Music Lyrics: Good or Bad?

12 December 2017

Since the beginning of human existence, birds sing, fire crackles, water drips, and leaves rustle, creating music. Pitches, tones, and notes put together simply make music.

Words added as lyrics to allow the telling of stories, let others into our thoughts, and express feelings. Many different types of music encompass several different genres. These include country, contemporary, blues, classical, electric, Jazz, religious, hip hop, and rap, Just to name a few.However, in the past few decades’ controversy over lyrics come forth. Rap Is defined as a style of popular music consisting of Improvised rhymes reformed to a rhythmic accompaniment (American Psychological Association, 2003). The first known rappers, was a group called the Last Poets. The Last Poets established in New York City during the civil rights era, shortly after the death of Martin Luther King in 1968 (Jamboree Studios, 2006).

Emerging in the late ass’s, a new group from Los Angels came forward that changed the face of rap music. The N. W. A. Inning With Attitude) became notorious for their newfound gangs rap. Their music consisted primarily of violence, criminal life, harsh language, and blunt sexual lyrics. Over time, N.

W. A. S lyrics became more explicit which lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to send them warning letters. These lyrics filled the minds and fantasies of teenagers, and the crime rate rose drastically (Thomas, 2003). Could the music and lyrics cause the increase in crime or was it Just coincident? Definitely not, music can and does have an affect people.Music attracts humans; music Is constantly at our disposal through the modern technologies of television, computers, video games, and the Internet (Della, 2007). Music can be part of a ritual, an emotional release, religious reasons, or just listening for pleasure.

Without even realizing, music fills voids of silence. Often, music played in the background goes unnoticed, until it gets turned off. Music gets played constantly, so it gets overlooked, during homework, reading, studying, hanging out with friends, and especially driving. Donald F.Roberts states: ” Music promotes experiences of the extreme for its makers and listeners, turning the perilous emotional edges, vulnerabilities, triumphs, celebrations, and antagonism of life into hypnotic, reflective tempos that can be experienced privately or shared with others (Roberts, Christenson, Gentile, 2003). According to one study of over six hundred students from public and private schools in Minnesota, the children reported on average of spending twenty-one hours per week listening to music. Also, within that study, only thirty percent of those questioned knew the words to their favorite song (Roberts, Christenson, Gentile, 2003).

These songs that teenagers and young children listen to have violent and offensive lyrics, the explicit lyrics turn the younger generation to suicide, increased aggression, stereotyping, racism, depression, drugs, and killing (Nolan and Steiner, 2009). Avid music lovers test that the words sung in these songs are Just words and is no different than poetry printed in literature books (Nolan and Steiner, 2009). However, numerous studies have been done that disprove the avid music lovers’ claim. Songs with violent lyrics increase aggression related thoughts, emotions, and hostility. This effect directly relates to the violence in the lyrics.The aggressive words increase the speed with which people read aggressive versus nonaggression words (American Psychological Association, 2003). Craig A.

Anderson, Ph. D. Of Iowa State University stated: “Aggressive thoughts can influence perceptions of ongoing social interactions, coloring them with an aggressive tint. Such aggression-biased interpretations can, in turn, instigate a more aggressive response – verbal or physical – then would have been emitted in a nonbiased state, thus provoking an aggressive escalators spiral of antisocial exchanges (American Psychological Association, 2003). Physicians view adolescence as a difficult time period because of the psychological and biological changes that occur. Young people are expected to develop a set of moral values through their perceptions of adult standards and behaviors. Rock music ends to symbolize the adolescent themes of rebellion and autonomy.

Rap music became infamous for its derogatory remarks towards women. The two most popular forms of music for adolescents revolve around themes of disrespect and sexual imagery (King, McConnell, Orr, Scriber, Train, Thornburg, Wolfe, 2009).One study links music preference with social conditions and behaviors. Students that listened to music that promotes homicide, suicide, or satanic practices became more likely to have remarried or unmarried parents and were more likely to be white males in urban public schools, also a link between preferences of heavy metal or rap and low average grades, behavioral problems, sexual activity, drug and alcohol use, and arrests (Palmer, A. , 2003). Another study done by Ballard and Coats in 1995 determined that music and lyrical content effected suicide ideation and state anxiety.Volunteers listened to six different songs that were either heavy metal or rap crossed with three different lyrical themes.

The three themes were nonviolent, homicidal, and suicidal ideation. In order to insure that the participants would listen carefully to the lyrics without giving an indication of the true nature of the study, the experimenters old the participants that the test consisted primarily of lyric memory. The results indicated that the nonviolent rap songs elicited higher scores on the Beck Depression Inventory than the violent rap songs (King, McConnell, Orr, Scriber, Train, Thornburg, Wolfe, 2009).Violent songs lead to more violent youth. Children and teenagers are murdering their schoolmates, teachers, parents, and friends. Much of the responsibility for these actions points towards music, hearing famous people sing about killing others causes these teenagers to think that these actions become acceptable, when they get aid millions to sing about raping girls or smoking pot. Doctor Frank Pabulum, a practicing pediatrician in Washington, D.

