How The Beatles Changed Music

From the moment The Beatles hit the public radar it was clear that they were no ordinary rock group. They instantly began challenging basic ideologies surrounding rock and roll as well as music in general. In addition to their ingenuity in the recording studio, they also completely altered the course of music in America, and in the process broke the barrier between the British and American music industry.

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Music in America during the early to mid 20th century was mostly made to be danced to

The Beatles wrote their music to be listened to

They weren’t the first to do this in America at the time but they were the ones who successfully made it happen.

After they succeeded music in America shifted to the point where most music was made for listening instead of dancing

Don Maclean even brought attention to this in his hit song American Pie with the lyric “We all got up to dance, oh but we never got the chance.”

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Music in Europe and America was frankly different up to the early 60s.

“The reputation that was out there in Great Britain was that you can’t make it in America. They just want to listen to a different kind of music.” -Michael Cheney

The Beatles were different in that many of their inspirations were American musicians, most notably Bob Dylan.

Once the Beatles broke through to the American public the idea that British musicians couldn’t make it in America was quickly and violently forgotten.

Quickly after the Beatles hit it big here the cultural phenomenon known as the “British Invasion” struck.

This was when bands from Britain came to America and started having tremendous success. The Rolling Stones and The Who being the most notable to follow in the Beatles footsteps.

While The Beatles storied run as world famous band was criminally short, their impact is one that will never be forgotten. From their creativity in the studio, to their arrival in America, all the way down to the day they tragically broke up, The Beatles were changing the way people thought about music. Though they stopped making music together almost 50 years ago their impact is still being felt today and will be for a long time to come.

One thought on “How The Beatles Changed Music

  1. Cam, I love the artifact idea and I like how your analysis of the topic of hand seems very thorough. To best support your claims, I would especially key in on their catalyzing of the British Invasion, as well as the Beatles’ changing of music’s purpose from dancing to listening. Can’t wait to see how you make this civic, man. Maybe — and especially in the case of the Beatles — talk about how music conveyed political, social, and in some regards economic issues of the time. Given that the Beatles changed music to a “listening activity” if you will, perhaps listening to their music is essentially participating in civic life by your definitions. Maybe tie that in somehow. As usual, great work brother.

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