Music holds the power to expose inequality, and influence social change. Tone, beat, rhythm and lyrics blend to give rise to social cohesion. It crosses divides in culture, attitudes and beliefs; igniting unity. Music has the ability to remove ‘them and us’ even for the transient moment of a song. Watch below for an inspiring example! Follow the link (at the end of video) for a FREE album by ‘Empty Hands’.
Commonly used as a practice of social justice, music helps to gain campaign momentum. If you think about it, even protest chants use rhythm for effect…no, no we won’t go!
Guo and Tsui (2010) state “resistance and rebellion are still important strategies for people at grassroots level.” One band that can be viewed through this lens is Midnight Oil. Their music and activism brought Australian Aboriginal land rights into the spotlight. Lead singer Peter Garrett’s “resistance and rebellion” can be heard in his quote; “even if your pushed to the wall for the things you believe in, don’t give in!”
Tracey Chapman’s song ‘Talk‘n’ bout’ a Revolution’ perpetuated the notion that people would rise up out of inequality when she sang “finally the tables are starting to turn”. It could be interpreted this indicates an end; a Marxist view of delivering equality in every way to everyone. https://politicaltunes.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/tracy-chapman-talkin-bout-a-revolution/ Tracey’s view of ‘an end’ is in direct contrast to James Tully Struggles over Recognition and Distribution (2000) who states there is “no end to the struggle for recognition and distribution.”
In 1986 renown folk singer Bruce Cockburn argued that the “foreign policy of powerful countries is about making a buck” and “not lifting people in poor places out of their misery.” https://politicaltunes.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/bruce-cockburn-call-it-democracy/ This poignant remark could continue to serve as a a wake up call to those in power.
Further musical Sounds for Social Justice can be found via following links: