Bob Dylan College Essay Example
Bob Dylan College Essay Example

Bob Dylan College Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (966 words)
  • Published: June 1, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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In a culture that song writing has been a major component, Bob Dylan had the voice of a generation, being the most significant musician of the folk revival in the 1950s and early 1960s. To hundreds of thousands of people, he influenced a revolution creating anthems and views towards the Civil Rights and Vietnam War movements. He was not born an idol but was created through his surroundings. His songs based on what was happening at the time impacting the folk revival, transforming and making the genre much more popular. This was done through protesting of the civil rights movement, Vietnam War and his change to the genre of music.

The folk revival was a phenomenon in the United States, beginning in the 1940’s. This phenomenon was the rise in popularity of folk music, the ‘revival’ in folk music. Fol


k music is used to describe music of a common man; it was honest music that was written for story telling or protesting, also known as non-commercial people’s music. The effects of the revival developed and influence the making of new genres of country and western music, swing and rock ‘n’ roll. It became popular towards college students as it spoke truth about movements at the time; it was something other than pop music that wasn’t seen as “devils” music (Ronald, C. 2002).

Bob Dylan was a musician, singer-song writer, poet and writer who changed a generation through his music and lyrics. Being an influential figure in popular music and culture with the voice of a generation, his music started to become increasingly popular during the early 1960’s. Taking on the style of folk rock, Bob took on

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a similar style of writing and playing to Woody Guthrie, who like Bob, was just him and a guitar, writing about his political views (Cott, J. , 2006).

Bob wrote on what he saw - “I don’t think when I write. I just react and put it down on paper... what comes out in my music is a call to action. His songs influenced the movement, as much as the movement influenced him (Blanton, A. , 2001). His Music did not just amuse people, but contributed to people’s reflection of existence of self-conflict and human ignorance (Hubpages, 2009). And although he was not considered an amazing singer or guitar player, he became a significant part in the folk revival through his songs, which shared powerful political views of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War, becoming anthems for those who shared his opinions to protest. Apart from creating anthems his lyrics provided awareness of the problems at the time (Gray, M. , 2011).

In 1961, Dylan’s dreams of becoming a star were becoming a reality. In 1962 Bob was offered his first music contract from Columbia Records, releasing his first album, Bob Dylan, and his second, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, in 1963. After these two albums he was inspired to write about the Civil Rights Movement, expressing his feelings of frustration towards leaders who opposed change. Further influenced by his girlfriend at the time, Suze Rotolo who was involved in an organisation C. O. R. E. (Congress of Racial Equality), an organization heavily involved in the civil rights movement, Bob was asked to write a song for them.

The first being ‘the death of Emmet Till,’ which was

about the murder of a black boy in 1955, 15 yr. old Emmett Till, who was killed because he whistled at a white girl. Attracting attention, the impact of this song led to the enrolment of a black student into the University of Mississippi, which at the time was an all white school, leading to the beginning of the civil rights movement and Bob’s significance in the folk revival (Blanton, A. , 2001). Although Bob was not a big part in the Vietnam protest, he managed to write multiply anti-war songs, which again became anthems for the period.

One of the more popular “masters of war,” which oints out the evil in the people making profit out of war while young men go to war and die. This again made aware to thousand of people the ideologies behind the Vietnam movement, making music a weapon (Hubpages, 2009). "Bob Dylan's music opened up a path where music was used as a weapon to oppose the war in Vietnam and fight injustice and racism," Tran Long An, 67, vice-president of the Vietnam Composers' Association told AP – (BBC, 2011). His use of music in protest became a new weapon and trend as more people began to copy him, showing his significance in the folk revival and in the Vietnam War movement (Blanton, A. 2001).

As well as having a significant role within protest movements Bob was also very important in the evolution of folk music and influences of other genres and bands. Without Bob, the Beatles introverted thinking of song writing would not have been possible as there influence in lyric writing and development was greatly influenced by Bob.

His influence on the genre was also shown as he introduced the electric guitar to his set. Although it was not popular amongst his folk song fans, he influenced the use of other instruments within folk, making the genre folk rock and country rock (Erlewine, S. , 2012).

Bob Dylan’s song writing was a significant movement in the folk revival in a revolution to hundreds of thousands of people. Introducing people to stories influencing the Civil Rights Movement and creating anthems towards protests against the Vietnam War. His songs increased the popularity in folk music through protesting, and advancing the genre by experimenting with different instruments. His songs were not responsible for the ideas of many protest movements but the emotional drive, influencing the world with his music and views on the world at the time, making him one of the most significant song writers within the folk revival.

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