Every generation, it seems, complains about the next generation’s music, sometimes for moral reasons and other times from taste. When Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring debuted in Paris, it sparked outrage from conservative opera-goers, leading to a full-scale riot.
While musical styles often differ, the emerging consensus of researches suggests that music leaves its mark, especially when it delivers lewd or violent content. Multiple studies published in the American Association of Pediatrics, for example, have found a strong correlation between listening to sexualized lyrics and risky sexual behavior in teens.
“Let me write the songs of a nation,” says a quote sometimes attributed to Homer and sometimes to Scottish statesman Andrew Fletcher, “and I care not who writes its laws.” Music is a powerful medium, shaping how we think and what we love.
Recently Emily Ratajkowski publicly regretted her role in Robin Thicke’s 2013 song Blurred Lines. Far from empowering, she now mourns the ways it commodified her body – and taught younger girls to do the same.
When Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart,” that includes music… “for everything you do flows from it.”
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