In light of Veteran's Day and a CSS Mass Communication class's focus on music, students were asked to write a reaction paper to an NPR feature on Vietnam War protest music. Students were given the prompt: Given the importance of music as a catalyst for social change during Vietnam War (1964-75), is there anything in today's music scene that compares with what happened then? If not, why not?
Music is a part of our society and will always create a change whether people like it or not. After listening to the NPR feature with my father I had a greater insight then the newscaster had.
My father is a Vietnam veteran and remembers his time in war very vividly, even though he would like to forget everything. All the songs mentioned my father had heard and remembered, except for two. He was very silent while he was listening, and after he said, “Those songs changed a lot of guys over there."
The protest songs and emotional rants that were created in, and for, the Vietnam War affected many of the troops. However, my Father said that the songs were not his type because these songs were more to the liking of the pot and sex addicts.
Music is important to a lot of people and can change the way people act or think because of certain lyrics and melodies. Most of the songs were protest songs criticizing the government about being in war and being a part of war. Music during this time had control over numerous numbers of people, because the lyrics were able to tell the truth and speak words that people did not know how to express. The protest songs are a perfect example of how people lived vicariously through the musicians.
My Dad said that after the government would ban a protest song, that same song would be played all of the time in Vietnam. Music is a powerful force because the music speaks to people, but it is also able to slip through the governmental forces. The ban of protest songs did not stop people and soldiers from playing the songs all over.
This is similar to how music influences and changes people today. The lyrics and melodies tie our emotions and actions together by bringing our internal subconscious to the forefront, meaning that the music does not go in one ear and out the other, but it resonates throughout the body creating senses and emotions that people may have forgotten they had.
For example, Bob Marley and his music are mostly protest and laid back, "love life," melodies. Marley changed a generation through his music, because it expressed ideas and thoughts that the audience had been thinking about but could not express to one another or the government.
Music is a channel of communication between large numbers of people, and although everybody hears the message, individuals are influenced differently by each word and phrase. Music is powerful type of medium that will continue to change generations and influence the minds of many.