Music, as part of culture in the society, has significate connection with politics and ideology, or even the social movement. Popular music has been connected explicitly with social change and political controversy(Peddie,2006). We can see hundreds of examples about the music works which relates to politics at all times and in all countries,no matter from ancient to modern or from eastern to western societies.It can be protest songs, anti-war songs, national anthems and so on.
According to the Peddie(2006), musicians are involved with politics in one of two ways which may be linked. The first describes the case of people who happen to be musicians, and as such have acquitted a public presence, or status, which they use to support candidates. The second captures the case of those who use their music to express their political views.
Many pop stars spent most of their time not engaged in politics, most pop artists are not making political statements or gestures(Peddie,2006). It has been regarded as sensitive issue when artists reveal their ideology toward politics. Especially in the authoritarian era, any types of demonstration could ruin an artist’s career. Even in the democratic society in most of the countries worldwide nowadays, many artists, especially those who the mainstream media often reported are keep silence about the political points of view in case the risk of being offensive to their loyal audiences and commercial benefits. In some situations, artists who are invited to perform in public by the political organization or official government accidentally irritates other political groups or opposite political stance. For instance, Taiwanese most popular diva A-Mei had been blocked and restricted to perform in China for at least four years by PRC’s government for just singing the anthem of ROC (Taiwan) on the inauguration of new president.
However, it can be noticed that there are still many examples about artists who actively promote their opinions or ideology toward politics or the controversial issues. Like Peddie(2006) had suggested that pop stars features prominently in campaigns about nuclear weapons, civil, gay and women’s rights, famine, environmental issues and so on. For instance, U2 has collaborated with other musicians, artists, celebrities, and politicians to address issues concerning poverty, disease, and social injustice since the early 1980s ; Elton John, Damon Albarn, Billy Bragg and countless others have signed public petition against the war (Peddie, 2006). In Taiwan, we can see the example about musicians who engaged themselves in politics despite the case are usually in underground or indie musicians or bands. Chthonic is the post famous metal band that actively appeared in the Taiwanese political scene and showed the supportive perspective to independence movement of Taiwan and the singer Freddy Lim even have promoted the Free Tibet Concert in Taiwan. For this left-wing political stand, it has been banned in parts of China for their political views.
All in all, since music is part of life from the day we human being exist, it has recorded multi-aspects of lives of people and been connected explicitly with social changes and political controversy. (Peddie,2006).
Peddie, I. (2006). The Resisting Muse: Popular Music and Social Protest. Hants: Ashgate.
Music and politics. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_and_politics#Classical_music
Chthonic. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chthonic_(band)#Activism_and_lyrical_themes