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GLOBAL STUDIES AND WORLD LANGUAGES ACADEMY

The Sound of a Revolution


How has protest music affected social movements and revolutions
in the 20th and 21st centuries?

Elizabeth A. Roe
12/12/2014

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Table of Contents
Abstract3
Introduction..4
Limitations...5
Methodology....6
Literature Review.7
The Instrument...13
The Voice...14
Folksy Rock...15
Zimbabwe..17
China..18
Apartheid19
Egyptian Revolution..20
Modern Russia...21
Conclusion.22
References...23
Appendix A24
Appendix B....25
Appendix C....26

Abstract

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Just a single voice singing clearly through the crowd can change the dynamics of a
revolution. From the very beginning of rock and roll, influenced by the heart-wrenching and raw
blues, one sees the transition of music into what it is today. Tiananmen Squares anthem, Nothing
to my Name, and a Caucasian Zimbabwean rapping the woes of his people who live in poverty
under an ignorant and uncaring government suddenly have a lot more in common when looked
through the paradigm of music; the anti-apartheid movement in 1980s South Africa and 2011
Egyptian Revolution have the same message.
From Jimi Hendrix performing The Star-Spangled Banner while biting his lip and
scrunching up his eyes, to a Russian nightmare involving twenty-something girls and a church,
the common denominator is music. But, more specifically, it is the sense of protest and the will
of these individuals to reform the government they are living in. It is the need to promote
freedom, equality among races and sexes, and ridding the world of the fear of being mugged
when walking home.
The understanding of music in sit-ins, marches, and concerts is vital in attempting to
comprehend the event itself. Without the music, there is no soul and no coming together of the
individuals. The purpose for a revolution seems clearer when seen from the stage, a microphone
poised with promise. Protest music has been and continues to be an influential factor present in
revolutions and social movements not only nationally, but globally in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Introduction

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Music is so much more than a simple combination of sounds; it is a form of cultural
expression and identity, a form of rebellion. Movements that use this form of music are as varied
from each other as the 1950s rock and roll takeover to the hidden messages in modern Chinese
pop songs.
Throughout the revolutionary periods themselves, even simple chants yelled by a man
holding a loudspeaker into the crowd, a communal voice returned in full force, is a song. The
bonding experience shared between sit-in groups and marchers is enhanced by the shouting, the
singing, the many voices becoming one.
Music as a rule is one of the basic facets of a culture. African tribes and Chinese
dynasties alike have particular musical instruments they create music with that has been finetuned over centuries of isolation. And the purposes of these often reach a crucial point later when
revolutionary periods are in full swing, as the musician must decide whether to choose
portability over tradition, or even tradition over modernity.

Limitations of Study

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This project is focused on the impact protest music has on social movements and
revolutions in the 20th and 21st centuries. Unfortunately, the time-limit placed on this paper limits
the author from further examining the impacts of more recent events on the future development
of current social changes.
As a high school senior, the author is unable to conduct interviews with primary sources
due to financial constraints, prior responsibilities to their personal education, and civil unrest that
is not conductive for Americans to travel at this point.
Many of the revolutions the author refers to in the text are of the past and are thus unable
to be attended. The events at Tiananmen Square and 2011 Egyptian sit-ins at Tahrir Square are
history at this point in time, recent and relevant as they are. Fortunately, however, they have left
a trail of influence that can be followed.
The languages spoken in many of the core countries the authors paper focuses on are not
spoken by the author. This fact would make it difficult to attain primary sources and, though a
translator could theoretically be available, much of the information is liable to be lost in
translation.
Furthermore, the author has and would continue to have difficulty discussing the topic at
length with qualified individuals due to a lack of qualifications herself. Without any college
education or a focused degree, the credibility of the author is low, causing other, more respected
sources to shy away from discussing the topic and giving information directly to her.

