What is the role of music in society?


People may feel that music's role in society is to shape people's values and attitudes and serve as a means of group identification. Oftentimes, music is the vehicle by which minority groups express their convictions and experiences, thereby strengthening their culture. Music also serves in the background of many social activities and in this way has a unifying effect on the masses.

Music stimulates the mind. On the individual level, people use it to avoid boredom, express their emotions or escape hurtful feelings such as loneliness. Because people personalize music and become attached to it, music serves as a medium of unification for individuals. Sometimes this phenomenon is accidental, as with persons who discover a shared taste in music and consequently form a friendship. It can also be intentional, as with churches that sing congregational hymns to unite the membership in unified worship or with military units who sing cadences in order to stimulate courage and cooperation.

Music has often been the medium by which oppressed minority groups express their hardships and transmit their experiences through the generations. Gypsies and African Americans are prime examples. The creation of distinct folk music builds cultural identity and strengthens the bond between members of a society.

Music also has a strong influence on youth. Young people who have not solidified their values are susceptible to influence by the lyrics of the music they consume. As a result, music affects their behavior and the way they view themselves, their peers and the world.

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