Popular Music and History
The definition of music according to dictionary.com states; Music ( n) - an art of sound in
time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm,
melody, harmony, and color. If you look back through history you will see many ways history
has influenced music, and how music has done the same for history. In the beginning music was
used as a tool for communication on the battlefield as well as a recreational pastime. Now we use
music to communicate our emotions or show our patriotism. The greatest example of this would
be the song “Where were you when the world stopped turning” by Alan Jackson. The song gives
perspective on the historical events of September 11th and the emotions we all felt. Through out
history popular music has changed, however popular music has always played a decisive role in
every aspect of society.
For the Greeks and Romans, Music played a very vital role in times of battle. In that time
period it was very difficult to communicate with troops over a long distance. So to help that
problem “Both used brass and percussion instruments to send information on the march, in the
field and in camp” (Trotter, 2005, page 1). Also during this time music played a large part in
society, you can see signs of this because “Musicians were even employed to travel with the
armies to play to remind solders and citizens of the courage of past hero’s” (Trotter, 2005, page 1).
Now as we move forward through time, to the United States. Even during the Civil War we
were still using music to communicate on the battle field. The United States employed the use of
drum and fifes to convey information to troops. As well as give a recreational pastime. However
as time passed the development of communication had replaced the use if sending information.
As times were changing so was the use of music on society.
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