Whats Pop?

aydee

Platinum Member
Hi Abe. Good to see you again :)

If you're playing anything like a backbeat there is a good chance that you are playing pop or a pop variant.

Creating grooves that compel human bodies to jiggle about is a pop thing to do - reaching out to our animal selves. The old classical crew would have been horrified such base crudeness! Dad's mother was a big fan of schmaltzy Viennese waltzes (also pop) and she was as disgusted by his noisy Benny Goodman music (also pop) as Dad was disgusted by the 60s pop and rock (also pop) that we kids listened too.

All genres have their own version of pop - degrees of populism - as well as more internally consistent art that Rolling Stone journalists tend to call "self indulgent".
Hey Grea! Hope alls happy with you! Backbeat is an interesting observation. Grandma & dad tastes seem to reflect a generational thang perhaps... so pop is young music? teen stuff... maybe..

My reason for asking was basically coming off the notion that almost all music comes from within ( a musician or a style/genre ), whereas the meat of pop is created as a pre-concieved product for youth consumption- predetermined for the marketplace. I would include acts like Beyonce, Usher, Adele's etc in this category. I dont mean to say they are bad musicians ( most are very talented ), but they are creating what a business plan wants them to create- so therefore the question is- Is pop music is made differently from anything else?

Just a premise, happy to be contradicted..


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mikel

Platinum Member
Possibly. I would take issue with your view of Adele though, that is making the assumption that "Anything" that is popular is lightweight rubbish.

I believe Adele got where she is now by having a great voice, using it tastefully rather than just shouting or yodeling like most of the manufactured pop singers. I believe she also worked hard to make it, starting at the bottom playing rubbish venues, and composes most of her own material. I could be wrong but I see her more as a musical artist who will be singing in clubs for years after her star has faded.

Just cos an act is popular does not mean it is playing "Pop music".
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Possibly. I would take issue with your view of Adele though, that is making the assumption that "Anything" that is popular is lightweight rubbish.

I believe Adele got where she is now by having a great voice, using it tastefully rather than just shouting or yodeling like most of the manufactured pop singers. I believe she also worked hard to make it, starting at the bottom playing rubbish venues, and composes most of her own material. I could be wrong but I see her more as a musical artist who will be singing in clubs for years after her star has faded.

Just cos an act is popular does not mean it is playing "Pop music".
Agreed- dont take the examples Ive mentioned too seriously.. I just meant the popstars who are huge/heavily marketed. I haven't heard that much of her actually.. but I think you get the point Im trying to make.


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tcspears

Gold Member
You may be right. I would wager that today's pop doesn't stand up to the past though. Sammy Davis Jr. was popular because of his huge talent, and the same could be said for Mozart.

I don't think we'll here Katie Perry in 200 years, but I heard Eine Kleine Nachtmusik performed last weekend.
And Katie Perry is popular for her voice, and her ability to put on a show.

Everything that is popular is going to be looked down at by different generations. There are texts from ancient Rome that document how the younger generation was dancing in a leud way, and listening to increasingly simple music. Every period of music gets looked down upon by the previous periods.

Mozart, and his fellow composers, were writing music when instruments were changing from the Baroque instruments to modern instruments. Suddenly they could play harder lines and introduced harmonic flexibility. Even the harpsichord fell out of favor for the fortepiano. Established musicians looked down on this as dumbing down the art form, and the use of these newer instruments meant it didn't take as much musical skill to play.

Then the romantic period came around and changed the way string sections and orchestras are used so that they would play supportive roles to the newest instrument, the piano. People saw this a sacrilege! People saw music as getting dumbed down to support flashy piano players and sound effects like Wind Machines.

And it goes on and on. The truth is that it's all music, and it's all designed to serve a purpose... you don't have to like all of it, but you can't discount it.

Although he wasn't talking about music, I always go back to this Douglas Adams quote:

"Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."
 

Drumlove65

Senior Member
I believe Dizzie Gillespie had it well defined when he said pop is any music devoid of musical values. I'm paraphrasing but that sounds so true.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
A food analogy...Pop music is like gummy bears and fun dip, while non pop music....has actual nutrition.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I'm with tcspears - he's summed it up really well.
Its not a new phenomenon, and each genre of music has had its run of being 'pop' in its day. I'd also include Italian opera and Sousa style marches along with the other examples. And in each case there were true innovators, then there were the copycats who rode the wave.

Years later we remember the good ones and forget the rubbish. The same will happen to the current crop - some will be remembered in 30 years time, others won't. And the current teenagers will turn 50 one day and complain about the rubbish pop music their children are listening to.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Lets face it, anything we like personally is thoughtful well crafted "Proper" music...everything else is pop music. Ha.
 

Pachikara-Tharakan

Silver Member
Fleetwood Mac went "Pop" with Lyndsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks......in otherwords.............Majority of the "Rumours album" fans dont know who is Peter Green or Jeremy Spencer or Danny Kirwan was....
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Pop is just short for popular.

Many things that now are put in a different genre have at some point been considered pop music.

However. The word might be used in a different way to also describe a certain type of music that isn't heavy enough to by todays standards to be called rock.

Today I think we just put hits from the 80s and things that just follow the current trend in a certain way in that box. Music that's often refined to fit in and is often rinsed from things that might challenge the listener too much. It's made to fit into that formula by intention and usually has input from lots of sources other than the artists to fit the middle ground of the average persons tastes.

Mutt turned AC/DC into pop.

Music from every genre can be run through that process.

Old improvising musicians like myself often find little inspiration in such music, but being a music teacher I don't judge the tastes of my younger students. Learning about and learning to enjoy different types of music is a journey and a process. There many reasons why we enjoy something and even the most hard core jazzer might have a soft spot for a cheezy pop song if it was the soundtrack to a certain important experience in their life.

I always think of Richard Thompson doing Britney when these discussions come up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4WGsMplGxU

It's funny in a way, but it also makes it relevant to a different crowd presented in this way. The progression played differently at the end also ties it in and brings the point home.

It is possible to discuss art and musicians often speak in absolutes in relation to how they feel and to fiy in with the "cool people", which tells all really.

Some make music thatis pure in relation to their current ideal, which might change a lot over time by the way. Others consciously make a product for sale.

Still taste is not just a personal thing. It's regulated by time, geography, group mentality, experience, ideals relating to every area if life......

I often play a show where we go golden oldies from every era, sometimes we treat them very differetly from how they were used to be played, but sometimes very authentically an mixing eras back to back. Then everything has a meaning to someone in the audience and the true live and intimate setting where the music for once is the main attraction makes it a special experience. It's the highlight of the year for the older people in the audience.


For some reason I have a flashback of me and the ex going on a road trip and me putting on the latest Tribal Tech. lol Actually, she could enjoy it live and we are probably the only couple to ever dance at a Tribal Tech show. I was told Gary put a picture of us on his fridge. lol
 
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