American Music

The music industry is a significant influence in the US.  Encompassing  the whole spectrum of America: Culture, record companies, radio stations, orchestras, MTV and dedicated  magazines like Rolling Stone and  it also reflects the country’s ethnic diversity.

The most important music genres were mostly created through multicultural outlets: hip-hop, blues, country, jazz, soul, rhythm and blues, pop, techno, and rock encompasses the social and cultural issues. American music addresses  issue of race in  “We can overcome”, the  protest anthem of the civil rights movement, as well as acknowledging its success in “Ivory and Ebony” : “together is perfect harmony”.

America’s immigrate culture has also helped its music grow: Europeans came with their own music and African slaves brought their musical traditions as well. The merging of white and black music has given American music a diversity and uniqueness that no other culture possesses.

In the 19th century, American citizens took an active part in shaping America’s culture and society. The “Star-Spangled Banner”, written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, was a “protest song” about the burning of Washington, who’s lyrics s were based on an English drinking song. That a song with such a common pedigree became the National Anthem reflects what the USA was all about, the ability of Americans to change their condition and perceptions to rise higher in stature.

Americans are great “borrowers”.  They adopt what they see in another cultures or individuals and make it part of their own. In 1957, Frank Sinatra made a hit with the song “Chicago”, written and performed first in 1922. He did the same with “New York, New York”, first performed by Liza Minnelli n 1977.

Many are frightened by change; but American culture seems to embrace it and make it part of what we are.  And we’re the better for doing it.

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