Sunday, March 15, 2015

Changes within the counterculture

How did countercultural music shift from the middle of the decade (Dylan) to the end (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young)?  Can you connect or predict how this musical change might have reflected broader changes in youth culture and counterculture at the time? 


  1. The music of the mid 1960's, like Bob Dylan, sounded a bit different and also treated the values of the counterculture a little more strictly than the music at the end of the decade, like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young did. Dylan, in the song that we listened to, painted change to be almost like an unstoppable force, treating it like rising water that would soon 'drench everyone to the bone' and it would happen whether everyone wanted it to or not. Dylan also acknowledge that there was an age gap present between teenagers and their parents and suggested that teens were no longer under their parents' control; this was in part because the sweeping "change" happening in the U.S. had already 'taken' the younger generation and would soon push the adults even farther outside of society if they did not participate too. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's song, on the other hand, saw change as something that intended to free the masses back into nature by giving people of the time a chance to be part of a cause bigger than them while also valuing the individual, who they said was made of "stardust" and "billion year old carbon," once also hearkening back to nature - thus, their version of change is gentler, more peaceful, and voluntary.

    These changes from the middle to the end of the decade probably reflected the growing need for peace within change and the flowering reemergence of nature and its importance in society. This may have been meant as a rejection to the factory-based and materialistic American culture that had previously been booming, and as a means of reconnecting people face-to-face rather than over telephone, television, etc. Overall, the development of "change" in the 60's-70's seems to have revolved around minimizing life back to the simplicity of past decades by focusing on close, physical human interaction, music, food, art, and nature through things like the Be-In, Woodstock, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

  2. In the middle of the decade, the music of the counterculture was considered to be folk. The music was not very rough--some songs featured the harmonica--while the lyrics could be very critical of politics or society. At the end of the decade acts like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tended to produce music that was sonically a little rougher and the lyrics seemed a bit more hopeful than that of Dylan's music. This change could be seen as a change in the youth culture; what was important to the youth in the middle of the decade was different from what was important at the end of it.