Popular music

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For the musical genre, see Pop music. Popular music_sentence_0

For the 2004 film, see Popular Music (film). Popular music_sentence_1

"Popular song" redirects here. Popular music_sentence_2

For other uses, see Popular Song (disambiguation). Popular music_sentence_3

Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. Popular music_sentence_4

These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. Popular music_sentence_5

It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Popular music_sentence_6

Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Popular music_sentence_7

Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences. Popular music_sentence_8

The original application of the term is to music of the 1880s Tin Pan Alley period in the United States. Popular music_sentence_9

Although popular music sometimes is known as "pop music", the two terms are not interchangeable. Popular music_sentence_10

Popular music is a generic term for a wide variety of genres of music that appeal to the tastes of a large segment of the population, whereas pop music usually refers to a specific musical genre within popular music. Popular music_sentence_11

Popular music songs and pieces typically have easily singable melodies. Popular music_sentence_12

The song structure of popular music commonly involves repetition of sections, with the verse and chorus or refrain repeating throughout the song and the bridge providing a contrasting and transitional section within a piece. Popular music_sentence_13

In the 2000s, with songs and pieces available as digital sound files, it has become easier for music to spread from one country or region to another. Popular music_sentence_14

Some popular music forms have become global, while others have a wide appeal within the culture of their origin. Popular music_sentence_15

Through the mixture of musical genres, new popular music forms are created to reflect the ideals of a global culture. Popular music_sentence_16

The examples of Africa, Indonesia, and the Middle East show how Western pop music styles can blend with local musical traditions to create new hybrid styles. Popular music_sentence_17

Definition Popular music_section_0

Further information: Folk music Popular music_sentence_18

See also: Art music § Popular music Popular music_sentence_19

Scholars have classified music as "popular" based on various factors, including whether a song or piece becomes known to listeners mainly from hearing the music (in contrast with classical music, in which many musicians learn pieces from sheet music); its appeal to diverse listeners, its treatment as a marketplace commodity in a capitalist context, and other factors. Popular music_sentence_20

Sales of 'recordings' or sheet music are one measure. Popular music_sentence_21

Middleton and Manuel note that this definition has problems because multiple listens or plays of the same song or piece are not counted. Popular music_sentence_22

Evaluating appeal based on size of audience (mass appeal) or whether audience is of a certain social class is another way to define popular music, but this, too, has problems in that social categories of people cannot be applied accurately to musical styles. Popular music_sentence_23

Manuel states that one criticism of popular music is that it is produced by large media conglomerates and passively consumed by the public, who merely buy or reject what music is being produced. Popular music_sentence_24

He claims that the listeners in the scenario would not have been able to make the choice of their favorite music, which negates the previous conception of popular music. Popular music_sentence_25

Moreover, "understandings of popular music have changed with time". Popular music_sentence_26

Middleton argues that if research were to be done on the field of popular music, there would be a level of stability within societies to characterize historical periods, distribution of music, and the patterns of influence and continuity within the popular styles of music. Popular music_sentence_27

Anahid Kassabian separated popular music into four categories; "popular as populist," or having overtones of liberation and expression; "popular as folk," or stating that the music is written by the people, for themselves; "popular as counterculture," or empowering citizens to act against the oppression they face; and "popular as mass," or the music becomes the tool for oppression. Popular music_sentence_28

A society's popular music reflects the ideals that are prevalent at the time it is performed or published. Popular music_sentence_29

David Riesman states that the youth audiences of popular music fit into either a majority group or a subculture. Popular music_sentence_30

The majority group listens to the commercially produced styles while the subcultures find a minority style to transmit their own values. Popular music_sentence_31

This allows youth to choose what music they identify with, which gives them power as consumers to control the market of popular music. Popular music_sentence_32

Music critic Robert Christgau coined the term "semipopular music" in 1970, to describe records that seemed accessible for popular consumption but proved unsuccessful commercially. Popular music_sentence_33

"I recognized that something else was going on—the distribution system appeared to be faltering, FM and all", he later wrote in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), citing that records like The Velvet Underground and The Gilded Palace of Sin (by Flying Burrito Brothers) possessed populist qualities yet failed to impact the record charts. Popular music_sentence_34

"Just as semiclassical music is a systematic dilution of highbrow preferences, semipopular music is a cross-bred concentration of fashionable modes." Popular music_sentence_35

