Censorship of Music




Censorship in music is a topic that has brought about much controversy over the past two decades. There have been many different arguments on the topic, however the question still lingers is should censorship still remain. 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 offensive 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)
Religious or moral beliefs have a great influence on how a person feels about censorship, and as we evolve, common beliefs may change. Right now, America is more uncensored than ever. However, things were very different a few decades 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 all audiences, and there are many parents who wish for their kids to not hear foul language. So on radio and television any controversial language is either silenced, edited, or some artists make two versions of their songs; one that is made for the album, and one for television and radio.
"Preventing or punishing speech… is a clear violation of the First Amendment." (Censorship. Opposing Viewpoints by, Greehaven Press page 147). "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."" (www.anti-riaa.com/forum/shl_ID614021) The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, and censorship is violating peoples\' rights to say whatever they want to say. 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 derived are not from their heart. 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 free access 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)
My opinion on that is : You. I still, however, find it unnecessary to censor stations generally viewed by mature audiences. It is now a requirement by law for record companies to put stickers on tapes and compact discs that say: "Parental Advisory. Explicit Lyrics". The reason that law was passed was because many angry mothers and fathers sued artists and/or record companies for releasing albums that contained explicit lyrics, and now their child goes and repeats their newly learned words to people such as their teachers, principals, and other friends who then spread word around to their parents. I would tend to believe that many of those parents used those same bad words in front of their children at one time or another. They probably did not say it to their face, but the fact still remains that the child heard his or her parents say those words, thus the child assumes it is normal to say that word.
Many parents also complain that the art on music albums\' covers and