Methodology

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In the research the author focused the sources mostly in print and electronic bases. Large
amounts of research hailed from books checked out in the TCC joint-use library; all of the online
articles and papers were found through databases such as gale.
One editorial was used as well, found through EBCS database. Its positive review of
Mathew J. Bartkowiaks book, The MC5 and Social Change: A Study in Rock and Revolution,
had interesting background that was quotable and informative, if not deeply entertained and
analyzed by the editorialist, Gary Hoppenstand.
All of the data used in this paper is qualitative as well. Descriptions of time periods,
countries, instruments, and individual musicians all revolve around this basic concept. There are
some historical quotes taken through the sources used.
The author also had meetings which detailed the inner-workings of the music industry
from a primary source. The individual, Martin Sneed, owns Vinyl Daze Records and Sound and
has dealt music for years. His knowledge was crucial to the formation and furthering of this
paper.
Furthermore the author watched various documentaries to gather research on the
Egyptian revolution of 2011 and the issue of protest in modern Russia found in the form of Pussy
Riot. These two features were award-winning, one nominated for an Oscar and another for many
academy awards. Both accurately, as far as the author is aware, depicts the situation in its
entirety in regards to the musical aspects.

Literature Review

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Darity, W. A. (Ed.). (2008). International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 7, pp. 268269). Detroit, MI: Macmillam Reference USA. Retrieved November 17, 2014.

The

article states quickly that rock and roll broke down social barriers by challenging sexual, racial,
and, later, political taboos (268). Further within the article, the author takes the reader through
rock and rolls evolution into the rock of the sixties, adding that American rock and roll travelled
to the UK; the British then quickly responded with their own electrifying bands that excited
American audiences and helped share messages. It also cites the popular festivals of the time,
such as the Summer of Love in 1967 and the Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 (268). Rock
then became rap, an eclectic urban mix of African American and Caribbean traditions, became
the most cutting-edge, politicized music. The boastful, angry lyrics highlighted confict
between the black and white, rich and poor, male and female (269).
Grundlingh, A. (2004). Rocking the boat in South Africa? Volfry music and Afrikaans anitapartheid social protest in the 1980s. International Journal of African Historical Studies, 37(3),
483-514.
This paper delves into the Afrikaans anti-apartheid musicians during the 1980s,
specifically in the way they view their role in events at the time. As Koos Kombuis described it,
Our protest was not as subtle as those of the novelists; ours was an in your face, fk you
movement (485). Opposition music was popular in the 30s and 40s, recurring in the 80s even
stronger (486). The ducktail subculture that opposed racial discrimination in the 50s and 60s
enjoyed rock and roll, but did not connect it to the larger ability to share political messages (487).
The Volfry countrywide tour in 1989 represented the high point of Afrikaans protest rock
(488). Volfry, however, failed to evolve beyond protest music, lacked wider connections, and

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did not inspire their followers to express themselves in unambiguous and meaningful political
terms (451).
Hoppenstand, G. (2009). The sound (and meaning) of music [Editorial] [Electronic version]. The
Journal of Popular Culture, 42(4).
Gary Hoppenstand states in his editorial: Indeed, from the 1950s through the 1970s,
rock embraced a subversive function, challenging everything from fashion and appearance, to
moral standards, to politics. And during an age of social unrest in America, arguably the most
effective form of protest was music (1). He later refers specifically to the MC5, the house
band of the White Panther Party, a group that was critical of capitalism and supported the
ideology of the Black Panther Party (2).
Lerner, M., & Pozdorovkin, M. (Director). (2013). Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer [Online video]. HBO.
Pussy Riot, the small, all-female band that made waves over social media when taken by
the Russian government and imprisoned after performing, is shown in all its glory. The punk
band still loudly clamors for their voices and message to be heard.
Lynskey, D. (2011). 33 revolutions per minute: A history of protest songs, from Billie Holiday to Green
Day. New York: Ecco.
Lunskey takes the reader into in depth analysis of such famous protest songs such as
Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday and Manifiesto by Victor Jara. He says of Woodie Guthrie, writer
of This Land is Your Land, he could best reach the common man by being the common man
(14). This theme is recurred throughout the book, and seems what best connects the musician
and the listeners, as seen with Ronnie Gilberts introduction of Bob Dylan. He says of him,
They tell me that every period, every time, has its heroes. Every need has a solution and an
answer. I tend to think that they happen because they grow out of a need. Things needed

