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Tyler McGeeMs. BennettBritish Literature9 September 2011 The History of Music in America As the Great Jimi Hendrix once said, “I try to use my music to make these people act.”Americans have always been a dominate force around the world in music, and in other aspects oflife as well. Many famous bands from the past such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones, were fromBritain, but were heavily influenced by American bands and music. American music however, isa blend of every culture that is represented here, including European, African, and NativeAmerican. The Native Americans used music in religious ceremonies and practices, so the use ofmusic has changed greatly over the hundreds of years. Since the beginning, music has had animmense part in shaping The United States. The presence of music has shaped the lives of manypeople in their lifetime, as well as it has made this great country a dominate force in the musicscene around the world. America in general is a blended combination of different ethnicities and cultures thathave been brought or settled here. The music America produces has greatly been affected by theimmense amount of cultures, as it has changed the way this country uses music. The very firstpeople settled here were the Native Americans, who only used music to practice their religiousbeliefs and customs. With the settling of the Europeans, the Native Americans were introducedto many new things, including how the Europeans used music for much more than just religiousceremonies. The Europeans eventually started bringing slaves to the country in the shape of the
Africans. The Africans, even though enslaved, refused to give up on their traditions and customsand continued to practice their beliefs. African culture and tradition is used greatly in this time inthe shape of Jazz, Rap and Hip Hop, and surprisingly Rock music. With all of these differentcultures and ethnicities in one location, it was just a matter of time before parts of each culturewere taken and morphed with each other to make a more affective and useful form of music thatis still being used today. The combination of the different cultures in America had to be an act ofa divine power, because the music those cultures created is still in use to this very day.America’s blend of unique culture basically shaped face and future of the Country and the entireworld as a whole. If the diverse group of cultures were not brought to America, then the musicbeing listened to today would not have existed. America has always dominated the entire world in many ways, including the writing andcreation of music. Even with the British invasion of the 60’s, the bands from that era greatlycredited the United States for their inspiration to make a band and write and record music. Thegreat bands from that time period include: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, and manyother bands that brought inspiration and enthusiasm to America and to the entire world.Therefore, if America had not formed and mixed all the cultures together to create modernmusic, the great bands around the entire globe would not have existed. Music has made a socialidentity for the United States around the world as a dominate force. When it comes together it allfalls back to the cultures. The British invasion of the 60’s, Woodstock, the countless musicfestivals that have followed, and many other important events would not have occurred if theBritish had not decided to migrate over to America and bring their slaves with them. Americanmusic has been a huge influence not only to the legendary groups of the British Invasion of the
60’s, but also a major influence to the world as a whole, because modern music would neverhave existed without Americas part in the shaping of it. American music and music festivals have brought the people of the country and the entireworld together many times over the years. The greatest and most historic event to ever occur inthe history of the country that brought more people together for the promotion of music and justthe overall celebration of life was known as the great Woodstock. Many years following theevent many other events were scheduled, but not had the immense amount of publicity and thegreatness as Woodstock which is considered by many to be the God of all music festivals thatnone in the future would ever be able to surpass. Woodstock was a three day event that occurredon August 15 and continued on through August 18 in a farmer’s back yard, where youth gatheredto celebrate music and life. No one would have ever expected that 500,000 people would turn outfor the festival making it an event to go down in history. The impact Woodstock had onAmerican culture and on the entire music industry was so immense, music changed as a whole.This is one example of how music in America has brought the people of the country togetherover and over again many times, and how it has influenced people for the greater good. Duringthe Vietnam War, many people were against the fighting and protested against it. Manymusicians of the time were also against the war and decided to put their anti-war messages intheir music, and many youth connected with these songs. America changed music from just itsreligious form in the very beginning, to a way that people can share and express their feelingsand connect with other people. The American music festival known as Woodstock was thegreatest event to happen in American music history, because it was a way for people to gettogether and connect with each other and their surroundings and express the way that they felt
during this period of time. American music has been used many times to express feelings andhave given the country its own identity. The way music has developed and changed over the years has greatly shaped the face ofour country and how other countries of the world view the United States. America has such arich blend of cultures and diverse ethnicities that American music is truly the representation ofthe people. Modern music that is listened to today would never have existed if the settlers hadnot decided to travel to America and have their slaves accompanied them. America has alwaysbeen a dominate force in the world in many aspects and music is another example of howpowerful the United States really is as a country. Music is what it is today because of a fewsettlers, Native Americans, and the Africans that were brought by the settlers. No one in thattime period would have had a clue that the cultures would eventually blend together and the greatmusic that would follow. The music produced by America has not only inspired the people of thecountry, but people of other countries as well. Even during the British invasion of the 60’s, thebands of that era credited the United States in the development of Rock and Roll and just musicas a whole. America has developed the use of music more efficiently that was it was first startingout. Musicians of the United States and of other countries around the world use music to expressthe way they feel about certain event or just life in general. American music is all aboutexpression and this was greatly taken advantage of during the Vietnam War and during the epicevent that will forever be looked upon as the greatest music festival that has and will ever occurknown as the legendary Woodstock. Music is much more than just something to listen to, but canexpress how a musician or a person feels and can completely change the mind of an entireCountry. Music has molded and shaped not just the Country, but has shaped the people that that
live in the United States. As long as Americans continue to be inspired and feel the need toexpress their personal feelings, the music will not die.