Social movements are apparent in music

Political Movements take many forms. Political movements form to respond or originate from something popular that has been occurring for centuries.

This form is demonstrated through a piece of musical composition that a composer or artist writes that is intended to spark interest in a topic or is in response to a political action.

There are countless examples of this in all genres of musical literature.

An example in today’s music industry is the release of Jay Z’s latest album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail” one of the most popular tracks “Holy Grail,” that features Justin Timberlake, is encoded with many messages.

It discusses the challenges of fame that all celebrities face.

Jay Z mentions Mike Tyson and M.C. Hammer in his song lyrics as two examples of what the media and fame have done to them.

Kanye West, and his hit song in collaboration with Jay Z, “No Church in the Wild” is another example of the power of lyrics.

This song challenges traditional views of religious worship.

Though rap is sometimes looked at as the “low brow” end of music, the lyrics in songs are thought out and powerful.

The Beatles culture brought about and contributed to the civil rights and teenage rebellion seen in the 1960s- to 70s.

They were not socially accepted in the United States when they first became popular but overtime began to be one the most popular bands of the century.

In today’s music scene, people don’t tend to associate political and social beliefs to the compositions of classical composer such as Beethoven and Sibelius.

Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture was written for Heinrich Joseph von Collin’s tragedy, titled “Coriolan.” Gaius Marcius Coriolanus Coriolan was an ancient Roman leader.

Often classical composers were commissioned to write works for political figures and monarchies.

Sibelius’s Overture “Scenes historiques I, Opus 25” is a composition reflecting the turbulent history of Finland.

In her article, Glenda Gloss argues that this work by Sibelius was written in a “time when Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire”.

“As the Finns ‘awakened’ politically, their artistic life flourished in reciprocal fashion,” Gloss said in the article Jean Sibelius and Finland’s Awakening. Gloss is a professor of music history at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

There are many views and ideas expressed through music. Some are hundreds of years old while others are in response to pop culture today.

It is important for audiences today to understand and appreciate the significance of lyrics and compositions from today’s music and older music to understand the ideas and messages the artist or composer is presenting.

Jonathan Williams / Opinion editor

Jonathan Williams can be reached at