Paper Example. Bob Dylan's Compositions and the Society

Published: 2023-08-14
Paper Example. Bob Dylan's Compositions and the Society
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Music Inspiration Emotional intelligence
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1170 words
10 min read

The 60s were believed to be a time for a revolution in the music industry, and Bob Dylan was part of the musicians who brought about these changes. He has been categorized as a revolutionary, mostly because of his ideologies and the role he played in agitating for change through his music. While expressing himself through his music, people who felt the same caught on to the songs as an expression of what they felt, and this way, he gained a vast following. Bob Dylan's experimentation with the form of music ended up creating a niche for him in the market. In the end, he defined the way people viewed the society that they lived in, their attitudes toward society, and how it operated. Through his unique style of making music, Dylan changed the perspectives in which people viewed issues that affected human life and the desires that are addressed in life (Dreier, 1). Therefore, Dylan addressed topics such as sensuality, spirituality, and political stands and opinions. Dylan's creativity created the atmosphere needed for the rebellion against societal norms and political activism that was experienced from 1967 onwards.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The musical style developed by Dylan is similar to those composed post-second world war. Therefore sociologists have taken a particular interest in the effects that the compositions had on society on the social, political, and economic aspects. Dylan's compositions and those created post-Second World War showed aspects of individual heroism in their lyrics, styles, and forms. The music composed by Dylan also revealed the existence of underlying issues in the society, and he created attention towards the problems through his compositions. An example of how Dylan’s compositions affected the music industry and the society at large can be seen in his works such as Rags, which has been used to trigger specific sensual feelings in the listeners, in the end bringing about the rise of protest music.

Protest music is the music composed to express the artist's opinions on specific issues and policies that affect the society that they are in. When protest songs, such as those written and performed by Dylan are heard by people with collective feelings and opinions on the issues captured in that composition, they end up creating a following for the songs and their composers, therefore bringing forth a movement that is against the policies and activities that they view as detrimental to the society that they are in. The issues addressed in the compositions end up inspiring the politically-minded individuals in the society to initiate discussions on the ideas addressed in the lyrics, thereby bringing about national, sometimes international attention to the issues that they view as unfavorable in the society that they are in. Dylan’s compositions were considered to be among the most notable of the time, and therefore he is viewed as the most notable pusher of the rock activism period. This period represented rock artists coming together to protest the wars that were experienced during these times, the most famous being the Vietnam War.

Effects of Bob Dylan’s Compositions

Most of Dylan’s compositions spoke against oppression, injustice, and his stand against the wars and political instability of the times. During these times, Dylan's compositions established him a sharp critic against the existence of injustice in the society, primarily due to the war that was happening across the globe. Through his music, he expressed his anger, frustrations, passions, and the need for change in society. Since this was the general feeling of the time, people listened to the songs more, because it was an expression of their frustrations and opinions towards the wars and injustice of the time. There were different reactions from Dylan's compositions, some negative, but most positive( Kraaijvanger, 13). For example, a short composition of three minutes or so can be more effective than literary works in writing, since more people can access the music. When the message is packed within a popular genre, then more people will be reached by the messages contained in the songs.

Rock music had a substantial impact on society during Dylan's time, and therefore it is no surprise that Dylan was an icon to the society of the day. Through his songs, people with similar opinions on the issues facing society came together. In non-violent ways, they protested to have their voices heard on the issues related to the social injustices experienced in those times. Therefore, Dylan's compositions acted as a unifying tool for people who felt the need to agitate for change in the society that they were in. However, despite the positive effects his compositions had on society, there was also backlash on the viewpoint that other members who did not agree with the ideas presented by Dylan and his followers, since the conservative members of society viewed the `hippies,' as they called the rock fans, as drug-addicted people whose opinions did not matter on the political or social issues of the society.

Economic Effects of Bob Dylan’s Songs

The economic effects and implications of the 1960s activism, in which Bob Dylan was a key player, have been neglected or overlooked. Still, they are as important as the social and political effects experienced during the times. While the economic reasons for the protests may not have been the primary motivations, the social and political causes of the protests had financial implications that had active roles in the motivation for compositions done by Bob Dylan in these times. For instance, Dylan was against the increasing effects of capitalism, affecting the way society viewed people. Instead of people being treated with dignity because it is their human right’, society saw the people as customers and consumers, and nothing more, therefore making the people be a means to an end, instead of being treated like they deserved due to the rights they had as citizens (Kraaijvanger, 13). Capitalist approaches in society also had a critical role in the way governance and policies were created. Capitalistic mindsets shaped the systems to fit the specific requirements of the people pushing for the policies that enabled the capitalist mindsets to thrive.

Additionally, Dylan was against consumerism, which was overtaking the need for social inclusion and virtues for the good of society. Instead of social values, people were becoming more willing to break societal values to achieve the wealth that they saw could help them acquire social status and the ability to create more wealth due to the ability to manipulate the poor (Lloyd, 1). It is for this reason that Dylan's music was able to inspire the hippie movement, which consisted of people who were against the economic exploitation experienced in society, and this was seen through their choice of lifestyle which rejected the conventional approaches in society, like capitalism, exploitation, and consumerism.

Works Cited

Dreier, Peter. "The Political Bob Dylan." Dissent Magazine, A Quarterly of Politics and Culture (2011). Retrieved from

Kraaijvanger, Janou. "Bob Dylan as a political dissenter." (2017).

Lloyd, Brian. "The form is the message: Bob Dylan and the 1960s." Rock Music Studies 1.1 (2014): 58-76. Retrieved from

Cite this page

Paper Example. Bob Dylan's Compositions and the Society. (2023, Aug 14). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism