Stella Maris Saubidet Oyhamburu
Language and Written Expression IV
August 30th, 2014
The Influence of Music in Society
Though some would look at music as a small footnote in the progression of humanity, it is in fact a much greater force; for some, it defines their very existence. Several studies have been conducted on the theory that music has a great effect on how humans think and act. Famous musicians from different parts of the world that have used this musical impact to promote peace and to avoid famine and war are essential.
In the year 1971 after the separation of the Beatles was released the song "Imagine" which was written and performed by the English musician John Lennon. Its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisiveness of religions and nationalities, and to consider the possibility that the focus of humanity should be living a life unattached to material possessions. Rolling Stone described "Imagine" as Lennon's greatest musical gift to the world
In 1985 the song "We Are the World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie was released especially for the occasion which was called USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa). It included forty five musicians and twenty one famous singers. The profits from the song were donated to a humanitarian campaign in order to stop the terrible famine in Ethiopia. One year after the release of "We Are the World", organizers noted that $44.5 million had been raised for USA for Africa's humanitarian fund.
In 2014 the current general music director of La Scala in Milan Daniel Baremboim, has directed Israeli and Arab musicians in a concert to promote peace in Gaza. Barenboim, who holds both Israeli and Palestinian citizenship, had previously called for negotiation, empathy and compassion between the two states. He applauded the fact that the conflict did not prevent any member of the orchestra from engaging in this gesture of understanding and peace.
Although John Lennon was considered "anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional and anti-capitalistic”; and Daniel Baremboim was declared a persona non-grata in Israel, they know that they must use the power of their music to influence society in a positive way no matter what some people would say. “Music can change the world because it can change people” (Bono)
Macdonald, K. (2014, August 11). Daniel Barenboim conducts Israeli/ Palestine peace concert. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
Andrew, M. (n.d.). Effects of Music on Society. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
Imagine (John Lennon song). (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2014.
We are the world. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2014.