Is music censorship a good thing?

by nicsylvestre on September 9, 2013 - 7:41pm

Music is a part of our everyday life. Most of us can listen to music for hours. We are listening to music in our car, on our iPod in the bus, when we walk, when we do our homework and before going to bed. So, we can say that music pace our day. What if the music everybody hears on the radio and on the television was not censored?  The article I read on the subject explains both sides of music censorship.


In the article Music Censorship: An Overview by Heater Newton, it is explained that music censorship has existed since the 1800s where the Southerners were prohibited from singing Confederate songs after the Civil War ended, but became more like nowadays about the 1950s with the emerging of rock. Songs were banned because they had sexually explicit lyrics and during a musical performance from Elvis Presley at The Ed Sullivan Show, the king was only filmed from the waist up over because it was considered too sexual. Nowadays, music is censored for using sexual words, racist words or violent words. The songs that contain these words are censored on the radio, on the television, in public events and when you buy a hard copy CD of an artist at a shop like HMV. When you buy a CD, there is a little sticker preventing the buyer that it contains offensive or explicit lyrics. This approach is made to prevent children to hear these words all the time during their childhood and creating bad image of the world or having bad habits. Not everyone is in favor of censorship.


Firstly, people who believe music censorship is not good are basing their beliefs on the fact that we all have a freedom of speech and it should not be blocked. They also think it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure their children listen to the proper music for their age. Everyone should have the right to say what they want and the music is made to let the artists express their emotions and what they want. They say that the law should stay the same and not change, people should of the right to buy and listen to what they want.


Secondly, other people believe that music censorship is important for the security of the children and for tolerance. They say that violent music is linked to crime and killing, so if children listen to violent music, they will be more attracted to commit crimes when they will be older. Plus, it’s not good for young children to hear about how to kill someone or using drugs. Furthermore, in those songs, the artists often use lyrics which degrade women and others that are racist. So, for a child, hearing those things will make him have bad views on women and on people that are not the same color as him.


In my opinion, music censorship is good and it should stay the same way it is now. Children should not hear explicit lyrics in music playing in public places; it is not good for their development. Although, we should be able to buy the explicit songs that we want and continue to see the warning labels on the albums. I feel the current laws in place are equitable for both parties. How would the public be reacting if there was no more censorship?


Newton, Heather. ‘’Music Censorship: An Overview.’’ Point of view: Music censorship(2013): 1.Points of view reference center. Web. 9 Sept. 2013





I was really interested in this summary because it's never an issue that I pondered, however, I can see why it would be extremely important to consider it. I agree with you that music is everyone, so music censorship plays a big roles in our lives. When it comes down to it, its a battle between values like parental responsibility, freedom of expression and creativity (for those who disagree with music censorship) and collective responsibility, equality and the right to not hear hateful things (for those who agree with censorship). I believe that it is right to censor music, because, as you pointed out, we never know whose listening to the song, and it is important that people are not forced to listen to things they may believe are offensive. From what you know about the issue, has there been anyone that has tried to change this policy lately?

I decided to read your summary because it is truly an important issue. Certainly censoring music in public places or at radio is essential I believe music today is becoming more and more explicit and aggressive. I also believe that the radio for example is doing a good job not playing certain songs that some people may find offensive and if those persons want to listen to these sort of music, there is specific channels to listen to these. I agree with you that we still have the right to buy want we want to listen to. I personally listen to metal which , I agree, is considered aggressive and sometimes violent music but i wouldn't accept the fact that the government would want to censor all the songs that have bad language or anything that can't go on the radio. Of course we don't all see this issue the same, but what will be our society if we could only listen to certain types of music that are not considered violent or aggressive? Would it not break our right to freedom and freedom of speech?

I agree with with your point when you say that music on the radio should be censored. It is very important to discuss this topic, as it affects our everyday lives and everyone is touched by it. Small kids have access to music very early in their lives, and if this subject is not discussed, the influence of music may get out of hand. I believe that music should be censored to the general public, such as on the radio or on television. However, when you go to a show of your favorite band, they should be able to sing their songs fully, without any restrictions. People who pay to go see music they like expect to enjoy the whole thing, and if the lyrics or violence offends them, nobody is forcing them to go see the show. When buying a CD however, I believe that restrictions should be the same as on video games. CDs should not be censored, but there must be a minimal age restriction for some artist. When you see a 11 year-old girl listening to a band such as "Dying Fetus", something is wrong. At a certain age however, people should be able to make decisions for themselves, and listen to the music they enjoy. In the end, music is simply music and with age, people are no longer influenced by it. If a young child wants to buy an explicit CD, their parents must be present during the transaction.
Briefly, everyone has the right to listen to the music they want to, and the lyrics are part of the things people enjoy. The access of music to children however, should be restricted and music playing on public radio stations should be censored.
What do you think about movies and video games? Should the same restrictions apply or is music the only thing that has potential influence?

Your article interests me a lot because I am a fan of music and it is an issue that must be talk about.

I am a listener of all kind of music and I know some of them are including a lot of explicit words and images in their video. It does not bother me but I am in favor of censoring music, especially in radio station, because it does not give a good influences and it does not show what the real life is. Even if I am not a dad right now, my parental responsibility is already showing up regarding my little brother. I am always paying attention to him and showing him good behavior and music is an important point to consider. In my opinion growing up with uncensored music will influence you in a bad way such as starting what the singer is doing or telling. Comparably to growing with good music with censored lyrics will help the person to grow with an appropriate vocabulary and way of thinking and acting. Also what they are saying is not always true and must not be used or imitate in real life. By censoring the lyrics, it changes the original meaning into a better way to express it, and to accept it from everyday people.

Does explicit music should be allowed just in clubs and bars after a certain hour?

I find this is an interesting subject and in your summary you make some good points, however I do not agree with everything you said. Firstly, I completely understand the censorship of songs with overtly racist lyrics, however, I ask the question; should these songs be playing on the radio anyways? My answer is no. I do not believe that songs on the radio should be censored when mentioning sexual acts nor violence. I believe that this censorship ruins the feeling and the sound the artist tries to create through the use of these carefully chosen words. Secondly, I believe that it is up to the listener (except in the case of children) to interpret these words as they wish, however; the offence taken by one listener should not lead to the censorship of the song. When it comes to the case of children, I believe that some censorship is required but complete censorship is useless for a couple reasons. Firstly, if a child does not know a word, it will sound like all the other words and secondly, if a child does know and recognize the word than they already know the word then censorship would achieve nothing.