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The Influence of the Bible on Contemporary Music - Research Paper Example

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An author discuss' an important influence of religion on contemporary music. This union has been always strong enough to be the aim of discussion, and this paper is going to make a contribution of bible into modern music…
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The Influence of the Bible on Contemporary Music
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The Influence of the Bible on Contemporary Music

Music is influenced by the nature of the culture from which the artists have developed their aesthetic point of view. Music expresses emotional connections which are enhanced by the literary value of the lyrics that are written to define the subject matter. One of the most influential pieces of literature of the past two thousand years has been the Bible, the rise of Christianity forming culture and transforming the nature of life. Music and lyrics, as art forms, naturally reflect the cultural influence that the Bible has had on Western society. The Bible has influenced modern music, both in positive and negative venues, the Judeo-Christian foundation of society evolving in a wide variety of formats and belief systems. While some artists express joy from this perspective, others express anger and resentments. From either point of view, the Bible has been a strong influence on culture with the arts, including modern music, reflecting that influence.
Schippe and Stetson explore the many ways in which the Bible has influenced society. Literature, the newspaper, rock musicians, screen writers, television producers, and advertisers, all frequently use the Bible for inspiration for their work. Fine artists and commercial artists use the Bible in order to gain inspiration for their work as well (1). The Bible is a double edged sword in regard to the influence it brings to society. The moral and ethical structure that Western society is based upon is derived from the Bible, thus much of the positive imagery found in the arts can be attributed to the Bible. However, there is a darker side of the Judeo-Christian heritage that often finds its way into the arts. ...
Her greatest hits album at the end of 1990 was titled The Immaculate Collection, a tongue in cheek take on the concept of the immaculate conception story in the Bible. Christian images are even more prevalent in her video interpretations of her music than even in the music itself (Taraborelli 203). In her song Like a Prayer, the visual imagery is specific to the crucifixion and to the embodiment of a deified male character who is associated with Christ. According to Campbell, the message of the song is that we are all brothers and sisters under Christ, that racism diminishes humanity. Her video emphasizes the spiritual nature of the music even though the music provides no straight narrative to the visual imagery (299). The band Devo used the influence of the Bible as a starting point from which to define some of the music that they created. They saw the Bible as a mythology, a set of beliefs from which society defined its place in the universe and Devo saw that hubris as humanity placing itself at the center of the universe. The name of their band, Devo, was constructed from the concept of de-evolution. In creating music that was contradictory in nature to the influence of the mythology of the bible, they were “attacking ideas that people have that they’re at the center of the universe” (Crisafulli 65). In naming their band by a name that came into conflict with creationism and evolutionism, Devo was making a comment on the pride with which religion elevates human beings above a place in which they lose their awe for all of nature. The music of politically inspired musicians often also include music that is inspired by the Bible. Sinead O’Conner, greatly influenced by the politicized, ... Read More
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