Political Implications


we have discussed some of the developments in African American music (spirituals, to folk, to blues, to classical music, etc.) and changes in ways that musicians are portrayed, and also how they portray themselves. In terms of aesthetics, the music has changed from being an expression of hope and grief to being employed as a medium for raising African American culture and garnering respect within American society as a whole. With the rise of jazz and soul in the context of civil rights, music became a means for personal expression and self-realization by creating an aesthetics that—at times—was no longer offering itself for approval from white audiences. In each of the above examples, music and musicians were used as political tools with often very different objectives.

Your assignment is to write 300-500 words on the political implications of your chosen topic (politics defined as discussions, confrontations, activism, resistance, etc. regarding power dynamics in society—gender, race, class, police, religion). Does your topic transcend politics? Does it confront injustice, give voice to the marginalized, dictate musical, social, or consumer behavior? Take a position and defend it using examples from readings and discussions from class, as well as your own experiences.

Sample paper

Political Implications

Since the ancient days, man has been known for his creativity and innovative ways of doing things. One way that he used to express his creativity is the composition and the use of music to pass messages and express his feelings and point of views. According to history, the earliest form of music to be created and developed by man was drum-based, percussion instruments being the most readily available at the time. However, with the evolution of man and the introduction, humanity has continued to show his creativity and ability by utilizing music to enhance the quality of his music and to ensure that he can get his message across a wider range of audiences that the early days. Studies show that music is an art and a cultural activity that uses organized sound to pass messages. Despite the changing times and the nature of music, some things remain constant, and they include the pitch, rhythm, dynamics and sonic qualities. This assignment will identify and describe the role of music during the civil rights movement.

Given the importance of music in the society, several studies have gone forth to invest their time and resources to evaluate the relationship between music and politics. According to these studies, the very nature of politics is like music that is rooted in conflict and harmony.  However, despite the strong relationship between the two concepts, it is worth noting that music transcends all politics and nations given the fact that it is universal. Most scholars such as Adams (2014) are of the opinion that the universal language used in music transcends politics, all nations, nationality, and colors as well as creeds as artist try to create a family environment where all people of all ages and genders can enjoy and thrive.  However, it is worth noting that during the civil rights movement, the civil rights movement used music to confront injustice and give voice to the marginalized. According to authors such as Buck (2018) has gone forth to identify some of the songs that were widely used during the civil rights movement to call for equal rights for all races and the eradication of discrimination in the United States. The author has gone forth to identify songs such as which side are you on, this little light of mine, this land is your land and down by the riverside as well as we shall overcome as some of the popular songs used to fight discrimination and slavery in the US.

Given the universality of music, most politicians and political advocates find it easy and fundamental to use music to inform their followers on their plans and to pass messages on the direction of their political ambitions. Further research on the relationship between music and politics show that compromise and the interplay of the physical and mental well being of an individual are at the center of the music (Quinn, 2013). Similarly, politicians believe in compromise as well as the use of physical and mental prowess to attain their objectives. As a result, music has been widely used in political rallies to confront injustice, give voice to the marginalized or change consumer behavior. Furthermore, given the fact that most social phenomena attain national acknowledgment, popular music can be utilized as a vital socio-political indicator of struggles and what people need (Ellis, 2016). Therefore, it is safe to state that music has been used in the past to move mass audiences, thus making it the best political tool to pass messages.


Adams, M. (2014). Music and the Play of Power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central     Asia. Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa, 11(1), pp.129-132.

Buck, S. (2018). Civil Rights Music: The Soundtracks of the Civil Rights Movement By Reiland             Rabaka. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016. 272 pp. ISBN 978-1498531788.   Popular Music, 37(02), pp.312-314.

Quinn, I. (2013). Twentieth-Century Music and Politics: Essays in Memory of Neil Edmunds,                 edited by Pauline Fairclough. Ashgate, £58.50. Tempo, 67(266), pp.95-97.

Ellis, D. (2016). The Art of the Possible: Politics and Governance in Modern British History,                   1885-1997: Essays in Memory of Duncan Tanner. Twentieth Century British History,                   p.hww057.