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When rock-and-roll surged in popularity in the mid-1950’s, some groups were horrified by the “savage rhythms” and the sexual double entendre of the lyrics, calling it “the Devil’s music.” Beatles records were burned in 1966, and censorship has continued, including banning videos from MTV, preventing groups from performing on talk shows, and cutting songs from the radio.  However, this is not only a recent phenomenon. From slave-owners banning drums to cut off communication to Indian Ragas which are only to be played at certain hours of the day or night, music has been banned outright, strictly limited, or at the very least, labeled as dangerous.  We will explore several case studies throughout human history where music was considered to be the work of the devil and examine the impacts that this judgment had on the music. This course fulfills the FYP general education requirement.

Michelle Martin-Atwood
Fall 2023
Course Code:
FRPG 1070-22