A Reflecting Pool: Different Tastes in Music Reflect Diversity

Various genres of music emerge from cultural ties, and often times lead to cultural diversity.


Fiona Abraham, Staff Writer

Music defines us. Ninety percent of the global population couldn’t live without it due to its cultural importance. Think about it, could you go a lifetime without having music you could plug into ear buds and escape reality?  Its psychological effect on our bodies is spectacular. We use music daily from jamming in the car when going to school or getting down at a party. The type of music you listen to can change the way others see you.  Countries around the world have their own style and rhythm of music which reflects their cultural background. Panther Creek has a vast variety of students who each have their own taste in music, thus reflecting cultural diversity of the world.


Let’s take it back to the 1920’s, where flappers danced the “Charleston” and famous jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong had their music emanating throughout the air. The era was the peek of popularity for jazz. It has a deep connection to both our soul and America’s history. Jazz was first seen in the late 19th century in New Orleans, Louisiana. The recording of jazz did not begin until 1917, but it didn’t sound quality, as it would in person. Blues and ragtime were the ingredients that created jazz as a whole. PCNN talked to Christine Bryant, student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and she explained that her favorite jazz artist is Duke Ellington. “Jazz takes me to a whole new world,” Bryant stated. “The best jazz musician of all time would have to be John Coltrane because of his impeccable style of constructing his music.”


A few decades after jazz came into play, rock emerged in the 1950’s, the era where boys wore leather jackets and greased their hair. Rock music was at its peak during this time. Famous rock artists were Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, and Chuck Berry. Rock was popular because it reflected society’s rebellious mood at the time. The music became a mirror of youth ambition. Composed of strong beats and hardcore rhythms, rock kept you alive and awake. Anne Wong, junior at Panther Creek, says that indie rock would be her favorite type of rock music, with her favorite song being “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”


Finally, during the late 20th century where men sported “the juice” haircuts and being a smooth player was the ideal lifestyle, hip hop emerged from the shadows. Hip hop originated in the urban neighborhoods of New York City, and the first rap song ever aired on live television was “Rapture” by Blondie. Afterwards, the Sugar Hill Gang came out with the song “Rapper’s Delight,” the first commercially-successful song back in 1979. Hip hop has been a topic of discussion for a long period of time. From the opposite coast, arguments rose in opposition declaring that rap music is not real music. Hip hop was a topic that would take the population and split it into opposing sides. Since hip hop is so diverse, people have different preferences of who they think is better. To this day, there are different categories of hip hop such as underground music and mainstream music. Some prefer one over the other.

Even though we might not realize it, music is an enormous part of our life. It defines who we are and what we like. It’s the best form of entertainment. Whether you’re into old school swing music such as Frank Sinatra, or mainstream rap artists such 2 Chainz, our musical taste is an accurate reflection of who we are as people.