Sadness and Silence: Censoring Music, Censoring Our Imaginations

Topics: Parents Music Resource Center, MTV, Rock music Pages: 4 (1214 words) Published: April 19, 2013
Sadness & Silence:
Censoring Music, Censoring Our Imaginations

Music provides a powerful form of expression that at its most basic level helps to entertain while containing the power to cause revolutions -- both cultural and political. (Hall) Whether you are a fan of heavy metal music or classical music, there is no denying that a life without music would be a very boring world indeed. Yet there are people out there that want to destroy this long-revered art form. People who call music a bad influence and want to see it censored and controlled. Why do they want to do this? Well, there are many reasons.

Many people want to censor music as a means of enforcing morality. Since the 1950’s many religious conservatives have made it their personal duty to “clean” up the lyrics in the music of the past 20 years. Among these is former Second Lady Tipper Gore, who put the entire music industry on trial in 1992 (Gore, 1987). Musical acts, from rockers such as Frank Zappa and Twisted Sister to country music legend John Denver, took the stand to protest Mrs. Gore and her organization; the Parents Music Resource Center ( There was even a 2002 television movie, Warning: Parental Advisory, about these Senate trials. (

Though many would deny it, racial issues fuel a lot of the problems with musical content. It started in the 1955, when a Chicago radio station promised to censor “any controversial music, especially R&B,” after receiving letters from angry listeners. [ (Sparrow, 2009) ] In the 50’s, with R&B music on the rise, many adults were worried that their children would be exposed to immoral concepts while listening. Given the fact that R&B was performed, and listened to, by primarily African-Americans many racial tensions were brought to bear. These tensions continued into the 80’s. In 1983, during a live interview, David Bowie suddenly asked, “Why are there practically no black artists on the...
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