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Sociological Music Analysis

Essay by   •  April 24, 2012  •  Case Study  •  2,219 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,924 Views

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What if there was only one type of music in the world, or everyone was one single culture and everyone was exactly the same? Experiences are what shape life, they teach you the things you have done right and the things you have done wrong, they are life lessons. But not everyone experiences the same things, music is a way to share it and they are stories told from one generation to another.

Max Weber analyzed a model of "society influencing music and music influencing society"(Turley 636), Weber spent a great deal of time on researching historical structures. Like Weber, Pontell spent a lot of time figuring out the reasons for generations and how they were assemble the way they were. In the beginning generations were put together by ages/birthrate, and when his teacher told him she was from the same generation as he, she being 15 years older than he, Pontell didn't understand so he researched. Pontell believes, "It's just a blatantly inaccurate way to determine who a generation is, to base it on something as random as birthrate" (n.pag.). So he came up this his own arrangement of generations, not based on birthrate but based on "cultural mood and shared experiences, what impacted you, and your feelings of trust" (Pontell n.pag.). Birthdates don't change anything; they just make it simpler to track a group of people. That is where Pontell and Weber agree, Weber also believed it was the cultural things that effect a generation, Music has a big part with both. In today's society music is one of the main things that impact the population; based on the genre of the music it can make a sense of calm, anger, fear, happiness, anything. "Weber believed there were four different ideal types of rationality" (Kotarba 85); Some are ethical and religious to need, drives and wishes then there is customs and lastly there is pursuit. They all are parts of music and they all impact moods and experiences.

The songs I analyzed are rock songs, kind of easy listening rock music. All the songs are about love in one way or another. These particular songs because they all truly have some sort of meaning and they aren't the type of songs that are written for ratings they are from true life experiences. My environment for choosing my songs was a quiet place in KSU Hall, where I could relax, put in some headphones and just listen to the music and really listen to the words. I discussed my analysis with my mother, because she someone that will be completely honest with me and will let me know when something isn't right. Her contribution was pretty helpful, she helped with artist and different song choices and she over all helped me develop my conclusion. I have been conducting my analysis since the beginning of the semester, when the paper was assigned. Over all it took me about two to three weeks to listen and analyze my song choices. I focused mostly on the rock songs of love, it seemed to me that any other genre I listened to it didn't really speak to me, they didn't tell me stories I could affiliate with. This music is what I grew up listening to and not because I wanted to but because it is what was played in the car and around the house it was what my parents listened to when they were growing up. We would listen to all types of rock music from Queen and Poison to The Steve Miller Band and Harry Chapin. So for this analysis, I tried listening to the country music and I mostly heard music of people going mudding and people falling in love by railroad track with barbeque stains on their t-shirts. So then I tried to go the completely opposite direction and try rap / hip-hop music and in the earlier years (Generation X&Y) of rap / hip-hop they were understandable and you could relate to some things they would say but you had to try - I'm not the kind of person to make an effort to relate to something, I like to be able to indulge in what the artist is saying without having to make much of an effort - and then as you get to our day in age (Generation Z), the rap / hip-hop are mostly about "getting it in", drugs and just other things no one can really relate to unless you are someone that smokes a lot or is very promiscuous. Although rap / hip-hop music is very entertaining to listen to it's not my type of music. The other genres of music - i.e. popular, blues, country, folk, heavy metal, hip hop, jazz or reggae - didn't affect me as much as rock music.

I didn't expect sociologist to have any impact on music, and the same with generation. In my view each music was a type of genre and they didn't really have to do with the events that go on in society, as I was going through songs trying to find some I wanted to write around, I heard songs of people waiting for family to comeback from where ever they went and you look at the date it was released and it was around the same time our soldiers went to Iraq. I learned that your elders really do know more than the youth, Max Weber was brilliant when he talked about culture and personal experiences effecting generation and effecting music, because it really had me take in to consideration why I listen to certain songs; I would listen to them because of things I was just experiencing.

"To Love Somebody" by Janis Joplin(Generation x) is about this girl who is completely in love with this guy and everyone around her is saying that she can do anything, everything but she doesn't see what's good about that if she doesn't have anyone to share everything with. It's a hopeless battle for a love that will never be because she is blinded by love, she doesn't see that the one she loves doesn't love her back, an example of the conflict perspective, the man she is in love with is standing in the way of the things she could accomplish and the fact that she isn't doing the things she could in a way she is being deviant. "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benetar (Generation y) tells a story about people disapproving of young couples in romantic relationships, just because they are younger. They are treated with social inequality because some say that you have to be a certain age to love. Some believe everyone should just conform; it's all about not conforming, and maybe a little disobedient. "Someone Like You" by Adele (Generation Z) this song describes the feeling that you get when you see someone you loved moving on and happy when you feel like you've ended up worse off and even though you know you can have them, you tell yourself that it's not impossible, but you'll find someone like them. Not specifically like them but someone to share memories and moments with and to give you that remarkable sensation of love. This song represents the functionalist perspective it emphasizes



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