Censorship's Effect on Artistic Integrity

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Censorship’s Effect on Artistic Integrity Censorship within music has a long history in the United States; a history full of artists either seeing their work changed against their will or being forced to conform to predetermined standards if their work is to ever see release. Although censorship of any art form has always been present, the censorship of modern music is particularly interesting and has been become most prevalent following the 1920’s. As society and culture began to progress from the strict, conservative values carried throughout the 1940’s, music followed suit. Music quickly became an easy scapegoat for people deviating from at the time normal practices and many sought to stop this via censoring undesired messages. This practice has continued to the current times, leaving generations of musicians struggling to find a balance between what acceptable expression is and what is perceived as obscene. How affected by censorship is an artist’s integrity? An examination of this question will show a better understanding of censorship’s purpose and necessity within music. Modern music as an art has been censored for decades, starting with The Radio Act of 1927. This law provided much needed regulations to what was a chaotic scene of anyone being able to broadcast on few frequencies. The Federal Radio Commission was established to issue or deny radio licenses to prospective broadcasters. In addition to these new regulations, the Act also prohibited anything deemed as obscene, offensive, indecent, or profane from being transmitted across radio frequencies. 1934 saw the creation of the Federal Communications Commission that overtook the FRC’s mission in controlling radio broadcasts. Leading into the early 1950’s, a new style of music, rock n’ roll, gained popularity that would once again challenge the perception of acceptable entertainment. Elvis Presley was

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