Music and Politics

Music has long been considered political. The philosopher Plato regarded music as such a powerful political weapon that he suggested it be banned from the Republic. Music is often a source of protest. From the labor songs of the early 1900s sung by members of the Industrial Workers of the World, to the protest songs of Woody Guthrie and their reinterpretation by 1960s songwriters such as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, to more contemporary protest music such as punk and hip-hop, music and protest are inextricably linked in popular culture. Many argue music played an integral role in bringing down both the Soviet Union and the Apartheid government of South Africa. The relationship between music and protest songs seems to be the most obvious link ...

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