Sample Psychology Paper on Pop Culture

In the article titled Country Music is Wherever the Soul of a Country Music Fan Is Jeremy Hill has addressed the popular country music genre elaborating on its traditions and the fans. The title of this article is true because in most cases, the soul of particular genre music lies in the heart of the fans. They are the ones who determine the success of a song/genre of music or the ways in which it is received or criticized.  On the other hand, Hill has looked into the history of this genre of music claiming that it has maintained a coherent connection with the roots especially in the rural areas where it all began. Another issue that has been discussed in this article is the changes that have been experienced over time in Country music across the country. According to the author, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, country music underwent a moment of flux which raised concern whether it will maintain a connection with the roots. The rural trappings has always been the environment and setting for country music especially when it did perform best across the world compared to the urban regions. Hill is right to worry whether this kind of genre of music could have maintained its roots because so often as seasons change or time changes, you find that the kind of music being played differs. Majority of the musicians tend to divert from the roots of the music and integrate some other elements which may did not exist which might leave the fans confused while others may prefer not to listen to that particular genre of music again.

Nashville, the cultural milieu of Country music

Country music is known to have originated from Southern United States in the year 1920s in Tennessee. However, Nashville played an important role in this genre of music becoming successful in the music industry. Through various directors, Nashville Sound was developed which was characterized with new instrumentations plus techniques of productions which were unique to country music. They introduced background choral groups, orchestrated violins, and smoother lead vocals. All these techniques replaced the steel guitar, the twang and the fiddle that the previous generations were used to in country music.  However, these new changes appeared to confuse some other contemporary observers especially the old people who were used to the violins and the smoother lead vocals. They believed that the Nashville Sound was diverting Country music from its true roots. Hill is right because many people will always be confused with change. There are those who will embrace it while other people will try to reject this change even if it would bring a common good to everyone. Only those people who understand change will appreciate it and embrace it.

However, Hill has shown the ways in which Nashville contributed to people coming to appreciate this new face of Country music. They run it for long hours on live radio programs which were the most common mode of communication during the 1990s for the people to learn more about this new sound of Country. Nevertheless, Grand Ole Opry turned out to have a stronger influence on the thoughts and minds of people regarding the first generation country music which they were used to listening. They decided to keep the acts on those who had been performing Country music for decades comparing it to the new breed by the Nashville sound. In the end, they decided to retain back the traditional mix of songs, comedy and tomfoolery. This contributed to the Nashville auditorium team led by Ryman to leave their home town for Opryland USA to promote their new genre of Country music across the US.  This could have been the best move because if the people of Nashville could have felt the ways in which other parts of the country received and embraced this genre especially the new techniques, then it would be possible for them to embrace it too.

However, one thing that is evident from this article is that the cultural milieu of a particular genre of music does not have to rely on the setting where it was created. Any genre of music can sell away from home and even do better in other parts of the country and this is exactly what Hill has shown in this article. The Ole Opry group’s dream of having a better genre of Country music was not crushed when the people of Nashville rejected the Nashville Sound. They instead decided to sell it somewhere using a strong chorus to speak to people. In the same year, they recorded a new Country single titled “Country Is” which further deepened the idea regarding country music not being fixed to one particular space.

According to the song, country is something which is in the mind and soul of the people especially the fans thus regardless of where it is played, they should embrace it. The Opry opened the song with conventional rural imagery claiming that country involves listening to whippoorwill and at the back porch. In the next verse, they mention that country is out of the country and is residing in the city where you know about your people. The last verse mentions that country is what a person makes it because it is always in their mind. It is all about the values that a person carries, thinking country thoughts and loving where you reside while identifying the right standing and sticking to it.

The Opry group has elaborated much about the cultural milieu of country music which is important for this study. It means that the article has perfectly performed its cultural role of elaborating more to the reader what culture is all about. The Opry group is right that culture is not a location but a person. It is all the mind of a person thus the reason you find that when some people shifts to other parts of the world such as Europe or China, they try to imitate their lifestyle. These kinds of people do not have culture in their hearts, minds and thoughts; they do not truly appreciate their origin or the environment. A person who loves their culture will not be separated from it because of distance, change or time. This is the kind of spirit that this group of country musicians were trying to pass across to people. It is good to stick to who you are and appreciate your roots regardless of whether you are in a strange land or just resting at your backyard. This is how people come to know their true identity in life and this also applies to fans of music.

They are not supposed to shift their focus from change because when you look deep into the history of Country music, you will find that it has changed; it is not the same type of music that the 1920s people listened. There is the first generation, second generation and now the third generation which comprise of the Nashville sound. There is a say that you can take someone out of the village, but it can be hard to remove the village out of him. This also applies to Country music which is the soul of the country fan; it is their pride to be associated with this kind of music regardless of social class and geography.

