Censorship of Music: Limiting One’s Rights Essay
1072 Words5 Pages
Music has been under scrutiny on behalf of censorship for decades. Censorship is defined as an authorization to examine material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable. Lyrics are essential to nearly everything in music; its poems, ballads, monologues, etc. They may take the form of actual spoken or sung sounds or of written words, as literature does. Without the musical component, you’re left with literature and words; this leaves the heated debate as to whether music should be censored or not. Music should be used as an expression of freedom and should not be overtly scrutinized as to what is appropriate because it is simply futile and a violation of freedom of speech…show more content…
This is an example of the government being overbearing and limiting musical freedoms. The question of what constitutes as "suitable" language and obscenity has been greatly forced upon the music industry. The current labeling of parental advisory warnings consists of a black and white logo fixed on the cover of an album on the bottom right hand corner. For all the controversy these stickers stir up, do they really serve a practical purpose for protecting the young people of this nation? And, is this another example of the government mandating our lives rather than “protecting” us from indecency?
The censorship of music can have much more negative effects than positive ones for songs can be extremely taken out of context. Music is almost always construed and misinterpreted with the true gist of a song to fit a person’s accusations. The problem with this is that the individuals (usually parents and politicians) who have an outcry over lyrics are frequently the same group tries to use music to fault the problems of society’s actions upon.
Most of us have all heard the stories about the anguished parents of a child who unfortunately has taken their own life, and then in the after effects the parents or their lawyers would attack a band or musician who wrote a song about suicide or killing someone else. This is also the case for people using music as the template for society becoming more violent. For example, in the
Censorship in Music Essays
1076 Words5 Pages
Censorship in Music
Censorship in music has been a major problem plaguing America since the early nineteen forties. It came to a head during the nineteen sixties with the Vietnam War and the hippie movement. During the nineteen seventies and eighties heavy metal and hard rock were getting the brunt of the censorship heat. Now in the nineteen nineties the major focus of censorship is rap; primarily gangster rap. Some of the main factors of music in general that cause legal ramifications are sexual content, suggestive violence and obscene language. Censorship is an attack against our first amendment right guaranteeing the freedom of speech. However if a song or album is deemed obscene the first amendment does not protect this. The mass…show more content…
It began by the Recording Industry association of America agreeing to voluntarily place-warning labels on albums that were deemed obscene. This came after a congressional hearing before the Senate commece, science and transportation committee. Frank Zappa a controversial musician attended the conference and called Tipper Gore who is co founder of the Parent's Music Resource Center a "Cultural Terrorist."(Winfield pg. 25) Record labeling made many angry and at the same time pacified others. It was seen as a step forward in attempting to control the one mass media aimed directly at teenagers. Musicians such as Axle Rose have spoken out against labeling claiming their right to express themselves musically no matter what the response. One artist, Luther Campbell, of the rap group 2 Live crew released a single titled "Banned in the USA" in response to the labeling (Winfield pg. 14). This labeling of albums is not the first attempt and success at censoring music. For 50 years radio stations have been censoring songs deemed inappropriate. In 1940 NBC banned 147 songs. The Supreme Court upheld the FCC's authority to regulate music in 1978 (Winfield pg. 14). The rock and roll community could only expect some sort of limited censorship. Initially the ban was only in effect from 6 am until midnight but in 1988 president Reagan made the ban all day. The FCC in an attempt to let radio stations know what types of songs were unacceptable sent a list of 22