In his mind, a liking "for the nasty, brutish, and short intensifies a common semipopular tendency in which lyrical and conceptual sophistication are applauded while musical sophistication—jazz chops or classical design or avant-garde innovation—is left to the specialists." Popular music_sentence_36

Form of Western popular music Popular music_section_1

Main article: Song structure Popular music_sentence_37

Form in popular music is most often sectional, the most common sections being verse, chorus or refrain, and bridge. Popular music_sentence_38

Other common forms include thirty-two-bar form, chorus form *(Middleton pg 30), and twelve-bar blues. Popular music_sentence_39

Popular music songs are rarely composed using different music for each stanza of the lyrics (songs composed in this fashion are said to be "through-composed"). Popular music_sentence_40

The verse and chorus are considered the primary elements. Popular music_sentence_41

Each verse usually has the same melody (possibly with some slight modifications), but the lyrics change for most verses. Popular music_sentence_42

The chorus (or "refrain") usually has a melodic phrase and a key lyrical line which is repeated. Popular music_sentence_43

Pop songs may have an introduction and coda ("tag"), but these elements are not essential to the identity of most songs. Popular music_sentence_44

Pop songs that use verses and choruses often have a bridge, a section which connects the verse and chorus at one or more points in the song. Popular music_sentence_45

The verse and chorus are usually repeated throughout a song, while the bridge, intro, and coda (also called an "outro") tend to be used only once. Popular music_sentence_46

Some pop songs may have a solo section, particularly in rock or blues-influenced pop. Popular music_sentence_47

During the solo section, one or more instruments play a melodic line which may be the melody used by the singer, or, in blues- or jazz-influenced pop, the solo may be improvised based on the chord progression. Popular music_sentence_48

A solo usually features a single instrumental performer (e.g., a guitarist or a harmonica player) or less commonly, more than one instrumentalist (e.g., a trumpeter and a sax player). Popular music_sentence_49

Thirty-two-bar form uses four sections, most often eight measures long each (4×8=32), two verses or A sections, a contrasting B section (the bridge or "middle-eight") and a return of the verse in one last A section (AABA). Popular music_sentence_50

Verse-chorus form or ABA form may be combined with AABA form, in compound AABA forms. Popular music_sentence_51

Variations such as a1 and a2 can also be used. Popular music_sentence_52

The repetition of one chord progression may mark off the only section in a simple verse form such as the twelve bar blues. Popular music_sentence_53

Development in North America and Europe Popular music_section_2

Industry Popular music_section_3

Main article: Music industry Popular music_sentence_54

Criticism Popular music_section_4

Main article: Music journalist Popular music_sentence_55

See also: Rockism and poptimism Popular music_sentence_56

Changes Popular music_section_5

In addition to many changes in specific sounds and technologies used, there has been a shift in the content and key elements of popular music since the 1960s. Popular music_sentence_57

One major change is that popular music has gotten slower; the average BPM of popular songs from the 1960s was 116, while the average of the 2000s was 100BPM. Popular music_sentence_58

Additionally, songs getting radio play in the 1960s were, on average, only about three minutes long. Popular music_sentence_59

In contrast, most of the songs in the Billboard Top 5 in 2018 were between 3:21 and 3:40 minutes long. Popular music_sentence_60

There has also been a drop in the use of major keys and a rise in the use of minor keys since the 1960s; 85% of songs were in a major key in that decade, while only around 40% of songs are in a major key now. Popular music_sentence_61

The subject matter and lyrics of popular music have also undergone major change, becoming sadder as well as more antisocial and self-centered since the 1960s. Popular music_sentence_62

There has also been an increasing trend of songs' emotional content, key, and tempo not following common associations; for example, fast songs with sad subject matters or in a minor key, or slow songs with happier content or in a major key. Popular music_sentence_63

There are multiple possible explanations for many of these changes. Popular music_sentence_64

One reason for the brevity of songs in the past was the physical capability of records. Popular music_sentence_65

Vinyl record singles, which were heavily favored for radio play, only had room for about three minutes of music, physically limiting the possible length of popular songs. Popular music_sentence_66

With the invention of CDs in 1982, and more recently with streaming, music can be as long or short as both writers and listeners wish. Popular music_sentence_67

