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Music and Social Change

In this presentation, students will explore the various aspects of protest songs and view video examples.
by

michelle ciarloni

on 4 November 2014

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Transcript of Music and Social Change

Can Music Change
The World?
Yes, through protest!
A protest song is a song which is associated with a movement for social change. It can be found in many different genres and challenges a variety of issues.

Music
& Social
Change
It all started with a song …

The idea for Live Aid came in 1984, after Geldof saw a documentary about the famine in Ethiopia. The disaster claimed more than 1 million victims in 1984-85 alone. It was then that he decided to write a song to help raise money for the starving citizens of the East African nation.

Geldof (then singer of the Boomtown Rats) teamed with Ultravox leader Midge Ure, gathered 40 of Britain's biggest stars to record a song for African famine relief under the name Band Aid. “Do They Know It’s Christmastime At All?” featured memorable vocal contributions from Bono, Sting, Boy George, George Michael. This would inspire other artists to do the same; Michael Jackson, We Are the World and Canada's Tears are Not Enough."
Overt: Some political songs
make no effort to hide their true meaning.

Listen to the next video and we'll discuss why this is an example of an overt protest song.
Covert: Other protest songs are not stated directly or clearly. These require the audience to make assumptions about the song and its meaning.
Political Songs
Political songs can be OVERT or COVERT. Tupcac's "Changes" is very direct in its message, however Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" uses dramatic imagery and a plot to shape the listener's opinion. Advance for more examples.
Overt
Straightforward, open, direct
Covert
Hidden, secretive, indirect
We've looked at protest
songs as either OVERT
or COVERT, but they can
also be expressed as a
NARRATIVE or it can be EXPOSITORY.
Narrative
Expository
A more persuasive approach is the expository protest song. This type of song states an opinion or position, and encourages the audience to adopt this position.
Musicians and their Political Views
Political Songs
Many musicians write or sing political songs. These musicians generally feel strong about specific social issues. The topics like the following video are general statements, not narratives and become anthems for change.
Interested students need only apply.

We'd like to have students present this song at the beginning of our Remembrance Day Celebration. We need lots of singers. If students learn the song on an instrument we can also include you.
See me at the end of class.
Bruce Springsteen
Change Through Music
Some songs are written to encourage change, while other times songs are used to bring people together, and create a more beautiful, just world. In the process the song or event becomes an anthem for social change. This occurs all over the world now, but its' roots can be seen in Bob Geldof's Live Aid.
What do you think our first unit in Music is going to be about?
Two Types of Protest Songs
Covert; not stated directly or clearly. These songs require the audience to infer what the song is trying to say.
Overt; to be straightforward, open and direct about an issue.
While watching the following video try to make a connection between this video and the documentary we watched.Whenever you see this symbol we'll discuss what you've seen and whenever you see this symbol, you'll need to write down information in your notes.
Next week we'll discuss two more aspects of protest songs. For homework, find a protest song that is either overt or covert and be prepared to prove it. I'm looking for the title of the song, the band/singer and a line in quotations from the lyrics. I will be asking for examples. If you are with us on Friday you'll get a chance in the computer lab to work on this as Health needs all participants present and will have to wait until the next available Friday.
MUSIC
AND
SOCIAL CHANGE
DAY 2
Let's discuss your homework. What did you find? We'll start a list of bands and songs for others to view for our culminating activity.
When a song tells a story it is called a narrative. The perspectives through which they are told, vary. The narrative within the song is meant to create images of historical or fictional events. What is the story here?
An anthem is a rousing or uplifting song that is sometimes revolutionary and often identified with a particular group, body or cause.
For homework you need to find another protest song. This time find the meaning behind the historical meaning behind the song. Is it a narrative or expository song?
Singers Needed
"Live Aid was the biggest, but it wasn’t the first all-star charity show. Rockers had been lending their efforts to various causes for years, from ex-Beatle George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 (which aided refugees of that war-torn country) to the anti-nuclear power No Nukes show in 1979.

But Live Aid was different.

For one day — July 13, 1985 — an estimated 1.4 billion of the planet’s five billion people stopped and watched Geldof’s “global jukebox,” and were treated to one of the biggest, most ambitious concerts ever staged. At one point, according to a stage announcement, 95 percent of the world’s television sets were tuned in to Live Aid — an even more incredible statistic when you consider that it happened before the Internet." From mtv.com
At one point, the phone center in the U.S. crashed when 700,000 pledge calls came in at the same time. By day’s end, more than $70 million had been raised. The 16 hours of MUSIC(televised by both ABC in an abbreviated version and all day by MTV) ultimately raised more than $200 million.




Homework
Many of the protest songs we have viewed have been closely associated with our Social Justice themes in Religion. Choose any two of the songs that we've looked at or have been presented and explain how they are examples of your social justice themes. Grade 8= Solidarity
Grade 7 = Human Dignity
Music and Social Change
Day 3
Let's Discuss your homework
Full transcript