Essay on Musical Functions

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Unit 19: Music & Society
Assignment 1:
Musical Functions

Music in everyday life
Music and society have always been intimately related. Music reflects and creates social conditions – including the factors that either make it easy or can obstruct social change. All kinds of music are available to most people, 24 hours a day, at the touch of a switch. Never before in the history of humanity have so many different kinds of music been so easily available to so many people. The development of the electronic media in the latter part of the 20th Century revolutionized access to and use of music in our everyday lives. We can turn on the radio, play a CD or tape, or listen to music on video or TV with very little effort. This has not always
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In 1999, 49% of children took instrumental music lessons. The decision to learn an instrument was generally theirs, although teachers were influential in the process, more so than parents. Approximately half of the children who played had a friend or family member who also played an instrument. Estimates of adults playing an instrument have varied between 24-30%. The instruments most likely to be played by children are the recorder, electronic keyboard or piano. Piano is the main instrument for adults. The main reason children gave for learning a particular instrument was liking the sound, although friendships were important in some cases.
These figures suggest that music has become an integral part of our everyday lives in a way which would have been unthinkable 100 years ago. Further, we not only listen to music, we make it. This is reflected in the setting up of a development agency for participatory music making in the community called Sound Sense. This acts as a source of information and provides opportunities for the exchange of ideas in relation to all aspects of community music.
Music as a political comment

For many people, music serves as something more than just sound to fill our ears.
With music in our malls, televisions, restaurants and transportation, the exposure is endless. With no escape, artists have been able to gain power both politically and socially, influencing what we buy, how we feel and what we agree with.
Politically, music is all

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