Saturday, February 25, 2012

Teenage Culture and Music

Teenagers seem to constantly be searching for ways to rebel- drugs, alcohol, skipping school, fighting, running away from home- and music has always been a more peaceful way of doing this. It started in the 1920's with the invention of jazz music- a more grooving, upbeat version of ragtime, and was the beginning of a new stream of music that would eventually lead all the way up to rap and hip hop. Most people listened to classical music or ragtime before jazz came along, and when it did, at first it was looked upon in a dark light, which may have been why it appealed to the younger generation of the era who would participate in making the decade worth its namesake: the Roaring Twenties.
After jazz music came swing, which began to replace it throughout the 1940's and early 50's as the new, rebellious form of music. It was quickly upset in the late 1950's, however, by one of the most recognizable forms of music in American culture today, let alone that of teenagers: Rock n' Roll. Elvis Presley was one of the most contributing factors in making Rock n' Roll well known- with the heavy racism of the era, he was something that the founders of Rock n' Roll weren't- he was white, which gave him a substantial advantage. Now, his face is one of the most recognizable ones of all time.
When the seventies hit, things were difficult in the U.S.- the constant threat of nuclear attack, rising gas prices, the Vietnam War- and as America became more angst-ridden, so did its teenagers. Many of them were getting drafted into the armed forces to fight, and as things became more violent, so did Rock n' Roll. Punk Rock was soon theorized, along with Heavy Rock and the beginnings of Metal. But despite the hard times, other music forms with a more positive outlook of love and friendship- Soul Music was born.
As the era came to a close, the young people of the day grew up, and their children started to look at what they did. They invented a whole new genre like nothing else before: Rap. It put a new spin on everything: instead of singing, you talked with a flow, and, as teens seem to always be obsessed with revolution, they embraced the genre throughout the late 70's to present day. All of the old forms of music are chopped up and sampled into something new: jazz hop, swing hop, and all of the other old tunes that were once well known become well known again, in a different form. So, the cycle continues, and who knows what might come next.


Rocky Balboa said...

I agree with the fact that teenagers try to rebel in whatever way possible. Whether it be drugs, violence, sex, alcohol, or anything else, they'll do it. Not every single teenager does this, but most do it in a minor form such as talking back to their parents in the middle of a heated argument. Eventually they get over this phase and realize that rebelling only helps them a little bit and that their are many other different ways to express themselves.

Mj16-Nirvana said...

i totally agree with you. Teens just want to rebel and be different. Music is just another way to express yourself and just be. When someone does something i believe that they want to be individuates that's why music is so different yet so amazing.