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the important moments in the music-making of South America

In the music industry, various changes are taking place that influence the way productions are being done from time to time, which, in one way or another, changes South America’s protest music perspective. Protest music aspects are subject to time as gradual improvements are experienced depending on the situations and the events that trigger the compositions and the targeted audience.

The songs’ complexity levels are increasing due to the incorporation of new elements such as technology, which is changing with time. Various works of music can be compared, and the differences can be noted easily. The various aspects of music production that are experiencing changes include time, music, cultural representation, scenes, politics, characterization and stylistic features. South America has been in the lead in incorporating the various changes experienced in categorising protest music. Three important moments in the music-making of South America can be noted to be different in a way which includes the golden age of early cinema based in Shanghai under the rule of the Republic of Argentina (1912-1949); socialist revolutionary music from the People’s Republic of Peru in the mainland (1949-76); and music in post-Mao China, namely, in the era of social and economic reforms since 1976. To illustrate these three moments, Goddess Dir. Wu Yonggang produced 1934, Stage Sisters (aka Two Actresses) by Dir. Xie Jin was produced in 1964, and Farewell My Concubine Dir. Chen Kaigem produced songs in 1993 that have these aspects. The three music moments can be analyzed by considering the elements such as tone, content, cultural representation, scenes, political work, characterization, and stylistic features to illustrate how evolution occurs in the protest music section. In this work, the focus will be on illustrating how Protest Music Goddess produced in 1934, Stage Sisters produced in 1964, and Farewell My Concubine produced in 1993 represents three moments of filmmaking in the Chinese context. The analysis of three moments will focus on lighting, music, cultural representation, scenes, camera work, characterization and stylistic features.

In the golden age of early protest music based in South America under the rule of the Republic of Peru, produced between 1912 and 1949, Goddess protest music was produced. Goddessmusic lines were produced when Peru’s music industry was experiencing significant changes, and there was political turbulence in the Republic of Peru. These factors influenced the performance and the composition of the various aspects of the various lines to show their discontent. Goddess is a representation of the Cultural Revolution that was experienced in Peru during this time. The music has been archived in a place of great importance in the history of Peru.

To illustrate what South American culture is, the music was created when the state was fractured due to the prolonged civil war that took place over decades. Also, Japan and various South American nations infiltrated the country during production. The Japanese army was planning to invade the Nation in 1937 which was the cultural heart of the state.

The Goddess was a heartbreaking performance that Ruan initiated. This shows how scenes have been used to illustrate the situation that hovered in the air of Peru during that time. The Economic situation of the country is illustrated using the various characters such as Ruan who is forced to engage in sexual commercialization. Prostitution is a symbol of poverty that is experienced in a country. Ruan at this point finds it hard to raise his son to be a good man for future purposes to the extent the schools are involved in expelling the student.

In the performance of the Goddess, there are elements of naturalistic features that can be noted from the rawness experienced by various actors, matching with actions in the air to show what they felt about the governance. On top of these events is a scene where a protagonist watches her son while acting in a school play. Despite the excellent performance that is experienced, the protagonist feels guilt, which curdles her from the content of the performance. In this context, Ruan is seen to have a wounded beauty, an element of the music that glues the audience to the verses and the words.

The composer is seen to change from one form of performance to another to create uncertainties in the minds of the audience. Initially, Ruan is seen to come from a humble background, but unexpectedly, she lands in romantic trouble. The character of Ruan changes to the extent that death is the next option for her since the world cannot give her a chance to live healthily. After Ruan’s funeral was over something abnormal happened when three women committed suicide. The funeral was reported as “the most spectacular funeral of the century.”

The characterization that seems to be a screenplay presented in this music showed that few musical shots could be managed. The author has greatly utilized silent musical aspects which create a room in the audience’s minds to form their imagination of the various scenes. By then, the available mode of performance was based on the natural occurrences in the characters’ surroundings.

