Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Collision Course - Update

Today was the second collision course collaboration. (Try saying that three times fast!)

Lest you missed the previous post. A colleague and I combined our classes to discuss the concept of music and crimes - which comes first? does one influence or cause the other? In the first gathering my colleague and I each talked about a certain song to give an example for our students to follow.

For today the students were to report back what their groups had explored then participate in a class discussion.

Nearly all the students agreed that the song choices they were given were fairly dark - meaning there was something sinister about each one because of their association with crime.

Most groups believed that while there is a connection between music and criminal activities there was some disagreement as to which caused which.

Personally, I believe it can be both.

Some songs are written about crimes. In so doing they are either narrating the event or giving commentary on it, or giving both narration and commentary.

This concept is not new.

Look back to folk ballads over the century. They were effectively storytelling songs that reported events. Many tell of rapes, murders, robberies, and other crimes.

Look back to the music of the European Troubadours, Trouvères, and Jongleurs.

And then there are the innocuous songs that for whatever reason some listener places unintended meaning to the words.  Like my example of "Helter Skelter" in the previous post. 

Most songwriters do not set out to write a song intentionally hopeful that it will cause someone to commit a crime.  Oftentimes the commentary the songwriter expresses may lead the listener's thoughts in certain direction, however the destination of those thoughts is not in the scope of the songwriter, but of the listener.

As one student put it:
There will always be music.
There will always be crime.
There will always be attempts to connect the two.
Does one influence the other?

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