However, songs have gotten shorter again, partially due to the ubiquity of streaming. Popular music_sentence_68

The average song length in 2018 was 3 minutes and 30 seconds, 20 seconds shorter than the average in 2014. Popular music_sentence_69

The most probable cause of this is that artists are now paid per individual stream, and longer songs could mean fewer streams. Popular music_sentence_70

As for the difference in songs' subject matter and emotional content, popular music since the late 1960s has increasingly been used to promote social change and political agendas. Popular music_sentence_71

Artists since that time have often focused their music on current events and subjects relevant to the current generations. Popular music_sentence_72

Another theory is that globalization makes audiences’ tastes more diverse, so different ideas in music have a chance to gain popularity. Popular music_sentence_73

Global perspective Popular music_section_6

In contrast to Western popular music, a genre of music that is popular outside of a Western nation, is categorized into World music. Popular music_sentence_74

This label turns otherwise popular styles of music into an exotic and unknown category. Popular music_sentence_75

The Western concept of 'World Music' homogenizes many different genres of popular music under one accessible term for Western audiences. Popular music_sentence_76

New media technology has led urban music styles to filter into distant rural areas across the globe. Popular music_sentence_77

The rural areas, in turn, are able to give feedback to the urban centers about the new styles of music. Popular music_sentence_78

Urbanization, modernization, exposure to foreign music and mass media have contributed to hybrid urban pop styles. Popular music_sentence_79

The hybrid styles have also found a space within Western popular music through the expressions of their national culture. Popular music_sentence_80

Recipient cultures borrow elements from host cultures and alter the meaning and context found in the host culture. Popular music_sentence_81

Many Western styles, in turn, have become international styles through multinational recording studios. Popular music_sentence_82

Africa Popular music_section_7

See also: African popular music Popular music_sentence_83

Popular African music styles have stemmed from traditional entertainment genres, rather than evolving from music used with certain traditional ceremonies like weddings, births, or funerals. Popular music_sentence_84

African popular music as a whole has been influenced by European countries, African-American and Afro-Latin music, and region-specific styles that became popular across a wider range of people. Popular music_sentence_85

Although due to the significance and strong position of culture in traditional African music, African popular music tends to stay within the roots of traditional African Popular Music. Popular music_sentence_86

The genre of music, Maskanda, is popular in its culture of origin, South Africa. Popular music_sentence_87

Although maskanda is a traditional music genre by definition, the people who listen to it influence the ideals that are brought forth in the music. Popular music_sentence_88

A popular maskandi artist, Phuzekhemisi, had to lessen the political influence within his music to be ready for the public sphere. Popular music_sentence_89

His music producer, West Nikosi, was looking for the commercial success in Phuzekhemisi's music rather than starting a political controversy. Popular music_sentence_90

Political songs have been an important category of African popular music in many societies. Popular music_sentence_91

During the continent's struggle against colonial rule, nationalistic songs boosted citizens' morale. Popular music_sentence_92

These songs were based on Western marches and hymns reflecting the European education system that the early nationalistic leaders grew up in. Popular music_sentence_93

Not all African political songs were based on Western styles. Popular music_sentence_94

For example, in South Africa, the political songs during the Anti-Apartheid Movement were based on traditional tribal styles along with hybrid forms of imported genres. Popular music_sentence_95

Activists used protest and freedom songs to persuade individuals to take action, become educated with the struggle, and empower others to be politically conscious. Popular music_sentence_96

These songs reflected the nuances between the different classes involved in the liberation struggle. Popular music_sentence_97

One of the genres people of Africa use for political expression is Hip hop. Popular music_sentence_98

Although hip hop in Africa is based on the North American template, it has been remade to produce new meanings for African young people. Popular music_sentence_99

This allows the genre to be both locally and globally influential. Popular music_sentence_100

African youth are shaped by the fast-growing genre's ability to communicate, educate, empower, and entertain. Popular music_sentence_101

Artists who would have started in traditional music genres, like maskanda, became hip hop artists to provide a stronger career path for themselves. Popular music_sentence_102

These rappers compare themselves to the traditional artists like the griot and oral storyteller, who both had a role in reflecting on the internal dynamics of the larger society. Popular music_sentence_103

African hip hop creates youth culture, community intelligence, and global solidarity. Popular music_sentence_104

