Songsare crucial works of art in every society. They serve to unifycertain groups of people as well as moving them to a mutual action orto help them express mutual emotions. In case of national crisisparticular songs such songs like “God bless America” seemappropriate and an expression of their attitude. This implies thatsongs express values or experiences as well as emotions which definethe identity and solidarity of the group. The genres, singers as wellas songs help members of the society to construct self-images as wellas provide models of the manner to behave (Scott7).Songs are also considered as straightforward reflections of cultureand society where they were produced. For example, 1864’s “ComeHome Father” which is an anti-drinking song can be interpreted thatthe nineteenth-century Americans were alcoholic. This indicates thatsongs play a pivotal role in expressing cultural identity as well asthe personal history of that singer.
Iwas born in 1985 Bogota the capital of Colombia, I was race by mymother she was born in Cali and my father was born I Boyacá a verysmall town in Colombia. My childhood was much unpredicted becausewhen I was 13 years old I had to move out with my father coming toFlorida, USA. I did my middle school there and enrolled to sportsacademy where I played soccer as a mid attacker, I enjoy so much.After that my father had to go back to my country because of familysituations. I was not sure if I wanted to stay but the only thingthat I was sure of is I did not want to go back to my country. Iwanted to learn English and have the opportunity to experiencesomething different. This made my father to send me to NYC where myolder sister was living in. I did not like to stay there at firstbecause we did not have a good relationship.
InNYC I finish my High School and I start working so I can help myfamily with the expenses. After all the issues were solve in Colombiamy mother decided to come to NY and stay some time with us and fathercame after 3 years. When we saw that the family was together again wefelt very good. We are not very much committed in religion but we areChristians of Roman Catholic. We always attend church services everySunday to worship our God. I grew up listening to Vallenato andCumbias. I also developed interest for hip-hop as I grew up. Theyhave been of great significance in my life. My father used to listento Boleros music when we were growing up.
AsI grew up I was exposed to the cumbia, vallenato and salsa music.Vallenato and cumbia are music originating from Colombia’sCaribbean region. They are traditional music and hence concentrategreatly on Colombia’s culture. They expressed the way societycarries out its activities culturally (Scott25).It hence, offered teaching on the way the Colombian society carriesout its activities. The songs came out clearly in condemning certainvices such as sexual immorality, lack of respect to the elderly andracism among others. They also emphasized other virtues like love andhard work among others. This music helped to realize where I belongand what is expected of me by the society. Through them I managed todevelop sense of identity cultural although I was living in USA.
Mybehavior was greatly linked with the Colombian culture. The songshave lacked much relevance to me in the present times. However, theirmoral lessons make me to maintain my attachment to them. They stillmean much to me. My father used to listen to Boleros music which hadSpanish origin. They were closely related to Vallenato and cumbia interms of cultural identity. The styles of these songs had asignificant influence to me and consequently I managed to learnvarious moral lessons (Edmondson56).
AsI grew up I developed interest for hip-hop. This implies that I am anactive listener of hip-hop. The fact that hip-hop music tends toexpose various vices in the society helped to gain much interest inhip-hop (Scott68).Similarly, their style triggered my interest on them. This is intheir attempts to make things right in the society. Similarly, I alsolisten to some other passive music like reggae, blues, pop andgospels as we pass by in the streets, occasions and churches. I am,therefore, active in listening to hip-hop when am all alone but Ialso appreciate the other music I hear passively since every musichave great significance in our life.
Ihave found music to be a very essential piece of art for the society.They are both educative and entertaining. The Vallenato and cumbiahave great and entertaining styles alongside moral lessons. However,currently I am an active listener of hip-hop especially the Cubanhip-hop. I am also attached to specific artists like Fat Joe, Mos Defand Tony Touch. Their songs like Mos Def’s “crime and medicine”among others are my favorite. The moral teachings possessed in thesesongs are my great motivation to listening to these songs. The factthat most of hip-hops are concerned in exposing vices in the societyas well as trying makes things right in the society (Edmondson89).They focus on cultural values and that is why I am identified withthe hip-hop soundscape. However, I do not like to be involved withcertain music which seems so nude either in the hip-hop field orother music backgrounds. I do not also to be identified with reggaemusic which is associated with bhang smokers. They usually putsomeone’s integrity into question.
Ihad great passion for literature since my young age. This triggeredme to take this Writing Intensive course. The fact that I grew up inseveral social setups, I developed interest of understanding howcultural setups interrelate. I am expecting to learn various aspectsthat contribute literature and the role of literature to the society(Scott84).This will also help me to understand how different social backgroundsinterrelate with each other.
Itis evident from the discussion above songs have a direct relationshipwith cultural setup. Singers tend to sing on the basis of thecultural set-up as well as their personal life. The best part ofmusic is that it helps in warning and educating the society at large.Similarly, it is a cultural heritage whereby cultural values areretained and emphasized from generations to generations. The factthat songs can be maintained for a long time helps in keeping culturealive and helps people to learn and people to develop the rightbehavior.
Edmondson,Jacqueline. Musicin American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, andStories That Shaped Our Culture.Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2013. Internet resource.
Scott,Derek B. Music,Culture, and Society: A Reader.Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002. Print.