One thing that is true about culture and music is that those who powerful showcase it will inherit the musical characteristics enabling them to survive change in performance venues, musical production, and the socioeconomic and geographical mobility of the fans. This is exactly what Hill was trying to show the readers when he used the example of the Opry group whose knew genre of Country music differed sharply from the vocal minority that the fans were used to in the 1960s. By resisting the Nashville Sound, country music shifted to the urban area where it became more like a pop music. Today, you find that many in the urban areas despite not having a rural background love and cherish Country music. For instance, in the modern world, a song like “I will always love you” by Dolly Parton are played everywhere in Los Angeles, Mexico, Texas, Washington and many more areas and people loves them.

One thing that is evident from this article is that when a new matrix is created in music, it will also create new beliefs plus values. At the same time, it will make people to fall in love with the ability of particular genre of music while making the musicians to retain the traditional characteristics especially by the ways in which people embrace it. According to Hill, when the Opry group shifted to USA, they did not only find a new home for their new Country genre of music but also got a chance to promote it on a radio program which drew people to Country music. The end result was people believing in this genre and also coming to appreciate the ability of country music especially because Opry group decided to retain the Country music traditional characteristics and at the same time embracing modernity using new instruments.

Many scholars such as Hill had observed that commercial country music genre has the potential to generate much appeal because it not only connects people to the past, but also the present while at the same time giving them the rural feeling while in urban area. This might have been the reason Nashville Sound was positively accepted in the US because it provided a window for the people to connect to the past while visualizing their roots. The role of this article was also to show the ways culture is deeply rooted in the past. When people connects with some music such as Country, they ends up connecting to their past or their true roots enabling people to identify back with their past or where they came from including those who had already shifted to urban areas.

 According to Hill, when the Opry shifted to Opryland which was a totally different place from the rural area, they managed to bring to the people the idea of home enabling them to have a strong attachment to their traditional places. This is the power of music and culture. It will make you connect authentically to the country or urban life regardless of the physical locations or boundaries. Many of the Opry fans made comments that the authentic country feeling was not bound by the physical locations but the country values which are timeless enabling them to appreciate the ways in which culture has been preserved. At the same time it provided them with a loving memory of their old homes and past which is the role that music tend to play in the lives of people.

One thing that is evident from this article is that through persistence, a person will always achieve what they want. According to Hill, there are those people who believed that Opry group had conducted too much commercialization which made them to be recognized. However, it is through their hard work that made them to be recognized and also for country music to reach the national level. In the 1920s, you could have that only local stations in the country side played country music. The Opry ensured that Nashville sound was nationally recognized and also respected by the “modern” people. This group not only helped in promoting country music, but they also found a new home for it in Opryland which was the best way to show the ways in which people embrace change in the society.

The truth is that the Ryman Auditorium was not sufficient enough to house this modern Country music. The Opryland became the appropriate place and this could be because of the fact that people embraced it fully especially the ways in which it connected with their past. They also managed to bring the country lifestyle in town making a rich culture which could stand the test of time and seasons. According to Hill, for the first time, the country music especially Nashville Sound made sense to the Americans because it had found its ideal “home” in Opryland.

The most important aspect is the ways in which this move by Opry group transformed Nashville. It helped to boost their economy as several tourist came to listen to Nashville town. Majority of the visitors were outsiders who were not familiar with Nashville but were drawn to the city because of music which also shows the power of music. Several fans would come to the city to shop, drink and eat in Nashville establishment such as Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop and the Linebaugh restaurant. This not only expanded their economy but also their culture which became known to many people who visited the place. Hill was trying to show the ways in which music can connect people by bringing them together to share values and traditions which contradict their own in the name for love for music.

Significance of this article

Hill’s article has elaborated on music and the impacts that it has on people and the society at large. It is revealed that music has the ability to connect and bring people together. This is because it resides in people’s hearts and soul just like culture. This article has enabled the readers to understand and also learn more about the history of Country music and those who helped in its success across the world. By elaborating the history of this genre of music, Hill was trying to connect people to Country music and enable them to see the side that they did not know or had not understood before especially the role that Opry played. This article has also enabled the readers to understand the basics of culture and sticking to it.

The Opry group never gave up on the new and modern Nashville Sound that they had founded. They decided to stick to it and take it to a different location where people could embrace it. In the end, the readers realize how much impact that this persistence created not only in the lives of this musicians but also to Country music at large. Today, both the rural and urban people listen to and even sing country music in various events because of this group that decided to look ahead knowing that they can make it. They indeed made it showing that change is possible and can be embraced anywhere even with people who do not connect with it or acknowledge it and this is seen among the Opryland people. This article is also significant in elaborating Country music culture especially the time of instruments that are being played and the ways in which the stage is set. It gives people especially those who are planning to attend a country music concert to have a picture of what to expect.