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saying and the young people were the ones who wanted to say them, and they wanted to say
them in their own way (51).
Makina, B. (2009). Re-thinking white narratives: Popular songs and protest discourse in post-colonial
Zimbabwe. Muziki: Journal Of Music Research In Africa, 6(2), 221-231.
doi:10.1080/18125980903250772
Makina discusses the Zimbabwean Comrade Fatso, a musician who inspires many and
speaks for the masses. The author expresses the use of a protest song, saying the protest song
therefore, becomes a vehicle for the expression and manifestation of what is going wrong in
society, and that, protest songs are a means of communication and an aid to collective action.
Zimbabwe has a long history of protest music, dating back to the colonization and rise of
Chimurenga (revolutionary) songs. Giving fighters moral high, independence followed and then
led to celebratory songs toward their new leader, Robert Mugabe; post-independence issues
(referring to general wrongdoing such as bribery, robbery, inequality, and greed) were
frustrating the progressive goals set at independence. He has challenged ethnic barriers in his
song Identity, questions the governments management in House of Hunger, and describes the
hopelessness he youth feel in MaStreets.
Matusitz, J. (2010). Semiotics of Music: Analysis of Cui Jian's Nothing to My Name, the Anthem for
the Chinese Youths in the Post-Cultural Revolution Era. Journal Of Popular Culture, 43(1), 156175. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5931.2010.00735.x
Matusitz runs through the hidden protest in many of Chinas songs and delves into the
pop music of the country. Used as a warning sign against the oppressive government, one song in
particular stands out. Nothing to My Name in particular refers back to Tiananmen Square and the
lack of freedom resulting from it. As noted in the article, ideas that are usually censored by the

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media and authorities in Beijing can be expressed through the subtle art of pop music. Further
elaborating on the shifts in the song, Matusitz notes that even the beat and instruments used can
change the meaning and shift both the purpose and feelings toward the song. This is seen across
songs and generations, from Beijing to Woodstock (referring to Jimi Hendrixs rendition of The
Star-Spangled Banner.
Noujaim, J. (Director). Abdalla, K., & Abdullah, D. (Narrator). (2013). The Square [Online video].
Netflix.
The Square is an excellent documentary detailing the eighteen day sit-in in Tahrir Square.
Narrated by a young man as he shoulders his way through the crowd, describing modern Egypt
and arguing with other Muslims over the correct course for their country to take after Mubarak
leaves office, he encounters Ramy Essam. Essam is a young guitarist, unknown before the
revolution and now the figurehead for the protest.
Perone, J.E. (2004). American History through Music: Music of the Counterculture Era. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press.
Perone finds a quote from John Sinclair, a poet, disc jockey, record producer, and cofounder of the radical White Panther Party, who says rock music is revolution. In addition
he pointed out that the entire gestalt of the rock music experience, which included high volume,
drugs, sexual freedom, rebellion against authority, and so forth, symbolized the revolution that
radical politicos sought (98). The counterculture era is further explained through its popular
music trends, relation to the anti-war movement, and general lifestyle that followed it.
Religions. (2014). In CIA world factbook. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
This article found on the CIA World Factbook simply states the different recognized
religions with a brief description of each that involves key icons, a basic history, and detailed

