Connecting Links between Music and Politics

The morning raga of the cuckoo, the song of the crickets or the Beetle’s track playing in your stereo, no matter what form of it is, music is something that has managed to enchant human lives from time immemorial. The cosmic sounds that are believed to have been the source of energy on the planet are testimonials to the fact the music is eternal and that there is no second thought about it. Music has been an integral part of the human civilization from time immemorial, right from the first breath that a child heaves to the final thud of its heart. All these obvious facts make one thing clear that there is hardly any part of our lives that is still untouched by the divine presence of musical notes and serenity. The same follows in case of world politics and if we turn the pages of history, we find several powerful instances where clear correlations between the two have been established.
Before we lay direct examples to ascertain the links that music and politics have in common, it is best to discuss the main points that back the use of music in politics or the political influence in musical genres.

We all have come across songs that seem to stir up feelings of national integrity or patriotism in us. These are also, in a way examples of music being used to preach a political ideal. One thing that is markedly different from strictly patriotic songs and other forms of music that have a light political background is that the former genre of songs often have lyrics that explicitly put forward a social message or words that talk of unity or national integrity. This is however, not the case with the second class of music. Instead of expressing the idea through words, it is generally the time of its composition and the overall marketing that weaves the required web to preach the desired political opinion. The national anthem of a country is undoubtedly the greatest example of the musical expression of politics and patriotism.

The pages of history are full of citations that assert a connection between music and politics. Parodies are one of the most popular form of campaigning, which not only saves the money and effort needed to compose a new song but because popular chart numbers are chosen, reach a wide number of minds due to catchy and upbeat tunes. If we talk of art music, as early as Beethoven’s third symphony was a great example of this connection. It was originally called Bonaparte and was a symbol of the Napoleon conquest. RAPM was a Russian musician collaboration formed in the 1920s under the powerful backing of Stalin and aimed in popularizing the then prevalent ideologies through the avenues of music and instruments. Given below are some of the more contemporary forms of music that found way into world politics over the years and became as iconic as the political movements themselves.

Rock bands such as Crosby, Nash and Young, Living colors, Maniac Street Preachers and the highly powerful form of rock, punk rock have been associated closely with such music. Social issues like hierarchy, was one of the most addressed ones and many great punk rockers like the Crass, The Sex pistols and many more faced a great deal of critical judgment while being the blood and bones of the nation at that point in history.