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"Fight the Power": Music as a Social Force
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12
This research guide serves as a resource for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Education Department course, "Fight the Power": Music as a Social Force". For additional information on the course and for more teacher resources, see http://rockhall.com/education/inside-the-classroom/rockin/FTP/
In many times and places, people have used music as a powerful tool for social change. The story of rock and roll overlaps with some of the most turbulent times in U.S. history. In the 1960s alone, American society was being torn apart by debates over the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and the Women’s Liberation movement. Since that time and well into the present, musicians have entered such debates by spreading messages of revolution, protest, and empowerment through musical styles as diverse as folk, rock, and soul. This class features songs from the 1960s and 1970s that have challenged audiences to consider the alternatives and make changes in our society. Students explore recordings and videos of legendary artists to examine expressions of social commentary contained in lyrics, performance styles, and historical images.
Search the Catalog
Our catalog has a subject category for "Inductee." If you enter this term in the search box and choose "Subject" in the dropdown box, you will retrieve information on our resources that are related to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees.
Limit your search by using the facets on the left of your screen in the library catalog, i.e. Format:
These research databases can be accessed within the Library and Archives.
For Your Students
These resources, pulled from class discussion and selected from the Library and Archives' collections, will help you to:
Give examples of ways musicians have used popular music to pose questions about society and suggest avenues for change.
Interpret the lyrics of songs by applying knowledge of poetry and historical references to the Vietnam War, the 1960s counterculture, the Civil Rights movement, and the Women’s Liberation movement.
Explain how music and musicians both influence and are influenced by society and culture.
New to Archives? Check out:
Joan Baez & Bob Dylan, Blowin' In The Wind," 1963
Grateful Dead, "The Other One," Shoreline Amphitheatre
Black Sabbath, "War Pigs," Paris, 1970
Lupe Fiasco, "Words I Never Said," featuring Skylar Grey