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construction of where it stands today and where it is most prominent. It is then followed by each
country identified by the USAs religious demographic.
Roy, W. G. (2010). Reds, whites, and blues: Social movements, folk music, and race in the United
States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Roy critiques the use of music in social movements in this book. Roy explores the way a
single natural disaster or war can lead to a powerful piece of music that changes individuals
around the globe and encourages action to be taken. He notes on page 2 that the Old Left
(communist-led movement of the 30s and 40s) succeeded in boosting folk music from an
esoteric genre meaningful to academics and antiquarians into a genre of popular music familiar
to ordinary Americans. He further notes that the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s had
little interest in putting freedom songs on the charts. But whereas the Old Left did not relate to
the average member in their movement, the Civil Rights songs did and did very well. On page
195 Roy further denotes that Sit-ins, marching, and civil disobedience with mass arrests
facilitate collective music making. Music making is further expressed as a sense of normalcy
for the religious African-Americans, who attended church and grew used to the sense of
community in song; it was a natural step for them to take in the movement (199). Meetings with
speakers, the use of media, support for cultural activism, and hierarchical organizations are more
likely to stimulate performer-audience forms of musicking (195).
The Global Religious Landscape. (2012,
globally, providing a chart which clearly describes the breakdown. Furthermore it states the geographic
locations of these religions and more specific distribution. Helpfully as well, it gives statistics
regarding the general age of the average religious affiliate for each of the eight December 18).
In Pew Research. Retrieved November 6, 2014.

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This article describes the shifting religious percentages represented denominations, which
includes Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Folk religions, unaffiliated, and other
religions.
Tinton, J. T. (Ed.). (2001). Worlds of music: An introduction to the music of the world's peoples.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/ Thomson Learning.
Tinton explores the different musical instruments from various cultures and countries in
this book. With pictures for reference and technical definitions, this source helps one to
understand the instruments generally used in revolutions and why they are. Some hold traditional
value to the populous, rebab and other Gamelan instruments to Central Java; some are adopted
into the culture, such as the guitar to the jazz musicians of the 50s and 60s.

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THE INSTRUMENT
The Instrument. It holds a special place in the hearts of the revolutionary. Some hold
traditional value to the populous, such as the rebab and other Gamelan instruments to Central
Java (Titon, 185); some are adopted into the culture, such as the guitar to the jazz and blues
musicians of the 50s and 60s (Titon, 87). But regardless, the instrument brings together the
performer and listener.
And the guitar does seem to be the most popular choice. Loud electric guitars brought
forth Pussy Riots clamorous message of feminism and ridding Russia of Putin (Lerner) while a
simplistic riff on a plain acoustic guitar shaped the revolution of Egypt with Ramy Essams
gentle, yet firm hand (Noujaim).
A portable and globally pleasing instrument, the guitar has been touted by protesters such
as the greats Bob Dylan and John Lennon (Lunskey). Its versatility is attractive to many, and a
cheap beater can always be purchased somewhere it seems.
Zimbabwean rapper, Comrade Fatso, features acoustic guitars to make a complicated
background of interwoven sounds (Makina, 221). Cui Jian, singer of what is considered widely
as the anthem to Tiananmen Square, was a guitarist himself and had a ripping guitar solo
featured in the classic Nothing to my Name (Matusitz, 156).
Matusitz notes that even the beat and instruments used can change the meaning and shift
both the purpose and feelings toward the song. This is seen across songs and generations, from
Cui Jian in Beijing to Jimi Hendrixs rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock.

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THE VOICE
The voice connects listeners to an even greater extent than the instrument does.
Without it, only a catchy beat would be heard. The voice is the vessel through which the message
of the performer is given. And, interestingly, the voice has influences itself, much like a guitar
style does.
As seen with the major three religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all involve
harmonization among voices. Islams call for prayer echoes from loudspeakers, signaling the
public; recitations in mosques are quietly repeated by men and women on colorful, elaborate
prayer rugs. Judaism involves the reading of the Torah in Synagogue, with the most avid
believers going to the Wailing Wall. Christians have this sense of community in their churches as
well, joining in group prayer and singing hymns (CIA World Factbook). Among Christians in
particular, the most famous is the calling back and forth between singer and crowd, a style that
heavily influenced early blues musicians.
With roughly a third of the global population as Christians, a quarter Muslim, and 14
million Jews (see fig. 2), ones religious upbringing affects the style of the artist (The global
religious landscape). In addition to this, one should note the average ages of each member in the
religion (see fig. 1). The average Muslim is just 23 years old, able to detail the tumultuous events
surrounding him/her with a youthful paradigm.

