Censorship In Music
Censorship in music is a topic that has brought about much controversy in the past two decades. There have been many different arguments on the topic, however the question still remains as if it should be censored or it should not be censored.
Before you can form an opinion on this, you must hear both sides of the argument on this much-debated topic. Some people believe that music should be censored so all audiences can hear it without it containing any controversial lyrics. Others believe it should not be censored and musical artists should be able to speak, sing, rap, or rhyme freely without anyone censoring them.
"Whether a person finds a work obscene depends largely on his or her moral or religious beliefs. These views change with each generation and further complicate the censorship dilemma." (Censorship by, Bradley Steffens page 97)
The quote above is very true. Religious or moral beliefs have a great influence on how a person feels about censorship, and as generations pass on the common beliefs on it may change. Right now, America is more uncensored than ever. However, things were very different a few generations ago.
Some people believe music should be censored. They believe some of the language musical artists use is vulgar, obscene, and crude. Also the fact that music is played on medias such as radio and television, which are free to listen to by all audiences, and there are many parents that would not wish for their kids to hear foul language. So on radio and televison any controversial language is either silenced, edited out by a soft sound, or some artists make two versions of their songs; one that is made for the artist's album, which is uncensored; and one for televsion and radio with any controversial words change to be acceptable for all audiences. This does not include cable television, which can be audited by parents since the parents must order and pay for the channel to be viewed.
"Preventing or punishing speech?is a clear violation of the First Amendment."
(Censorship. Opposing Viewpoints by, Greehaven Press page 147). This quote here is the "battle cry" of many anti-censorship groups. When you really think about it, it is a violation of the First Amendment, which says: "Congress shall make no law? abridging the freedom of speech or of the press". The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, and censorship is violating peoples' rights to say whatever they want to say. It is sometimes difficult to understand when a child gets punished for using foul language meanwhile the child's parents have the right to critiscize and petition the government whenever they feel the need to do so. Many musical artists feel that when they are forced to change lyrics their rights are being violated. In some artists' songs they like to express their feelings towards somebody or something, and it hurts them to be censored because the new words implemented are not from his or her heart. They feel that they are being held down.
Due to the amendment made by our founding fathers I do not believe there will ever be an answer to the question whether or not music should be censored. The way I see it, it should not be censored. Many children often hear explicit language from older siblings or parents at an early age. They believe that since someone they look up to uses those words, they should too. Eventually, everyone will be exposed to language they do not find acceptable. Foul language is not permitted on medias such as television or radio because it is an all audience media. However, on albums the artist is allowed to use any words he or she sees fit.
"The vexing question, of course, is, Who should decide what you read or view- the church, the state?or you?" (War of Words: The Censorship Debate by George Beahm page xiii) In my opinion, the answer to that question is: you. Censorship on television channels such as Nickelodeon ?, or PBS ? is understandable due to the fact that mostly young children programming is broadcasted on those stations. However I find it unnecessary to censor stations generally viewed by older audiences. It is now