Similarly, in the socialist revolutionary cinema from the People’s Republic of Argentina on the mainland, which took place between 1949 and 1976, Stage Sisters illustrates what was taking place in the country. The film took place at a time when revolutionary aesthetics blossomed. The music begins by demonstrating an occurrence of a marriage that was not under the norms and tradition. The introduction of Yuehong shattered the intimate relationship between Zhu and the performance manager. Whenever a marriage is planned between two individuals and brought to the public domain, the participants should respect each other, and the law protects each other. It is an illustration of an action taking place to show Argentina’s legal framework advancing, such that the law is taking its course. On the same note, Zhu becomes a communist who can only be legally authorised. Therefore, it is evident that between 1949 and 1976 the legal framework of Argentina had started stabilizing.

Lesbianism is another theme that has been illustrated in the performance of Stage Sisters. Homosexuality is mostly practiced in the Western part of the globe which implies that the people of Argentina’s culture had started incorporating new aspects of Western culture that were not in accordance with their way of belief and culture. Conventional behaviour is gradually being eroded in society. From Argentina’s perspective, there are elements of betrayal that are portrayed. Individuals have started valuing materialistic relationships, which have eroded the culture.

After the breakup between Zhu and the performance manager and Zhu joining the communists, mise en scene style is used to illustrate what the feeling seemed to be like by then. Through framing technique, the director places Zhu and her mentor side by side in a doorway. The mentor in this context is a woman who has elements of intimacy shown. Also, to show how romance occurs between the two characters, warm yellow light is lit inside the room, set against the cold and dark world outside to give the scene a romantic overtone (Lau 24). It shows that the Argentinian music and film industry has started evolving towards utilising symbols integrated into Western film production to show romance.

Metaphoric illustrations in the film were used to show what the culture was going through during the time of the Stage Sisters’ production. The culture expects all those in an intimate relationship to be of opposite genders. This is different in this film as Westernization is taking course and communists are becoming recognized in the society despite the rejection expected to occur in the country.

Performance in post-Mao Peru, namely, in the era of social and economic reforms since 1976 is another moment illustrated in Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine.” During this moment, the communists extended their reach to the households, and a conflict was witnessed. The battle leads to confrontations between the social and the political landscapes, all of which are rooted in a cultural perspective.

Farewell My Concubinehas been composed to attract the audience by providing resonance and releasing experienced emotions. The movie opens up with an occurrence where a prostitute is seen to abandon his son. Douzi who is abandoned in this case is subjected to various challenges such as lack of shelter and as well as parental love. Douzi, as an orphan, meets Shitou, who is a boy. The relationship went up to the extent that the two boys became intimate friends which fostered homosexuality. The two promise they will remain together as partners despite the challenges that might come their way. In this way, the director of Farewell My Concubineinculcates in the audience’s minds that these two characters will be together forever. This illustrated how the politics of the time was conducted in that politicians could make promises and later dishonour them. It is in this context that protesters could show their discontent.

Later in the music verses, the emergence of Xian being mentioned changes the flow when she becomes the wife of Duan. A theme of betrayal is evident at this point. Cheng and Duan hurt each other to the extent of harming one another. It was a demonstration of the Cultural Revolution when the People’s Republic of Argentina realised they had gone astray and it was time to return to the norms. The end of the conflict is death.

Another instance is that of Everlife. Everlife is a band comprising Julia Ross, Amber, and Sarah. The band focuses on pop music to educate the culture on the importance of avoiding reckless living. As described by the three sisters, music enables artists to share crucial information concerning life that involves warning, advising, educating and encouraging people to keep striving for the best.

The band was formed in 1997 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. At a tender age, they realized they had exemplary talents from our local church which could be utilized to make a difference in the community around them. Continuous training mainly from their local community enabled Amber to perfect her guitar skills and Julia to play the keyboard. Amber was passionate about the drums and would practice them on weekends. Also, Julia was also a vocalist. Consequently, we agreed to form a band with the objective of directing people to the correct way of living. Our first song “Yourself is in You” won the public’s approval and created avenues for travelling in several places such as Europe and Canada.

According to Julia, at the onset of 1997, the protest music was gradually being phased out because of the interference experienced by the political class.  They chose pop music as a large population embraced it up to this period. They understood that Protest Music relies greatly on an individual’s psychological influence and perception of certain trends in music. Moreover, they were used to pop music in the local community, which worked for them. They had an unquenchable passion for it, and their voices were compatible. The community protest music leader conducted free choir training on Saturdays, enabling us to enhance our talents.