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FOLKSY ROCK
To fully understand rock and roll, one must begin at the roots of it. First begun by slaves,
blues was initially shaped by the Christian church. Common particularly in Baptist churches,
informal singing between the congregation and general response to sermons thrived among the
black community. When blues began to form, many of the same aspects were taken on,
particularly the bond between crowd and performer (Tinton, 88). Early on between the 1910s and
1920s, blues was popularized. It is true that African-Americans invented blues, and it is also
true that early on people outside the black communities were attracted to it (Tinton, 105).
And many of these attracted individuals were whites. Unfortunately, however, until the
1950s it did not fully catch onto the youths attention, with the mainstream preferring crooners
such as Frank Sinatra, and later small harmonizing groups singing upbeat pop songs (Tinton, 98).
It was not until African-Americans, who continued to evolve into a sense of rock, where
spotted by UK bands. The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, and The Animals were all
heavily influenced, later electrifying American audiences and sharing the original messages set
forth by Blues musicians. Popular festivals, such as the Summer of Love in 1967 and the
Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 only furthered the influence and cemented rock and roll as a
genre. Rock and roll then broke down social barriers by challenging sexual, racial, and, later,
political taboos (Darity, 268).
Folk music as well has and continues to play a substantial role in social movements. A
communist-led movement in the 1930s and 1940s, for example, deemed the Old Left,
succeeded in boosting folk music from an esoteric genre meaningful to academics and
antiquarians into a genre of popular music familiar to ordinary Americans. Oppositely, two

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decades later, the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s had little interest in putting freedom
songs on the charts. But whereas the Old Left did not relate to the average member in their
movement, the Civil Rights songs did and succeeded stupendously (Roy, 2). The religious
African-Americans, who attended church and grew used to the sense of community in song
found group songs a natural step for them to take in the movement (Roy, 199).
And this folk music soon morphed to an extent with rock and roll, creating such famous
artists as Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Woodie Guthrie in particular, writer of This Land is
Your Land, was said that he could best reach the common man by being the common man
(Lynskey, 14). This theme is recurred throughout history, and seems what best connects the
musician and the listeners, as seen with Ronnie Gilberts introduction of Bob Dylan. He says of
him, They tell me that every period, every time, has its heroes. Every need has a solution and
an answer. I tend to think that they happen because they grow out of a need. Things needed
saying and the young people were the ones who wanted to say them, and they wanted to say
them in their own way (Lynskey, 51).
Indeed, from the 1950s through the 1970s, rock embraced a subversive function,
challenging everything from fashion and appearance, to moral standards, to politics. And during
an age of social unrest in America, arguably the most effective form of protest was music
(Hoppenstand, 1).
There is a particular quote from John Sinclair, a poet, disc jockey, record producer, and
co-founder of the radical White Panther Party, who says rock music is revolution. In
addition, he pointed out that the entire gestalt of the rock music experience, which included
high volume, drugs, sexual freedom, rebellion against authority, and so forth, symbolized the
revolution that radical politicos sought (Perone, 98). The White Panther Party, a group that was

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critical of capitalism and supported the ideology of the Black Panther Party, even had their own
house band, MC5 (Hoppenstand, 2).
Throughout the sixties and seventies, rock transformed and the African-Americans took it
back from white listeners, turning it to rap. Rap music, an eclectic urban mix of African
American and Caribbean traditions, became the most cutting-edge, politicized music. The
boastful, angry lyrics highlighted conflict between the black and white, rich and poor, male and
female (Darity, 269).
ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe, a rather small player on the international stage, has a long history of protest
music, dating back to the colonization and rise of Chimurenga (revolutionary) songs. Giving
fighters a moral boost, independence followed and then led to celebratory songs toward their
new leader, Robert Mugabe. Unfortunately, post-independence issues, such as general
wrongdoings like bribery, robbery, inequality, and greed were frustrating the progressive goals
set at independence (Makina, 223). Currently, however, there is a musician that attacks these
problems with biting lyrics saturated in reality. He comes in the form of white Zimbabwean
Comrade Fatso. He uses the simple protest song, expressed in the article Re-Thinking White
Narratives as a vehicle for the expression and manifestation of what is going wrong in society,
and that, a means of communication and an aid to collective action (Makina, 222). Comrade
Fatso challenges ethnic barriers in his song Identity, questions the governments management in
House of Hunger, and describes the hopelessness he youth feel in MaStreets. In his music video
for MaStreets in particular, he flashes the audience quick images of small impoverished children.

