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The Necessary Understanding Before Performing "like a Rolling Stone"

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In addition to the above concerns, the American folk music revival is another noteworthy event that had great impact on American music. The revival started during the forties and reached its peak in the sixties (Kaufman 2016). It became a major movement that influenced the music style, promoting the combination of traditional music and the new music styles. Bob Dylan came to the forefront of the movement during the sixties, with his compositions such as “Blowing in the wind” and “Maters of war” propagating the protest among people. In 1963, With songs such as “Blowing in the wind” spreading as protest songs, he became “a folk legend” and “the proverbial voice of a generation” (Masur 2007). “House of the rising sun”, as the first commercially successful folk song to be recorded with rock and roll instrumentals, is conserved as the first successful attempt to mix rock and folk (Marsh 1989). Later, Bob Dylan’s use of electronic instrumentals aroused anger among white folk purist audiences. The development of folk rock extended to various forms, including country rock, and has an indelible impact on American music with its contributions to protest songs, psychedelia, and authenticity (Bogdanov, Woodstra and Erlewine 2001).

To perform the song “Like a rolling stone” well, it is necessary to have an knowledge of the contextual circumstances under which it was written, the background of Bob Dylan, as well as the musical events at the time. Firstly, the counterculture movement forms the base of understanding how the song was written and what it implies. The movement led people to reject the mainstream culture that consisted of unfairness to black people, women, and people at the bottom of society. The counterculture means a call of peace and civil rights with rebelling. Under this socio-cultural background, “Like a rolling stone” was born, singing about values, meaning, realities, transformation, and human development (Bowie 2001). Furthermore, the writer was regarded as a symbol of protest, and many of his songs were placed on the position of anthems. He promoted the development of folk rock and changes to standards of popular music. He evolved continuously from then in his artistic attainments (Czechowski, Miranda and Sylvestre 2016, 99-113). A member of Nobel Committee, Horace Engdahl, awarded him a special comment, “a singer worthy of a place beside the Greek bards, beside Ovid , beside the Romantic visionaries, beside the kings and queens of the blues, beside the forgotten masters of brilliant standards.” (Coscarell 2016). All in all, the American folk music revival influenced the formation of the song, as it innovated the combination of folk music and rock music.



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