Music and the City

The influences of music towards the city, how different music was in different time eras and what it represented in that time frame. We looked at how music was a way to communicate what was going on in communities. In this lecture, to get a better understanding of the relationship between Music and the City, we actually listened to music that were produced as far back from the 1800’s. I have to say it was a very and one the best sessions we’ve had in Making of a Place module. Few places we looked at are the Altes Museum, The National Acadamey of Music, Statue of Mother Russia, Saint Nicolas Church in Prague. In this reflection I hope to demonstrate with the best of my skills what I understood from the music that was played and the places that was shown afterwards and how the music depicts the mood of that area.

What is Music?
Music in its broadest definition is an expression of art through sound. Music is an important part of an environment as music is one of the view things that shapes and form social behaviors and cultural practices. Even in Ancient Rome and Greece there was music. It played an important role in Greece history as music was apart of the theatres, ceremonies and celebrations.
With reference to a piece to reading that accompanied this lecture on Music and the city “Music in the streets: the example of Washington Square Park in New York City”, the writer goes on to explain how music is apart of street life and that music continues even when moved or the location changes. This is something that I understood from the text. Another is that music can be used as a breakage for social barriers and it gives a sense of freedom as well. But as I read I also notice
where the writer also speaks on how street music has been forgotten in way due to the invention of the automobile and innovations to be entertained by music within the home which then creates the a classification of indoor and outdoor music. Indoor music being dependent on the time era where as outdoor music being dependent on the space needed to create and present it to people. In class we drew an example of the indoor music, (a drawing of a scenery of Parlour Music) which was in the era of the piano development and was regarded as house music because instead of going out to the theatre to listen to music, one can have just played their piano in the comfort of their own home.
During the lecture, I noticed how the music carried with it a lot of history the same way as Visual Arts, Literature did. I see how the Baroque music was involved with the image of the Saint Nicolas Church in Prague and how the music of the classical period was used along side the image of the Altes Museum to suggest power, along with the music played for the image of the Mother Russia Statue to demonstrate power, independence and pride.
Then in the early 1900’s to mid 1900’s, we begin to hear different form of music. A type of music that was rebellious in a sense. And based on the issues that were going on in the mid 19th century concerning the wars, and political reformation, we don’t only see the change but we hear the change. It can be heard in the music sung by artist such as Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones.

From the lecture, it was obvious to see and understand the relation between Music and the city. With reference from the (Music in the streets: the example of
Washington Square Park in New York City) “music in the street no longer performs referential or aesthetic functions”, I disagree with that statement as with the current state of today music, because of how the music of today is mostly relating to. Such as with hip hop music where the referential functions are in the lyrics where its telling of the struggles of a community and persons within that community and telling you about the stereotypes along with it.

For my conclusion, I can say music and the city go hand in hand. I can say that one is dependent on the other. The music needs a place to come from. This is what gives certain music its personality and with that personality is what breaks barriers, tells the story of a place, and breaks barriers. This is why music is timeless.

• Paolo Prato, (1984), 4, pp 151-163 “Music in the streets: the example of Washington Square Park in New York City”, Popular Music.
• Keith Richards: Life, August 31,2014, , Online, Accessed 6/12/2015, Youtube.

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