- Cambridge IELTS 14 Writing task 2 test 3
Some people say that music is a good way of bringing people of different cultures and ages together.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Music has always been a key distinguisher of culture but many believe that it can also bridge cultural gaps and differences in age. Though I think some people overstate the impact of music leveling the differences between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing universal sentiments.
The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good unifier in terms of generational disparity is that people tend to enjoy the music from their formative years and disdain whatever is currently relevant. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate stereotype of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. These artists differ greatly from past musicians. Kanye is a brash rapper with controversial opinions whose music constantly shifts and redefines genre. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write sugary pop songs that become ubiquitous in cafes and on the radio. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be intricate melodies and insightful writing of The Beatles or the raw sincerity of old school rap. The differences between the generations are reflected and augmented rather than mediated due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.
Although music does little to alleviate generational barriers, it does help cultures relate through universal, human perspectives. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, empathy, and positivity against the backdrop of a nation experiencing political and economic upheaval. His resilience against this pulses through his infectious music and has translated across cultural divides. An Asian person, who might not have any firsthand experience with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of disparate cultures through an emotional and intellectual bonding on common issues.
In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its universality to bring together different cultures. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find common ground to build cross-cultural relationships upon.