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Music and Its Effects on Culture Essay

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Updated: Mar 30th, 2020

Music composition has always been a way through which artists have reflected their personal experiences and their environment. It is due to this reason that one can easily identify and relate music to key elements such as orientation, national character, religion, race, gender, etc. by listening to its composition. In simpler words, it can be said that a female singer is more likely to compose music with a delicate onset and crude emotions, as well as, she can give a touch of hip hop.

Such expression of experiences in the composition of music gives listeners a profound idea about artists. Likewise, music compositions can give a clear insight to the cultural orientation of artists. The current paper aims to achieve an understanding of music composition and it affects culture. For this purpose, three sources were taken into consideration including Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus, Mitchell and Joni, and Ozawa Seiji.

The selected musicians, music directors, and singers or composers are considered as the best examples to get an idea of the influence of music on cultural orientation. The reason is that these musicians are well-known artists of their time and their music played an essential role in changing the cultural diversity issue.

Music is the soul of inner feelings, and it is unique in each person’s life. It can touch hearts of individuals; it is a passion for those who live the music. It is an art that can be created and developed through new beats and sounds by musicians. It is because of this reason that the adherence of culture by artists is clearly evident from their compositions. There are very famous musicians in the world who have touched hearts of many people with their music.

Similarly, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is also among those musicians who are very well known for their music and uniqueness. Herein, it could be well stated that his compositions have a direct influence of culture that can be noted easily throughout his music and performances. He worked in many directions of music. Mozart is the most prolific composer, and he wrote in many genres. Piano Concerto is one of his best-admired works (Grayson 47).

Mozart got famous for the way he used different musical instruments. However, he was mostly famous for piano concertos. He had a number of piano concertos that he organized for public.

One of the most prominent and legendary piano concerto was Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D’minor, K. 466. It was a piece of music for solo piano and flute. In addition, the unique and interesting thing was that Mozart used a group of trumpets and drums in that piano concerto (Grayson 52).

The piano concerto had three different movements in which Mozart presented different types of music, and there were some other members, as well who worked with Mozart in this concerto for different movements of the concerto. It was one of the two piano concertos that were written in a minor key. The first movement, Allegro, of this concert features four ripieno and cadenza that featured traditional concerto form. The movement starts with the syncopation in violins and violas parts (Grayson 8).

After listening to the first movement, it could be analyzed that themes were melodic rather than motivic. The movement gently ended and calmly portrayed the minor mood instead of majestically end. It would be not incorrect to state that Mozart’s music is immensely polite and calm as it can make a person smart. It impacted the culture in a very good manner; it cannot destroy the culture or destroy young minds who are managers of culture (Davis 116).

It could be stated that high music can destroy minds of humans and bad songs or lyrics with loud music can destroy the cultural setting. It is because children’s health can be affected by the loud music. Similarly, ethically bad lyrics can directly impact people especially the young generation who are developers of a culture as they can make culture or destroy it (Said 98).

The piano concerto is now used by many musicians. Those who perform those movements in an appropriate manner are praised by the audiences. Similarly, a performance by Ozawa Seiji in Boston Symphony Orch. The concert was the second most-praised performance after Mozart because Ozawa’s directed performance was very flawless. Ozawa used same beats and instruments such as solo piano, flute, trumpets and drums. However, the way he used them was more interesting for people because he added his cultural music into the music to promote the Japanese culture in the concert. He was the best music conductor of his time in Japan, and he was promoting his culture through music due to which Ozawa became very famous. It has been noticed from the studies of Ozawa’s music that in 2001 the Japanese government recognized Ozawa as a Person of Cultural Merit (Taruskin 76).

At the time, the cultural diversity issue was increasing in Japan. Therefore, Ozawa in his Boston Symphony Orch Hall took a step towards direction and teaching music to many students and young learners. He was conducting music classes with the essence of culture and tradition. It was clear after watching his performance that he was representing his culture and tradition even with his personal style of dressing, and it was also a center of attraction point. Furthermore, he mostly used his traditional and cultural notes as a conductor to promote his music and culture internationally.

In addition, while talking about the album of Joni Mitchell’s “For the Roses” and some other songs, it could be analyzed by Mitchell’s style of singing was very different. She was a very well-known singer for her popular jazz, hip hop, and rock-n-roll music. She was a musician, singer, and songwriter and she was used to producing loud music with bold and sometimes controversial song lyrics. Her music was criticized that these songs and music could have a negative influence on the culture and young generation. The reason could be the music with a romantic touch or emotional touch was actually increasing the use of alcohol. It was marked that the young generation was greatly influenced such songs. It denotes that the impact of the culture on listeners was evident.

The increasing use of alcohol was converting into a trend that when someone would listen to Joni’s songs as they would enjoy alcohol more. It was noticed by critics as they found her music was creating a diversity issue and it is damaging culture. It was criticized by critics, and Joni had to change her style. She moved herself to composing soft songs with a touch of classical music. Furthermore, she explored more in jazz with a soft touch. It also helped her to stop being criticized for changing the new cultural trend. Therefore, Joni increased the use of traditional harmonic progression. Thus, she was established as the best cultural icon (Whitesell 228). Later, her music was influenced by Mozart, and she further used a mixture of minor and major notes to compose music of her songs.

Therefore, it could be concluded that music can create some of the diversity issues such as culture, and it can directly impact a culture. The music and its composition can change anyone as it can change moods and it can touch the soul. Thus, it can be used as a tool to promote culture and traditions. Furthermore, different music types have the different effects on culture, individuals, or a group of people. The music can represent the culture of any country, and it can impose the culture of a country on other societies if the music is liked and recognized by them.

Based on this argument it could be stated that while composing any music or singing any song due consideration should be given whether the song or its music is ethical or it should not present any negative ideas that could destroy or damage the image of a country and its culture. It was clearly noticed through a discussion of the selected musicians and their performances that they had a direct influence on culture. When people like a particular music and song they adopt the culture supporting that music or song which creates a direct influence on the cultural orientation. The music composers who promoted culture through music played an essential role for their country and culture.

Works Cited

Davis, Elizabeth A. A Basic Music Library: Essential Scores and Sound Recordings, New York: American Library Association, 1997. Print.

Grayson, David. Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 21, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Print.

Said, Edward. Music at the Limits, New York: A&C Black, 2013. Print.

Taruskin, Berkeley Richard. Text and Act: Essays on Music and Performance: Essays on Music and Performance, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Print.

Whitesell, Lloyd. The Music of Joni Mitchell, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

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