Blues, in its turn, was based in the musical traditions of slaves brought from Africa during a very regrettable period of American history. Slavery certainly did not fit into the American ideal of freedom and equality for all, so it was inevitable that there would come a day of reckoning over the brutal, un-American institution. In spite of the tremendous disadvantage that black people had early in our country’s history, however, they have made an undeniably tremendous impact on our culture in so many ways, but music constitutes one of the greatest influences that black people have had. They laid the foundations for blues and jazz, which formed the foundation for many of our modern musical styles. Of course there are other cultural traditions that influenced music in America. The sounds of bluegrass and country have their roots in folk music from the motherlands of America’s early settlers, primarily Scotland and Ireland. You can see and hear this musical influence strongly among the people living in the Appalachian mountain range in the southern United States which is where bluegrass and modern country music originated. Music is so central to the Southern-American tradition and experience.
Music was also very important to many British youth growing up in the 50’s and 60’s (as it was for American youth), leading to the forming of so many great British bands. In addition to learning from American blues in his youth , Page also studied various folk tunes that he had heard or learned in his younger years in England. He pulled all those various influences together into an incredibly creative amalgamation of musical expression. But he came about his skills the old fashioned way, putting in many yeoman’s hours in the studios, playing for other people’s musical projects. This gave him such broad and deep experience in how the guitar can and should be played. Moreover, he learned about the interplay of sound in the studio that led to many of his experiments on their albums about what could be done with music. My first taste of this wonder-group was in my teens in suburban Georgia. I still remember how amazed I was to hear this incredibly creative music, subsequently inspiring me and encouraging me at so many times in my life. It is hard to underestimate the impact of music on people. It is a gift from God, intended to bring us joy. It is not “the devil’s music.” Granted, there are some groups who push the envelope a bit far, putting violent, sexual, or Satanic lyrics into their music. I will have nothing to do with these performers, but their shortcomings do not prohibit me from enjoying the multitude of other groups that produce good, uplifting, and worthwhile music. God made music. But like so many of the gifts that God gave us, they should be enjoyed within certain parameters so that they do not negatively influence our minds and our character development, nor do they disparage other people or God Himself.
I pray that you are able to appreciate music and the many other gifts that God gave us so that you will live the abundant life that God intended for you.