Music censorship is the act of altering the lyrics of songs and even refusing to play certain songs over the airwaves because of moral, religious, political, and legal reasons. It can also include the act of banning offensive music videos and restricting artists from performing songs that are considered to be rude or distasteful. Music censorship has been around for several decades; in the United States, for example, authorities and radio stations started to censor songs in 1950s, which was when young people began to steer away from traditional and conservative values and started to express themselves through new types of music.
Many people support music censorship and say that it greatly helps in maintaining the society’s traditions, norms, and culture. However, it has also gained numerous detractors over the years, who see it as a form of discrimination and a tool to repress people’s freedom. To learn more about this, take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of music censorship.
List of Pros of Music Censorship
1. It protects children from expletive lyrics and morally wrong concepts.
Children are impressionable and are prone to imitating anything they hear or see. This can be dangerous, particularly when they’re exposed to songs or music videos that contain swear words or glamorize wrongdoings like drugs, rape, violence, and racial discrimination. Without proper supervision from their parents, children can end up thinking that swearing, calling people names, and doing other morally wrong things is acceptable. Fortunately, music censorship prevents this from happening by changing expletive lyrics or ensuring that offensive songs and music videos won’t be played over the airwaves and heard/seen by children.
2. It discourages producers from using shock value to sell albums.
Many music producers know that dirty lyrics and questionable moral messages can convince people to listen to their songs, so they create offensive songs to sell albums and increase their earnings. However, when music censorship is implemented, producers become less likely to use shock value because they know that any offensive musical works they create will be banned.
3. It promotes respect and political correctness.
Many songs and music videos are deemed unacceptable because they promote racial and gender discrimination as well as other forms of prejudice. Through music censorship, these tunes and videos won’t be played over the airwaves, which means they’ll reach less people and won’t be able to spread their morally wrong message.
List of Cons of Music Censorship
1. It limits artists’ freedom to express themselves.
Singers and song writers use music to express their creativity, promote peace, change, freedom, and other positive messages, and inspire their fans. However, these can be difficult to do when their music is censored since the full message of their songs won’t reach their listeners’ ears.
2. It limits listeners’ enjoyment of songs.
Certain types of music censorship can destroy songs. Beeping and blanking, for example, cause listeners to hear annoying beeps or unwarranted silence instead of full lyrics. Cutting, on the other hand, removes the offending words as well as the lines around them, making the song sound off or incomplete. With these changes, listeners will find it hard to fully enjoy not just the lyrics of the songs but also their rhythm.
3. It can be abused the authorities.
There have been instances when national leaders ban songs because these criticize their policies and/or encourage people to revolt against the government. This is common in authoritarian societies and is seen as one of the ways that the government extinguishes the freedom of its citizens.
Censoring songs has both pros and cons, so people should weigh these carefully to ensure that music censorship won’t do more harm than good.