Music Through the Decades (Pt. 1)


Music has dominated our lives, both social and personal, reflecting our feelings, relationships, and sense of self.  And the ways music has evolved through the decades often reflects the evolution of our society.  Here is the first of two articles giving a bird’s eye view of that evolution.


The 50s and 60s were similar in music. The 60s were more progressive and more focused on creating social change. During the 60s people say there was a British invasion. This consisted of bands, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in particular. Some other bands being The Temptations, The Beach Boys and The Mamas & the Papas who were more focused on  protest music, and protesting racial injustice, and these songs shed some light on opinions and hatred toward the war in Vietnam. While such artists as Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, and Joan Baez became more popular, record labels like Motown and Staxx helped support these artists in making a change. The genres that became higher in popularity were, Rock, some sub-genres of Rock, African American Rhythm, and Blues.

            The 1960s was a decade of revolution and change in politics, music and society in the world. This is when there were the Stonewall riots which changed everything for so many, so people started to fight back and protest for equality expanding the civil rights movement. This century also consisted of the Vietnam war which activated antiwar protests.


The 70s brought more genres then ever before with the rise of Funk, Soul, R&B, Pop, Hard and Soft Rock, and even Disco, being one of the most popular genres that was also most despised. Not to mention, the early stages of the next decade were also being formed during this time. Artists like Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Eagles, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John were only just some of the iconic starts of the decade. The 70s was also a time when music became more accessible and affordable to fans due to the popularity of vinyl records, and soon enough, everyone owned a record player. Artists were even able to add more than 4 songs per album because of this new technology.

            The 1970s are known as the period of change. There were several social reasons for the change as well, one being that the US had cut military involvement in Vietnam. In the 1970s. African Americans took more freedom in general including their clothing and wearing their more naturally. This is when the Afro was popular.


This decade marked the mainstream appearance of Hip Hop as a legitimate genre. During the 1980’s, music started to be expressed visually through music videos and the rise of MTV. Genres like Hip Hop, New Wave, and Metal slowly rose in popularity. Artists like Madonna (known as the Queen of Pop), Michael Jackson (known as the King of Pop), Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston were some of the most influential artists of this unforgettable music decade.

The 1980s were known as a whimsical time when kids roamed around free and unworried. Everyone was watching TV which was mushrooming in popularity. The 1980s are when Capitalism finally defeated Communism. This is also when Punk became a huge thing.  Around the world we had fundamental advances in medicine, and this was also a decade of meteoric grown both for the global economic system and for the world of art that swung in its orbit.

             This is just Part I of my “Music Through the Decades” series. But music is timeless. It had dramatically shifted throughout these decades already with just these three decades. Music and its artists continue to give us new sounds and new favorites. The music that defines each decade is different and our culture would never be the same without each and every piece of music developed and published throughout our lives and history.


Evolution of Music Over The Decades – TAGG (

Music through the Decades | bopdrop