Music has talked about politics for a copious amount of time.
Musicians have been expressing their concerns about the cruelties of society and the government that enables it for centuries. Some of the best songs of all time represented some type of political issue of great importance -a few artists include Bob Marley, Rage against the Machine, and Kendrick Lamar. In a conference from a famous French pianist in 1983 states that Art and politics are not the same thing. There are points where they converge, and points where they diverge.
One cannot easily be put into the service of the other without weakening it, depriving it of some of its force as a vehicle of communication. The politics of the art world is fairly just compared to the arts of political world. Art that satisfies the political world is a small percentage in that realm. An effective combination of the two is nonetheless theoretically possible, but sometimes unnecessarily conflicted. There are many few times in history where politics and art go hand in hand. ” (Little, 2011) So that brings me to my biggest inquiry-music censorship, is it necessary? Censoring music is no different than censoring any other art form. Not only is censorship unethical, but also in directly disobeying the First Amendment, it is unconstitutional.
The logical next step in our examination of music and its possible conflict would be to look the reason behind the censorship of music. It is something that is considered the ultimate act of institutional paranoia of the effects of music on society-something out of conformity. , As Martin Cloonan states in one of the referenced articles, , “censorship is generally driven by the desire to control mass behavior” 1 – though often justified, and perhaps rightly so in some cases, as a mechanism of ‘protection’ for society – it would be logical to conclude that these institutions believe that some organised sounds (music) should be treated with suspicion thus implying that music is capable of influencing (or perhaps corrupting) the ‘masses’ in some way or another.(Gall, 2013)But the idea that citizens should be “protected” from certain sounds is certainly not new. The first recorded references to musical censorship come from Plato in 400 BC.
Plato wrote that:”The overseers must throughout be watchful against innovations in music and gymnastics counter to the established order, and to the best of their power guard against them.” 2He also equated certain musical modes with certain types of, as he saw it, immoral behavior and sought to ban their general use. John Street confirms the historical ubiquity of censorship when he writes:”Throughout human history, music has been the source of fear and the object of repression. Every century on every continent has seen those in authority – whether as church or as state – use their powers to silence certain sounds or performers.
” to enforce these government actions is to try to control ideological unification and criticizing critical, complex opinions and deductions which, ultimately, is what the government desires. (Gall,2013) Everyone has a voice and an opinion. Some people, unfortunately, are censored and denied the right to express their opinion because it is different. Because everyone thinks they are right, if something is new or different, it will, more often than not, be disliked because people do not like to hear new and different ideas. The fact that some people cannot express their opinion and some are censored because their opinion is different from the norm, is simply inequitable.
Censorship is wrong because it basically tells the artist that they are wrong for expressing their ideas. It also restricts freedom of information, which is vital to the survival of Democracy.”If he’s to be taken literally, then so is Britney Spear’s invitation to ‘hit me baby one more time'” as state in an article in Advocate Magazine(Gall,2013). Music and its lyrics is liberty of expression and the artist’s right to the pursuit of happiness. Whether it is music, TV, movies, or videogames or any form of art at all it should not be suppressed or restricted.
Even if one does not agree with certain views or no matter how offensive or politically incorrect it is, they do not have to engage in such policies that would undermine the First Amendment anyways. These are reasons why I am against political censorship of music to a certain extent.