Propaganda in Rock Music

Topics: Rock music, Music, Rock and roll Pages: 6 (2508 words) Published: December 16, 2012

This essay will explore the claim that Rock music has a significant and big role in propaganda. The claim derives its sources from the history and today’s social events. The essay begins by summarizing the social situation of 1950s and how Rock music occured. Then, it continues with the usage of Rock music in forms of propaganda, which are black propaganda and white propaganda. In addition to this, the essay talks about in which fields Rock music is used for propaganda and finishes with summarizing the whole essay in brief. In 1950s, the world was broken to smithereens after the wars, especially WWII. People wanted no war, they wanted to live in peace, they wanted brotherhood and love. However, nations could not reach to kings, queens or masters individually. The demands of society were not important for the masters. Finally, the angry societies started to throw up their angers to the system by picking hard-volumed guitars, brutal vocals and aggresive-toned drums. First, it was an underground music that could not be done everywhere because of its anarchic message. However, governments could not hold on that music underground because all of the world wanted freedom and peace and that music was announcing their demands to all the world. There is a message still alive today is freedom, peace, love and brotherhood. Taking these names under a roof, rock music is used for propaganda, especially for white propaganda. What the white propaganda is according to Jowett and O’Donnell(1999), the correct usage of propaganda like right sources and truthful. Musicians propagate these ideas with lyrics and hard-volumed instruments so, this kind of music is used for people wanting to live in a free and peaceful world as Ellis Amburn (Newsweek reporter) said in 1969 “From Buddy the burgeoning youth culture received rock’s message of freedom, which presaged the dawn of a decade of seismic change and liberation. … Buddy Holly left the United States for the first time in 1958, carrying rock ‘n’ roll--the music as well as its highly subversive message of freedom--to the world at large”. However, this essay will also consider Rock music in black propaganda, as well. The definition of black propaganda according to Jowett and O’Donnell (1999) is the wrong usage of propaganda by false sources and lies. “Most of it [rock music] is used as a vehicle for untruth anti-Christian propaganda” (Graham Cray, 1979). Some Rock music bands not belonging to Christian religion, started to run down Christianity with lyrics and speeches. Although there is not any holy book for anti-christians, some Rock bands created a book and spread lies from the book for Christianity. Thus, the usage of Rock music for black propaganda started. Also, the protests songs of anti-christian propaganda can be found in Music as Propaganda book (Arnold Perris, 1985). Finally, rock music is used for politics and current social events. Rock music has never been silence to political and social events in terms of deaths, poverty, economic crysis and unfairnesses. When there is a critical event in the world, Rock music singers write songs about that event and try to announce their voices and feelings to the world, so rock musicians propagate poors’ ideas. Ellis Amburn, a Newsweek reporter, spoke to Buddy Holly about the propaganda and role of Rock music in politics. Ellis Amburn said that “… laying the groundwork for the social and political upheavals rock ‘n’ roll was instrumental in fomenting in the following decade” (1965).

Propaganda has some special techniques to spread its ideology which is peace and love to society and make society accept the propagandist’s ideas. Some special techniques are used in propaganda of Rock music as it seems in other fields. Rock music and Rock musicians use nearly all these techniques which are glittering generalities, testimonal, plain folks and bandwagon (Maki, 2008) through the concerts, posters and products like...
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