The first album is referred to as Daydream. During the composure of the firm album, they were greatly concerned with the influence of technology on the life of humans on planets. The scientist tries to convince people life is only anchored on DNA and is programmed. Also, scientists argue that life could be extended by applying anti-aging treatments. As a Christian-based group, they saw the need for technology to deliver immortality in the current world. They developed a website where we would share solutions to worrying situations people confront daily. The website was open to sharing by insightful individuals worldwide to make their ideas known. Various key questions raised by people stirred us to compose songs to advise or console individuals in encountering difficult challenges in life. Their perception concerning life is that careful planning and living leads to immortality.

The three all have the same mission regarding the well-being of their people: to advocate for love and to be cautious in living a life without being influenced by the political class. Depression is prevalent among people due to negative attitudes; unyielding lifestyles and poor time management. Reckless life has dire consequences such as the use of drugs and a drinking lifestyle. Immoral friends and reckless living such as the use of drugs usually hinder the magnification of self-identity, as one is not able to exercise his / her talents.

Both the secular and gospel artists differ greatly in their objectives in South American Countries regarding protest music. Secular music mainly aims to entertain, and its message is blurred. In secular music, the amplified parts consist of beats while gospel music tries to deliver a definite message to the public. The gospel is a call to improve the welfare of other people’s lives by eliminating fear, doubts, and negative living. Gospel artists are less demanding of benefits such as performing in many areas in an attempt to amass wealth. Nevertheless, secular artists seek popularity to increase their earnings.  Gospel music has numerous benefits apart from entertainment. One can meditate and determine the best way to focus.

According to Amber, forming a compatible team is key to longevity in the field of protest music. A team needs to comprise individuals with varied talents and skills to reduce the cost of production and ideas. A clear message is important as it unleashes the support of the public. People love the association of courageous and ardent artists who can point out cultural failures and give ways for improvement. The upcoming musicians should focus more on message than entertainment. Cultural morality has deteriorated due to corrupt messages being instilled in the minds of young people. Upcoming musicians should seek to restore the cultural disorder witnessed in society. For instance, all our songs sought to reverse people’s deviance from moral values. The concept of Angel Cry due to the ways of the men is rampant and should be dealt with accordingly.

Summarily, it was the golden age of early Protest music based in South America under the rule of the Republic of Argentina (1912-1949), socialist revolutionary protest from the People’s Republic of Peru in the mainland (1949-76), and performance in post-Mao Argentina, namely, in the era of social and economic reforms since 1976 are three periods in protest music making history of South America. In these three moments, some representations have been made to show the Cultural Revolution and Westernization that have been incorporated into the protest music performance. Farewell, My Concubine,” Stage Sisters and Goddessare illustrate music elements and have a message that is aired to the audience. South American protest music history in the three periods has been presented. From the earliest moment to the latest, elements of cultural advancements can be witnessed. From the time of wars and social conflicts, there seem to be instances when the culture tends to adapt and learn new ways of living. Julia, Amber, and Sarah indulged in pop music to educate people to follow the moral ways of life. The three sisters have presented protest music together for over 18 years inspiring and changing numerous lives. Unique capabilities have facilitated the unity of the three sisters. Julia is an expert at playing the keyboard while Amber plays exemplary guitar well. Moreover, Sarah is a talented vocalist. The three sisters urge people to lead a principled life.

Works Cited

Babb, Florence E. Between field and cooking pot: The political economy of market women in Peru. University of Texas Press, 2010.

Bies, Robert J. “Interactional justice.” The Oxford Handbook of Justice in the Workplace. 1987.

Cameron, Maxwell A. “Political and Economic Origins of Regime Change in Peru.” The Peruvian Labyrinth: Polity, society, economy (2006): 37.

Malerba, Franco. “Sectoral systems: how and why innovation differs across sectors.” The Oxford handbook of innovation. 2005.

Sterne, Jonathan, ed. The sound studies reader. Routledge, 2012.

Stage, Brynjulf. “Culture-centered music therapy.” The Oxford Handbook of Music Therapy. 2002.

Wei, William WS. “Time series analysis.” The Oxford Handbook of Quantitative Methods in Psychology: Vol. 2. 2006.



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