How has music affected the way we relate to our environment, if at all?

Folk music such as that of Pete Seeger is particularly focused on the environment and activism, and so is some rock music from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. But has this really made an impact on how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us? Should we be trying to do this more through music today?



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    Music has impacted people in many ways for centuries. Music is a gateway to expression. Using music to express feeling, views, argue, protest etc.

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    I’d say that the popularity of music has developed a platform for individuals on a number of global issues, whether they be environmental, social, or political. As you mentioned, there are a lot of artists whose lyrical work is environmentally themed and carries a strong message, but I think just as much has been done by musicians who have the platform to advocate for environmental causes through partnering with nonprofits, founding their own, making public service announcements, and using their notoriety to bring ideas into conversation for their fans and the mainstream media. 

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    Environmentalism is now one of the many countercultural themes incorporated into protest and youth music, but I’m not sure if  its chnaged the music much. Music, especially classical music, has historically been used to evoke certain environments (Debussy’s La Mer, for example), and many modern musicians incorporate environmentalism into their music (Antony Johnson, Future Sound of London). If these do change our behavior, though, its in a very subtle way — it’s probably more of a common cause sort of relationship than anything else.

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