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Comrade Fatsos tool is not only his voice, but his display of his message through media
(Makina, 225).

CHINA
A single natural disaster or war can lead to a powerful piece of music that changes
individuals around the globe and encourages action to be taken (Roy, 2), and the Chinese can
relate. After centuries of dynasties and then a sudden push for democratization after communism,
Tiananmen Square seemed to be the single event that tipped the scales.
There is hidden protest in many of Chinas songs, as ideas that are usually censored by
the media and authorities in Beijing can be expressed through the subtle art of pop music. But,
used as a warning sign against the oppressive government, one song in particular stands out.
Nothing to My Name refers back to Tiananmen Square and the lack of freedom ultimately
resulting from it (Matusitz, 157).
Cui Jian sings How long have I been asking you/When will you come with me? with a
sound like staccato-like snares playing dutifully in the background. By playing on the audiences
perception, the signs in the mind of the listener are the staccato-like snares that are reminiscent
of Maoist gunshots during the Cultural Revolution (Matusitz, 158). The effect is intense, with
many Chinese today still in love with the song and Cui Jian himself.

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APARTHEID
In the 1930s and 1940s jazz and blues music as well as distinctive forms of township
music such as marabi carried with them their own implicit and sometimes explicit political
messages. But, unfortunately, the 1960s brought repression with the banning of the African
National Congress. Earlier popular music fought against officially sanctioned traditional, neotraditional, and religious music. Many jazz and other musicians shunned by the South African
Broadcasting Corporation which followed government policy by promoting narrow ethnic music,
and left in the lurch by recording companies that followed suit, had emigrated, disillusioned with
political developments in South Africa (Grundlingh, 488).
The Afrikaans anti-apartheid musicians during the 1980s made waves, recurring in even
stronger than the previous jazz musicians of the 30s and 40s (Grundlingh, 486). But, unlike other
musicians, these men differed specifically in the way they viewed their role in events at the time.
As Koos Kombuis described it, Our protest was not as subtle as those of the novelists; ours was
an in your face, fk you movement (Grundlingh, 485).
It first begins with the ducktail subculture that opposed racial discrimination in the 50s
and 60s, who enjoyed rock and roll. Dancing and singing along, they missed their opportunity to
connect it to the larger ability to share political messages (Grundlingh, 487).
One band in particular formed, known as Volfry. They did not connect with the literary
works, newspapers, and art that came from the Apartheid, opting to satirize the state, Afrikaans
political leaders, the South African Defense Force, the apartheid system, and white middle-class
values (Grundlingh, 485).
The Volfry countrywide tour in 1989 represented the high point of Afrikaans protest
rock (Grundlingh, 488), with the Apartheid officially ending five years later in 1994.

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EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION
Sit-ins, marching, and civil disobedience with mass arrests facilitate collective music
making (Roy, 195). A prophetic statement was proven in 2011 Egypt. The eighteen day sit-in in
Tahrir Square had to be catalogued by someone, and Ramy Essam was that individual. As men
argued over the correct course for their country to take after Mubarak left office, Essam, a young
guitarist unknown before the revolution, becomes the figurehead for the protest (Noujaim).
The young man took protest chants shouted by fellow revolutionaries and put them into
songs for everyone to share and sing along to. His most famous, Leave! referred to leader
Mubarak, and a performance with him standing on a makeshift stage in front of a large crowd
was representative of the general feeling not only toward him but toward protest music during
social movements as a whole (see fig. 3).
While in Tahrir Square, he was captured by the army, taken into the Egyptian National
Museum which had become a makeshift security headquarters, and tortured with electricity,
stripped and beaten. Fortunately, though he was barely able to walk, he was alive. Essam
returned to the square and continued making music into today (Noujaim).

