Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Myranda with the capability of influencing attitude

Baker Mr.Briggs
Composition 1 11
November, 2017 Not Killing Me Softly With This Song                   Music
is widely accessible from all forms of media with the capability of influencing
attitude and to manipulate emotions, and listeners are drawn to music that
reflects their emotional state. Heavy metal is a genre that is characterized by
chaotic, loud, heavy, and powerful sounds with emotional vocals, often
containing themes of anxiety, depression, social isolation, and loneliness (Sharmon
and Dingle). Due to these musical characteristics, heavy metal has been claimed
to lead to anger, and expressions of anger such as delinquency, drug use, and
suicidal tendencies (Sharmon and Dingle).          Heavy metal originated in the
surrounding areas of Birmingham, England, during the late 1960s and early 1970s
with bands such as The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix (tech rock).
During the early 70s, most of the world’s population was still recovering from
the turmoil that plagued the 60s causing new genres of music to emerge, one of
which was heavy metal. Black Sabbath- one of the first bands that originated in
Birmingham- gave a voice to the time of despair. “At the forefront of the
controversy surrounding extreme music is the prominence of aggressive lyrics and
titles, such as “Pure Hatred” by Chimaira, and “Violent Revolution” by the band
Kreator” (Sharmon and Dingle).  The
subculture of the music, as well as the generalized sound, has led to the
accusations that heavy metal causes suicide, aggression, and depression.          Studies conducted by Karen R. Scheel
and John S. Westfeld have proven that one’s emotional state, home life, and
history of substance abuse play an imperative role in what music he or she
prefers. In their studies, people who are suicidal prefer to listen togrunge,
heavy metal, and screamo. Though, heavy metal tends to draw people who are
suicidal not, vise versa. “The impact of the heavy metal music subculture on
suicide has been the subject of much public debate but little scholarly
research” (Stack et al. 19). Nonetheless, heavy metal has been accused of
being the leading cause of suicide on multiple accounts, including the instance
where two families sued heavy metal band Judas Priest for supposedly driving
their sons to suicide (Rother).          “Reno, December 23-Two days before
Christmas in 1985 two young Nevada men shot themselves after listening to
multiple albums by the heavy metal band Judas Priest. The families had argued
that the musicians had played subliminal messages in several recordings,
including the album “Stained Class,” thereby enticing the two troubled young
men to try and kill themselves” (Rotehr). As the investigation continued both
men were discovered as having a long line of domestic and drug abuse, and while
the suicide letters wrote that Judas Priest and several other bands blatantly
drove the men to suicide, Judas Priest was not held legally responsible for the
death of the two men (Giles). Since this tragic event, many studies have been
conducted in an attempt to find out the psychological effects heavy metal has
on teens and young adults.         A study conducted by K.R. Scheel and
J.S. Westfeld revealed that several people between the ages of sixteen and
thirty-four have a better understanding of suicide and death. 40% of participants
liked or strongly liked heavy metal music. 6% listed heavy metal as their
favorite genre. Out of the four genera’s tested heavy metal had a significant
negative correlation. “Heavy metal fans showed significantly lower survival and
coping beliefs and responsibility to family” ( Scheel and Wetsfeld)       Musical
characteristic such as delinquency, drug use, and suicidal tendencies have been
linked to heavy metal, though it is not the music or the subculture that causes
these issues. There are multiple factors that play into one’s suicidal thoughts
and acts, such as home life, personal life, and work life, heavy metal is
merely an escape.                    Sharman,
Leah, and Genevieve Dingle. “Extreme Metal Music and Anger Processing.”          Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov,
21 May, 2015,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439552/Stack,
Steven, et al. Suicide and
Life-threatening Behavior. The American Association of          Suicidology, 1994.Rother,
Larry. “2 Families Sue Heavy-Metal Band As Having Driven Sons to Suicide.” The
New York Times, 17 July
1990. Giles,
Jeff. “The Time Two Judas Priest Fans Attempted Suicide, and Parents Blamed The
         Lyrics.” Ultimateclassicrock.com, 13 December, 2015.          http://ultimateclassicrock.com/judas-priest-suicide/Scheel,
Karen, and John Westfled. Heavy Metal
Music and Adolescent Suicidality: An Empirical
Investigation. PubMed,



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