Popular Music and Culture Final Essay

Elvis Presley not only introduced rock n roll to American audiences but also showed a rather unrestrained pleasure in engaging with the music during a period in time when society was particularly constrained by morality and religious codes of conduct (Szartmary, 45). Elvis and other musicians of his time demonstrated how rhythm in music could result in invigorating and exciting body movements. In 1960, Chubby Checker released a cover to a song by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters called the Twist (Zeiner-Henriksen, 1). This song established a new form of individual dancing which in time saw improvised variations and effectively characterized music culture from enjoying music through prearranged body movements to an improvisational response to rhythm. This paper seeks to examine whether a music’s ability to evoke movement determines if it will be a successful track or not. The author will look at disco and in particular Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” music track.

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