Music and culture have always gone hand in hand. It is impossible to listen to music from any time period or culture and not get an understanding of what the times or the culture might have been, or is, like.
This is sometimes considered the power of sound. Though it is not a language of instrumentation and melodies, harmonies etc., it is still a language that can somehow be interpreted with meaning resonated through emotions.
For example, when listening to a certain era of music, within moments there is a transition from the present to images and attitudes of this music’s origin or time in history. It is the type of imagery that is provoked only by sound, specifically the sound of music.
This puts music in a position to not only record culture but also shape it. When a musician or an artist has the ability and talent to get the attention of large numbers of people, the things product musically matters. They can provoke the culture to think, act and react.
While this is an interesting and factual dynamic, it also goes to the other end of the spectrum. The music makers also hold a position of transferring information about what is happening in the culture. This is why as stated above, when listening to any music from any culture, there is a feel and an understanding of the culture, people and era from which the music was created.
This is an important ponder to rest on as society tends to downplay the important societal role, of not just music, but art overall.