C. , testifies on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Music affects people.Music generates a lot of different feelings in its listeners, and if happy songs can make us feel good and think happy thoughts, violent songs can make us angry and think angry thoughts (Dhabi, 2007). ” In the article, Violent Song Lyrics Encourage Aggressive Behavior in Children, Debbie Pulley explains how a normal thirteen year old boy, Mitchell Johnson, changed after buying rap compact discs. Belly was Mitchell teacher, and three months after buying compact discs by Outpace Shaker and Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, he and another school shooting.After the shootings other students began to come forward and tell the faculty that the boys listened to gangster rap music. They sang the lyrics, and some of the lyrics even spoke about murdering the kids at school (Dhabi, 2007).

Teachers are aware of the violence that children and teenagers are exposed to, which can cause them to have a fear of doing their Job. Other students may be afraid to attend school. For a student to hear a classmate singing of even listening to explicit Eng lyrics could cause fear.These lyrics plant ideas into vulnerable minds, and some children become weak enough to buy into them. A number of adolescent suicide victims have spent the hours immediately prior to taking their lives immersed in heavy metal music. Also, several of the young people involved in recent school shooting have been avid fans of gothic rock performers (Roberts, Christenson, Gentile, 2003). The major difference between popular music and other media is music’s ability to enhance or modify moods.

Reasons for listening to music, presented in a study ofSwedish adolescents found factor analyses revealed three general trends: atmosphere creation and mood control, filling silence and passing the time, and attention to lyrics (Roberts, Christenson, Gentile, 2003). For most young people, music use is driven primarily by the motivation to control mood and to enhance emotional state. An example of this can be sports. When preparing for a big game or competition, music can be used to get people pumped up; this increases energy level and seeks stimulation. Usually youth like music because of its beat and sound, rarely because of lyrics. However, lyrics are far from irrelevant.Lyrics are often attended to, processed, discussed, memorized, and even taken to heart.

The more important music is to an adolescent, the more importance he or she places on the lyrics. Attention to lyrics is highest among fans of oppositional or controversial music, the more defiant, alienated and threatening, the more closely its fans follow the words (Roberts, Christenson, Gentile, 2003). Along with music comes music videos. The visual images and narratives of music videos clearly have more potential to form attitudes, values, and perceptions of social reality than does the music alone.Music videos add additional information and rely less of the imagination. Even though hours less of teenagers time spent watching music videos than listening to music, the fact that the time spent watching and not listening means that music video viewing becomes more likely to be a foreground rather than a background activity. Teenagers eyes remain focused and directed on the screen, less attention can be given to other activities.

Studies of music lyrics have shown that lyric intelligibility and interpretation can vary across different listeners, the meaning of the songs is shown in the video and can become self-reinforcing.If viewers listen to the song after viewing the video, likely a flash back will occur to the visual images (Roberts, Christenson, Gentile, 2003). Those who watched thirty minutes of music videos with high concentrations of sex, violence, and indistinguishable themes showed higher approval of premarital sex than did those who viewed thirty minutes of videos randomly taped off the air (Roberts, Christenson, can be dress, looks, similar history, and even music. This happens mainly in high school and Junior high levels; at this age teenagers easily influence one another.Therefore, if the music one person listens to have a negative effect on a person in the circle of friends, the chances that influence will spread to other members of that group increases. If the music being listened to brings uplifting thoughts, most likely will result in a light, uplifting person. If the music that being listened to brings violent thoughts, the temptation to be a violent person occurs (Dhabi, 2007).

Rap and hip- hop music can also be stereotypical. One study measured the relationship between musical genre and the race of the singer on reactions to violent song lyrics.The searchers wanted to see if pre-existing thoughts and stereotypes affected how new information is processed and if the African American stereotype of being violent, hostile, and aggressive is gets used. One rap song and one folk song were used in this experiment. The results indicated that when either song was associated with an African American singer or as rap, the participants viewed the lyrics as being offensive. It is not only the lyrics, but also the race of the singer that created a negative connection towards the song (King, McConnell, Orr, Scriber, Train, Another stereotype used in music comes between men and women.Studies show that men have a tolerable attitude as to what is violent and what is too far in sexual advances.

Women have less of a tolerance. Heavy metal music and gangster rap influences men’s attitude toward women and that increased exposure to those kinds of lyrics and music containing interpersonal violence against women tended to increase men’s acceptance of rape myths, such as she dressed like she wanted it or she brought it on herself (Nolan and Steiner, 2009).Many arguments can be made as to whether music should be censored or if that becomes unconstitutional to do so cause of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, it states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom or speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances (Mulberry, Adams, Buckley, and Otis, 1791).The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends different types of behavior modifications to combat the harmful effects of this music. This can be as simple as having parents remain aware of what their children listen to, and to discuss anything hey deem as objectionable. This would be a positive way to relate emotions to the songs. Another idea proposed in the music world can be labeling the content in compact discs.

Labels on the outside cover would reveal what the lyrics contained such as language, sex, drugs, and so on.People will always find something wrong with the music that others listen to; music is a form of art and a means of self-expression and emotional release. However, many read too much into lyrics and take them literally into their lives, whereas others teenagers can listen to rap music and it does not change their thoughts and actions. Parents need to pay attention to their child’s behavior. Music’s main power can change or maintain emotional moods. If the child listens to angry sounding music for a lengthy period of time, that may be a signal for concern, it may Children listen to music because they like it.

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