You are on page 1of 4

Music is made by so many different kinds of people; people from all over the world can compose, write,

and produce music in their perspective country. The music that they create can have hints of their culture that can articulate, celebrate, or reflect that particular group of people. These hints of culture can be noticed in the piece itself and have a reason as to why the composer chose to put them in the music. A piece that exhibits this feature is Carlos Chvezs Sinfonia India. Just after the Mexican Revolution music composers and students were having a hard time keeping true to their tradition. European composers were indirectly influencing music in Mexico. Music was trying to become more like that in Europe and losing its identity of being Mexican. Professional musicians will continue to teach the youth the way of the rules of the French and German conservatories; making believe that Bach and Beethoven is music. Chvez did not believe this should happen and that Mexicans should try to preserve the Mexican tradition and incorporate it into the music that was being composed. Chvez establishes orchestras, conservations and also becomes an educator, researcher, and journalist. Chvez mentored a new generation of Mexican composers to help carry on and give Mexican music a name for itself and have it be taken over by European aspects. To reflect the Mexican tradition Chvez incorporated some Mexican Indian aspects into the piece that he composed, which was Sinfonia India. This piece of his was considered to have national and modernists elements in it. As for the national part Chvez incorporated the several different types of Mexican Indians percussion instrument, along with lyrical melodies specifically from the Yaqui Indians of Sonora (2:05). As for the instruments he used things such as the Yaqui Drum, Clay Rattle, Yaqui Metal Rattle, Water Gourd, Tenabari (string of butterfly cocoons), 2 Teponaztles, Grijutian (a sting of deer hoofs), Tlapangueguetl, and a Raspador

Yaqui. If these instruments were available, substitutes could be used to sound like that particular instrument that was missing. Chvez also had some modernistic elements added into this piece. This piece had irregular accents, meaning you could never predict when the next accent would happen; it was always random, there was no set pattern to it. The other element was ostinatos which were the repeating of a motif or phrase throughout the same musical piece. A modern group from the late 90s to early 00s was able to incorporate a lot of messages into their lyrics of their songs. This group was called System of a Down; it was comprised of four Armenian Americans. A majority of their songs lyrics have a meaning behind them; the reason for this was because the group members wanted to bring to light the tragedy that is the Armenian Genocide. This was something the Ottoman government was responsible for; nearly whipping out 1 to 1.5 million Armenians for absolutely no reason. The Ottoman government went to great measures just to get rid of them; they first killed all the able-bodied male population through massacres and forced labor. Then women, children, and elderly were deported and forced on death marches into the Syrian Desert. With this tragic event that occurred, the band was able to use this as a basis for their music. Corrupt government, drugs, violence, suicide, anything that seems unfit to be in a song was put into their songs. Compared to Chvez, System of a Down did not incorporate any kind of Armenian musical style as they are from California. They are a metal rock band with guitar, bass, drum, and singer. The band is as American as it can be, besides being Armenian; the fact they are singing about controversial topics in their songs has a sort of American rebel in them. Not caring what people think about them, just wanting what they have to say to be heard and for people to know about the issue. Noticing what the message that the band is singing about could be quite difficult if you

are not used to hearing them sing before. The singers speech is quite fast and mumbled, to fully understand and grasp what is being said it is best to look up the lyrics while listening to the song. As mentioned before the band uses their lyrics in their songs to convey messages about certain aspects that are happening in the world at that time. One example of these types of lyrics would be their song called B.Y.O.B.; if you were to say this acronym to any college student they would interpret this as bring your own beer in the case of the band it stands for bring your own bombs. This whole song is about the topic that is still talked about to this day, war. Looking at the lyrics you can see subtle and not so subtle hints that the lyrics are talking about war. The biggest hints are the lyrics Why dont presidents fight the war?/Why do they always send the poor? and Barbarisms by Barbaras/with pointed heels. The first set of lyrics is talking about how privileged politicians start wars, but expect the poor to fight these wars for them. The question poses that why presidents dont fight wars instead of sending unfortunate people who only join the army in search of a higher education, since the army pays for college fees. The second set of lyrics is hard to figure out unless you are familiar with news anchors. It is referring to Barbara Walters, since she is a news reporter who shows the bright side of war as propaganda. This song is not the only one that has lyrics like this. Another song of theirs called Chop Suey is another example of lyrics with a meaning. This song is about drug addiction but in a more positive light than what everyone precedes it to be. I believe that the groups music is mostly consumed by people who would actually listen to and enjoy this type of music. If a person who listen to nothing but country were to listen to this song or type of music, they are probably not going to like it, understand it, or call it nothing but noise. Even if you explain the lyrics to them they might enjoy it a little bit, but not as much

as a person who regularly listens to this type of music daily. I personally identify with this type of music; I grew up listening to this music and now that I am older looking back at the lyrics, they make much more sense to me now than what they did back then. I recommend you to actually look at the lyrics to one of their songs and interpret it, find the meaning behind them, what is the story they are trying to tell the world?

YouTube channel: B.Y.O.B. song: