Have you ever heard a really exciting piece played by an orchestra, symphony, or even a band(meaning one made up of brass, woodwinds, and percussion)? I think of my cultural identity like a beautiful masterpiece made up of many different components and layers of voices. I hope after reading my essay you will be able to think of your own cultural identity in an exciting manner such as I veiw my own. One of the ways culture can be viewed as a musical piece of music is the many different types of music there are. One could view themselves as a pop song for its simplicity and the way it is much like many other songs.
While this could be true for some people, others cultures could be more like a long and complicated opera, with a full symphony, vocals, and long story it tells lasting multiple hours. Music can range in genre, simplicity, instruments, meaning, and even where in the world it comes from. Sometimes I like to think of myself as a vivaldi concerto. The many complex layers and rhythms, the melodies and the harmonies. With some aspects being more present than others yet not knowing that there are other parts of my cultural inheritance that have influenced me more than I may think.
Complex parts for each voice that make up a seemingly simple melody. As a violinist, I have deep sentimental feelings about my instrument and what it has done for me over the years. Playing a concerto you are the soloist and the symphony is accompanying you. It does everything it can to help the soloist sound good yet the soloist also needs to stay with the symphony and help cue the other instruments. I feel this way about my culture because I feel like my culture has done a lot to help me be the best person I can be.
A big part of my culture is my religion and I have made many of my choices in life to keep living the standards of my church. God wants me to share my talents he has given me with the world as would a conductor would want a soloist to do. Although god wants me to shine, he also wants me to be humble and give credit to all the amazing people that have helped me get to the place I am today and he wants me to keep the commandments and live the gospel. as would a conductor. After a performance the soloist bows, then the conductor bows, then the conductor and the soloist gesture to the symphony and they stand up and take a bow.
And just like we have commandments and standards to keep us safe, we have markings written in the music to help us play it well. We have bowings and fingerings that the conductor will tell us to add so we may look our best and play professionally. As a soloist, the whole symphony is counting on you to play it correctly and they follow your example. Another way you can think of cultural identity as music is the way it’s changed. If you start out with the original piece then look at the most recent arrangement of it you will see a lot of changes that have been made over time.
That’s just like culture now. People take the parts of their cultural heritage that they want to and leave the rest behind. This is referred to as cultural inheritance. Many people have contributed to the ever changing popular culture. This is the culture that consists of the many fads that come and go and is influenced by the hierarchical diffusion whose hearth is celebrities or other looked up to people. This culture is rapidly taking place of folk culture as is popular music and new arrangements of music taking the place of the originals.
Thinking of it in this light, I think of myself as “take flight” by lindsey stirling. This piece is written for a solo violinist and dubstep music supporting it. The piece tells her story of the times in her life when god has helped her “take flight”. I relate to this because my religion has helped me see what’s important and not to think of what other people think of me too much. I see my religion(the inspiration taken from cultural heritage) as the violin part, soft, beautiful and the main picture. My love of punk rock/emo music and adventurous personality is the dubstep, the part that makes it unique.
When someone asks me and a group of people “hey who wants to do this? ” I ask myself “will I look back and say i should have done that? “. I love to experience new things. To conclude, there are many different ways to look at culture, not just as a piece of music. I hope you find your own way to look at your cultural identity that you feel best represents your culture. Some people say they don’t have a culture or they don’t know what it is. I learned that everyone has a culture even if you don’t see it. If you don’t know what culture you are, find out. Discover who you are and be proud of it!