Rock Music: Self-expression, or just harmful noise?

A teenage girl sits in her room, listening to the sounds of the bass drifting through the speakers.  The rhythm bounces off the wall and penetrates her ear drums. She sings along to the song, as her mother bursts into the room, unplugs the speakers, and complains , “No wonder you’re so violent!”  Is it true? Will the music this young girl listens to actually affect the way she acts?

Many people believe that the hard beats, violent lyrics, and portrayal in the media give rock music an unpleasant edge. “I don’t think that it’s necessarily the music that the person is listening to that causes them to be violent, but how they choose to listen to it,” says Angela Davis, a fan of the genre. “Some people just take it too far.”

It’s true that that many rock songs are about drugs, pain, and violence, but that doesn’t invite the listener to act in the same way. Many people believe that for people to perceive you as the kid who likes rock music you have to be crude, be involved in excessive drug use, and not care about anything in the world but yourself and your music. “If that was true,  then all people who liked country music would live in the middle of a corn field and drink whiskey,” says Davis.

Some people aren’t fond of the mellow, southern style of country, or the upbeat tempos of contemporary pop music, so it’s understandable that people do not like the more aggressive tones of many Rock songs.  Still, it is important to first listen to all parts of a certain genre before judging. Many grunge songs such as “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam and “I Alone” by Live aren’t forceful and dramatic, but mellow and evoke a lot of emotion. While songs like “Twisted Transistor by Korn are very dark, but they are meant to be a form of entertainment, not the source of all criticism.

Like all other things in the world, people tend to make a bigger deal of things than need be. There is criticism of video games, television shows, the food people eat, the clothes they wear, and many times the music they listen to. The fact of the matter is all of these things have a big part in determining who a person is.  Just as Bob Seger said  “Dreams die hard and we watch them erode, but we cannot be denied the fire inside.”

– By Paige DeNardi, Staff Writer

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