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Roving Teen Reporter:
Turn That Down!
Leila Zein-Phillipson | Torrey Pines High School Junior


Photo illustration Art Olson


Music is one of the oldest art forms; the English name “music” comes from a Greek term meaning “art of the Muses.” The evolution of music from prehistoric times to now is evident to all, especially parents.

“My parents call the music I listen to garbage. They don’t even refer to it as music,” said Bradley, a freshmen at Torrey Pines High School, who calls his favorite music genre “drum and bass.”

From the beginning of time to the present, genres of music have formed and evolved, changing from simple and classic percussion instrumentals to blues and jazz, which then evolved, into folk and country until the radical appearance of rock and roll. Rock and Roll originated in the United States during the late forties and early fifties. Elvis Presley became known as “The King of Rock,” and from Elvis the continuing evolution of popular music became even more radical in the eyes of parents. When the ‘60s rolled around bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Doors and elite guitarist Jimi Hendrix were blasted from the teens of the ‘60s using vinyl records, eight tracks, and later, compact cassettes.

“My mother didn’t like [the rock and roll] that I listened to. She felt my music contributed to and encouraged lawlessness and disrespect for authority,” said a local music lover born in the ‘50s.

During and after the radical ‘60s a set of new Pop Cultures emerged, each with their own musical expression and these cultures grew quickly. New forms of music appeared. These new and growing genres include among others new wave, heavy metal, folk rock, Southern rock, rap, dubstep/electronic, and new rock. MTV was created in the ‘80s as a novel way to popularize music and add visuals to the sound tracks. MTV is one of the biggest musical departures to date. With music on TV, music was able to take on aspects of a visual performance. This resulted in rapidly increased popularity of the entertainment form amongst teens. However, opinions on this new musical era differ.

“I’ve listened to older music but it doesn’t get me going and pumped up like modern music which is more upbeat,” said Julia, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy.

Other teens seek to be non-conformists and take a stand against this new-age music.

“I don’t think modern music expresses what artists really believe or feel. The lyrics have no meaning,” said Madeline, who also mentions the change in music. “A couple decades ago music was intimate and about real world issues. Modern rap is demeaning [to women] while old school rappers like Tupac Shakur addressed real world problems.”

Some teens have caught on to the reasons behind parents’ dislike of modern music.

“Profanity in modern music is a huge influence on teenagers’ behaviors and dialect which is not a positive thing. I like rap, I think it’s catchy, but I definitely understand why my parents don’t appreciate it,” said Isaac, a sophomore at La Jolla Country Day.

Music is constantly evolving and changing. It is a growing art form, yet it is eternal. Different people have varying opinions on certain genres, but the feeling music gives listeners is universal.

As reggae legend Bob Marley once sang, “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain,” even though parents ear drums may sometimes feel that way.


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