Wednesday, September 12, 2007

THEME: MUSIC - Group Essay

Group Members: Jonathan, Mauricus, Jannica

For centuries, music has played a role in society. As a group, we have discovered that music has affected each of our lives through our relationships with family and friends, school, and controversial lyrical themes. To further explain music’s effect on our lives, we give you our personal encounters:


Ever since I was a child, there has always been music in the background of my surroundings. There was always something either playing on the radio or a track spinning in the background. My brothers and I were always practicing our instruments. I played the drums, two of my brothers played the saxophone, and the other played the bass guitar and cello. I had many cousins who played instruments as well. Also, one of my uncles is a professional drummer. If you ever listen to the Shaft soundtrack, you might hear him playing the drums, or you could possibly see him at a concert on stage with Patti Labelle, Ronald Isley, R. Kelly, Isaac Hayes, and many more artists. Music followed me throughout middle school and high school and allowed me to meet many friends along the way. In middle school, I was a member of the seventh and eighth grade band-- the marching band and symphonic band. I also participated in All-West Band which allowed me to meet many of the friends who I still communicate with to this day. We still get together and reminisce on our old performances, talk about music in general, life, and our pursuits in music.
In high school, I was a member of the concert band and marching band. I met so many people from across the country in marching band. We would travel every weekend to different states for competitions. Everyone I met, we all shared a common interest, and I still talk to some of the people I met while in marching band as well.
After my freshmen year, I grew out of the whole marching band concept and wanted to pursue my own musical interest. A friend I met while I was in marching had a makeshift type studio at his house. A group of my friends and I made up a name for a sort of record producing project. We would just go there after school and come up with songs and go in the studio (my friend’s closet) and just record the songs. We even sold our recordings at school for five dollars. That was one of the best periods of my life so far.As of today, music is somewhat the root of my relationship with my family and friends. If there is nothing to talk about we always seem to find a subject in music. I even wrote this blog while listening to music.


“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” A Jamaican reggae singer and musician, better known as Bob Marley, once spoke these very words.Music is something to which everyone can relate. I have yet to meet a person who has a burning hatred for such a universal theme. It has the power to do anything from inducing an insane amount of adrenaline for a football game to easing a person's frustration after a hard day's work. And unless an electric guitar gets smashed on your head or your fingers get caught between some symbols, music definitely isn't painful. There's such a wide variety of music on this earth that it's impossible not to enjoy something. A person might also change their mind about their musical preferences. For example, I used to dislike Bob Marley, or reggae for that matter. Then one day I sat down with my Jamaican friend and really listened to what this influential, Rastafarian man had to say. His lyrics made me rethink my perception of life at the time. I had constantly being given home suspensions for ridiculous reasons. Particularly this was due to the recently recruited and not to mention crooked school administration in charge."Don't worry about a thing cause every little thing is gonna be all right," he proclaimed. Hearing this made my presently hectic, unrighteous world far more manageable. I felt as though I had always longed to hear these words from somebody throughout the course of my life. I was overcome with a sense of calmness though still engulfed in the upbeat reggae rhythms.I continued on for the remainder of my high school career inspired (only enduring a few more unjust issues) and received my diploma on that momentous day. Now here I stand-- a college freshman ready to take on life.


Has music lost its content? This issue has been bought up many times in the last decade. Most of the answers are very opinionated. I personally believe that in some cases it has, but in some ways its still the same or maybe even better. I have had many personal encounters and influences with music. Music has always been used to send out various messages such as love, hate, and problems. The same issues are still talked about today. There have been many controversial issues with today’s music. Themes such as sex and violence have really stirred up America. People fail to realize that this has always been talked about in music, the styles of discussion were just different. For example, Marques Houston’s hit song “Naked” was on the verge of being banned because of its title. On the other hand, some of the same people who had problems with this song loved the 1980’s hit “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. These two songs have the exact same topic, but the one from today’s society was considered controversial. This is just one example of why I think music has some of the same content. On the other hand, topics such as robbing and killing do take away some content from music. Even with this, no matter what, you will always have a couple of bad apples in the bunch. Will we let this be the overall deciding factor of today’s music?

Although the three of our personal encounters don’t overlap perfectly, they share one major aspect: music tremendously influences all of us.

No comments: