. Historically, music has been used to help support movements for various different organizations or groups. This kind of behavior can be seen today in modern entertainers like Eminem, who for years has not only expressed his own opinion, but spoke out against government actions.

When I was in high school, I found often that I was very unhappy with my current living situation. I felt a lot of the same teenage angst and frustration that many others have felt before me, and like some, I used music as a means to help cope with that stress. I picked up guitar around age 13 and it became my ultimate get away from my unhappiness. As I grew older, I started developing my own musical tastes and listening to different kinds of music. Most of the music I preferred at this time was angst ridden music of the early 90’s by the likes of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, as well as the ever relatable Blink-182. For years I would use this music as my escape whenever I felt angry or depressed, and I found that it was an extremely positive way to cope with stress.

Historically and culturally speaking, music has been used time and time again to help express the many ideas of people. The common connection between people and the music that they listen to is its reliability. The reason why bands like The Who, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, or other artists of the late 60’s were so successful is because they were able to produce music that related to the common feeling amongst the youth of that time frame. The youth of the 60’s were seemingly fed up with the way...
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