Asia Popular music_section_8

Indonesia Popular music_section_9

See also: Music of Indonesia Popular music_sentence_105

Popular music in Indonesia can be categorized as hybrid forms of Western rock to genres that are originated in Indonesia and indigenous in style. Popular music_sentence_106

The genre of music, Dangdut, is a genre of popular music specifically found in Indonesia. Popular music_sentence_107

Dangdut formed two other styles of popular music, Indo-pop and Underground, together to create a new hybrid or fusion genre. Popular music_sentence_108

The genre takes the noisy instrumentation from Underground, but still makes it easy to listen to like Indo-pop. Popular music_sentence_109

Dangdut attempts to form many popular music genres like rock, pop, and traditional music to create this new sound that lines up with the consumers' tastes. Popular music_sentence_110

This genre has formed into a larger social movement that includes clothing, youth culture, the resurgence of Islam, and the capitalist entertainment industry. Popular music_sentence_111

Another music scene that is popular in Indonesia is Punk rock. Popular music_sentence_112

This genre was shaped in Indonesia by the local interpretations of the media from the larger global punk movement. Popular music_sentence_113

Jeremy Wallach argues that while Green Day was seen as the "death of punk," in Indonesia they were the catalyst for a larger punk movement. Popular music_sentence_114

Punk in Indonesia calls on the English-speaking world to embrace the global sects of the punk culture and become open-minded to the transnational genre. Popular music_sentence_115

China Popular music_section_10

In a 2015 study involving young students in Shanghai, youths stated they enjoyed listening to both Chinese, other Asian nationalities, and Anglo-American popular music. Popular music_sentence_116

There are three ways that young people of China were able to access global music. Popular music_sentence_117

The first reason was a policy change since the late 1970s where the country was opened up to the rest of the world instead of being self-contained. Popular music_sentence_118

This created more opportunities for Chinese people to interact with people outside of their country of origin to create a more globalized culture. Popular music_sentence_119

The second reason is that the Chinese television and music industry since the 1980s has broadcast television shows from their neighboring Asian societies and the West. Popular music_sentence_120

The third reason is the impact of the internet and smartphones on the accessibility of streaming music. Popular music_sentence_121

In 2015, students in China accounted for 30.2% of China's internet population and the third and fifth most popular uses of the internet were respectively, internet music and internet video use. Popular music_sentence_122

The youths described being able to connect to the emotions and language of the Chinese music, but also enjoyed the melodies found within Anglo-American music. Popular music_sentence_123

The students also believed that listening to the English music would improve their English language skills. Popular music_sentence_124

Middle East Popular music_section_11

Modernization of music in the Arab world involved borrowing inspiration from Turkish music and Western musical styles. Popular music_sentence_125

The late Egyptian singer, Umm Kulthum, stated, Popular music_sentence_126

She discussed this to explain why Egypt and the Arab world needed to take pride in the popular music styles originating in their culture so the styles were not lost in the modernization. Popular music_sentence_127

Local musicians learned Western instrumental styles to create their own popular styles including their native languages and indigenous musical features. Popular music_sentence_128

Communities in throughout the Arab world place high value on their indigenous musical identities while assimilating to new musical styles from neighboring countries or mass media. Popular music_sentence_129

Through the 1980s and 1990s, popular music has been seen as a problem for the Iranian government because of the non-religious meanings within the music and the bodily movements of dancing or headbanging. Popular music_sentence_130

During this time period, metal became a popular underground subculture through the Middle East. Popular music_sentence_131

Just like their Western counterparts, Middle Eastern metal followers expressed their feelings of alienation. Popular music_sentence_132

But their thoughts came from war and social restrictions on youth. Popular music_sentence_133

In interviews of Iranian teenagers between 1990 and 2004, the youth overall preferred Western popular music, even though it was banned by the government. Popular music_sentence_134

Iranian underground rock bands are composed of members who are young, urban-minded, educated, relatively well-off, and global beings. Popular music_sentence_135

Iranian rock is described by the traits that these band members possess. Popular music_sentence_136

The youth who take part in underground music in the Middle East are aware of the social constraints of their countries, but they are not optimistic about social change. Popular music_sentence_137

Iranian rock bands have taken up an internationalist position to express their rebellion from the discourses in their national governments. Popular music_sentence_138

See also Popular music_section_12

Popular music_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular music.