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MODERN RUSSIA
Russia, a conservative country known for the vastness of Eastern Orthodoxy and Siberia,
was challenged in 2012 by Pussy Riot, the small, all-female band. Noted by Andrey, father to one
of the imprisoned band members, the strategy of Pussy Riot is to show up at certain places and
shock the public. There is a social-political message behind it all (Lerner).
The feminist band formed the same day Putin won reelection for a third term and began
composing songs that called out his supporters, questioned the connection between church and
state in Russia, and challenged gender roles. When asked what they personally disliked about
Putin, the response was simple: The excessive nationalism he promotes. Later a masked
member stated: We have an authoritarian regime and were not happy about it. It deprives us of
the basic right to influence our countrys fate. Songs like Putin Pissed Himself displeased the
government, but by wearing balaclava masks they escaped detection (Lerner).
In Christ the Savior Cathedral, members performed a song during mass that made waves
over social media when they were escorted out by Russian police and imprisoned. A father of
one of the band members notes that the stone creates small waves. One of these waves turns
into a tsunami, but you never know which one (Lerner). The women rushed onto the alter, some
wildly bowing down and praying as others clanged music from guitars in the background.
The remainder of the punk band still loudly clamors for their voices and message to be
heard, with the message, Were not gonna kill anyone. When asked on methods, a girl stated,
We use peaceful methods, metaphor and art. Anybody can take on this image: masks, dresses,
musical instruments, lyrics. Its not too hard. Write a song, some music, and think of a good
place to perform (Lerner).

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Conclusion
Through revolutions and social movements, the voice and instrument together can topple
regimes. An event as current as Pussy Riot and a social movement decades old such as the antiapartheid sentiments held in South Africa are seen together as one and the same in their purpose
where music is concerned: enlighten the people and get them to fight for the cause. In this way
the other notable situations such as the Tiananmen Square protest and Zimbabwean fight for
human rights and living conditions also mesh together.
Throughout this paper the importance of the guitar in particular has been stressed, dating
its origins in Blues and Jazz and explaining its advantages over other instruments. In almost
every example provided within the paper, a guitar was used in the production of the music.
Ultimately, music is the expression of oneself, and many times that same feeling is shared
by others, reflecting back to the performer. The revolutionary, armed with a guitar, can kill
fascists much in the ways of Woodie Guthrie; they can destroy a regime such as Ramy Essam.

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References
Jagodzinski, J. (2005). Music in youth culture: A Lacanian approach. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lerner, M., & Pozdorovkin, M. (Director). (2013). Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer [Online video]. HBO.
Lynskey, D. (2011). 33 revolutions per minute: A history of protest songs, from Billie Holiday to Green
Day. New York: Ecco.
Makina, B. (2009). Re-thinking white narratives: Popular songs and protest discourse in post-colonial
Zimbabwe. Muziki: Journal Of Music Research In Africa, 6(2), 221-231.
doi:10.1080/18125980903250772
Matusitz, J. (2010). Semiotics of Music: Analysis of Cui Jian's Nothing to My Name, the Anthem for
the Chinese Youths in the Post-Cultural Revolution Era. Journal of popular culture, 43(1), 156175. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5931.2010.00735.x
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Netflix.
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Appendix A:

Figure 1 depicts the average age among each of the described religions, with Islam being the
youngest and Judaism the oldest (The Global Religious Landscape).

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Appendix B:

Figure 2 depicts the percentage of


each religion in the global
population (The Global Religious
Landscape).

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Appendix C:

Figure 3 shows Ramy Essam, the leading musician in the Egyptian Revolution, performing
Irhal! or Leave! to a crowd with only a simple acoustic guitar (Noujaim).