How American Music Influences Other Cultures’ Music

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Your teenage years are usually the years that mold you into the person you are going to be throughout your life. It is a time to understand and find yourself. However, imagine being told you are going to move halfway across the world to a completely new and foreign place. Fitting in is difficult as is, but now you are going to have to find a completely new set of friends and you are going to have to learn how to adapt.

When moving to a new country, probably one of the first things that can be distinguished from each country is its music and the music scene. Each country has its own type of music that is unique to its region. For example, in India the music there is known for the tunes from Bollywood films. In the United States, we have lots of pop music and a blend of different genres in general, but there is also a huge concert scene, which is different from many of the other countries in the world. In Asia, the live music scene is gradually growing due to marketing reasons, but it’s not focusing on Asian music; the concerts mainly consist of American musicians because of the large music scene that comes from the USA.

Ella Herrmann, a first year civil and environmental engineering major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was born in Östringen, Germany in 1998 but moved to Bremerton, Washington when she was just 11 years old. It was an interesting and difficult time for her in regards to adapting to this completely new environment. She noticed how less kids played outside, which was significantly different than how she grew up because she would be outside from 8 am to 10 pm without her parents worrying about her.

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When I asked her about the music scene in Germany, I was surprised. She states,

“They have a lot more of European influence so I grew up with a lot more American music than German music.”

American music has been a leader of modern music for centuries. This is because of the constant output of new genres and sounds.According to universitytimes.ie, Americans held 71% of Germany’s top hits in 1965. In the 1990s, hip hop was blowing up in Europe because of how well it was doing in America.

Wolf Recht, a first year botany major who was born in England, states, “A lot of music trends occur across international borders.” There is so much crossover when it comes to music culture because every country influences another country and makes an impact on its culture. Speaking for San Luis Obispo specifically, much of the music here is influenced heavily by surf culture because of how popular surfing is.

Although Ella felt very alone and different from the rest of her peers at school, she quickly learned how to fit in and “become an American.” She never let go of her culture though and visits her family in Germany frequently.

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