Throughout history, dictator regimes have employed censorship to suppress musicians from educating the public about governments’ ills and misdeeds (Korpe 35). Normally, the music industry fraternity considers censorship harmful and undesirable. From the early 20th century, censorship in music diversified through the introduction of media programs and films. The main reason for music censorship in the communication sector is to modify and suppress information regarded to be odious and objectionable. Music censorship is executed in different ways such as banned concerts, banned airing, banned promotion clothing and through parental advisory. In this regard, there are institutions mandated with the task of music censoring. These institutions include radio stations, TV stations, music magazines and parent societies. Censoring protects families, religion institution and states from the effects of harmful music content (Korpe 78).
Although censorship is beneficial, some artists view it as a form of restrain to the freedom of speech. Such views are common when self-censorship is applied. This occurs when a musician or record company’s music and concerts are restricted or fully barred. Although the controlling institution’s actions are based on stipulated rules and policies, in my opinion, despite the adverse effects of some music, there are better alternatives for curbing such effects without having to restrict or ban such music from playing. Throughout history, authorities have normally censored music containing controversial lyrics because of the perception that music can cause social ills (Nuzum 47). The elder members of the society, associating music with youthful delinquency, are mostly responsible for such acts. However, with the changing society, the levels of censorship have significantly declined. Previously banned music has been accepted and televised. The degradation of the society’s moral standards has significantly contributed in this regard.
There are two types of music styles normally affected by censorship due to the controversial messages embodied in their lyrics. These are rock and hip- hop music. In the past few decades, censorship has significantly affected rock music. This has been mainly due to its allusions on controversial content associated with sex and drugs and its offensive lyrics. Since its inception, rock and roll has been perceived as a type of rebellious music (Nuzum123). This perception has survived over time due to the hidden meanings linked to rock. To counter attack rock censorship, rock lovers have formed organizations to lobby for lyrical freedom. These organizations are determined in their pursuance of a non-censored music industry.
Another music style normally affected by censorship is the black-oriented hip-hop music. Since its inception, hip-hop has been subjected to numerous accusations. It is blamed for moral decay through promoting crime, sex and racism. For example, in the U.S, numerous claims have been made accusing hip-hop to be racist oriented. In this regard, media stations are restricted from airing most of the hip-hop songs (Nuzum 203). However, it is difficult to substantiate such claims because both styles contain different content and the claims have no tangible proof. Nonetheless, in my opinion, rap music contains vulgar and offensive content.
Overtime, some recording companies have argued that music censoring compromises the freedom of speech. However, they disregard the fact not all the listeners appreciate some forms music. Thus, these recording companies should advise artists to avoid the use of controversial contents in their music. In this regard, censorship incidents would significantly decline and the society would begin to appreciate all music.
Parents should censor any content that might bring undesirable effects to their children especially the teenagers (Nuzum 45). They should pay special attention to CDs’ warning labels so that they provide only the appropriate content to their children. In this regard, parents will have controlled what their children watch and listen to an avoid induction of the teenagers to inappropriate behavior.