*.INHEAD* *.AD* Music and Censorship Victor Lombardi December 1991 Second Reader: Alan Stuart Instructor: Richard Hixon Introduction Our society today largely views censorship as a method that has disappeared from liberal cultures since the enlightenment with the exception of restrictions in time of war. The enlightenment served to cripple the intolerance of incisive religious and government leaders, but did not obliterate censorship altogether. Instead, the job of expurgating unacceptable ideas has simply fallen into new hands using new tactics. Censors now assume the guise of capitalist retailers and distributors, special-interest groups, and less influential but still passionate religious and government authorities. Their new techniques are market-censorship (dominating the marketplace), constituitive censorship (the control of language), power-knowledge (restricting knowledge), as well as the traditional regulative censorship (law). These new forces can be as equally effective as the forces of remote history. We notice the effect of post-enlightenment civilization as early as the nineteenth-century in the great Russian humanist Aleksandr Herzin. Herzin left his native country in protest of Czarist censorship only to feel “profound disillusionment with the extremely narrow limits of permission imposed on freedom of expression by market censorship in the West” (Jansen 1991). This author will explore how these forces are affecting the free expression of musicians and lyricists of popular music in the United States, show how censorship has failed to work as planned, and provide a solution to the problem. Music as Literature and Art Music lyrics are essentially composed as poems, ballads, monologues, and the like, and set to music. They may take the form of actual spoken or sung sounds or of written words, as literature does. Any form of literature can be sung with musical accompaniment and become lyrics. …
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