The Influence Of Pop And Rock Music

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One of the biggest misconceptions by the general public about mainstream pop and rock music is that it is musically bland and not theory intensive. While it is safe to assume that some music does follow that criteria, some music happens to go the extra mile and be catchy while also incorporating various theoretical elements. As a group, we found that two songs that are exemplary of that idea are “Love on Top” by Beyoncé and “Blackbird” by The Beatles. Beyoncé Carter-Knowles is a Houston born singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She had her big breakthrough into the world of mainstream music as part of one of the most successful girl groups of all time, Destiny’s Child. After their disbandment, Beyoncé became a solo artist who quickly…show more content…
Widely regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time, they were part of the British Invasion and became extremely popular in America in the 60s. They are the best selling music artist of the United States with 178 million certified album sales, and have won 10 Grammy’s. Pop/Rock music are very wide genres and have many different compositional elements. They are also genres that fluctuate throughout time periods. Early 2000’s pop music can be characterized as synth beats with an introduction of auto tuned vocals, where now it is a heavy emphasis on swampy jungle beats and sexual lyrics. As far as composition goes, pop music typically has stuck to basic chord progressions, often just simple variations on the 1-4-5-1 progression. Rock music however has been notably more complex. It has more theory present across the board and many bands and artists incorporate classical…show more content…
Interestingly, the song is solely written and performed by Paul McCartney. He has stated that the lyrical content was inspired by the racism and civil rights issues of the 60’s in the United States. McCartney has also said that the song was somewhat inspired by Bach’s Bouree in E minor, saying that he felt he “had a lot in common with him”. Many songs during this time, such as The Beach Boy’s “God Only Knows”, incorporated the idea of word painting. Word painting is the phenomenon of having the musical content match the literal meaning of the lyrical content. We see this in “Blackbird” during the section “into the light of the dark black night”. Paul McCartney’s vocal line hits a flat seven on the words “to”, “light”, and night”. By doing this, it creates an eerie and mysterious feeling. It also goes in a direction that the ear does not expect, which fully allows the unbiased listener to be caught off guard by this section. Throughout the song, there are sections where the guitar has a bass line that moves up and down by half and whole steps. Specifically, this can be seen in the section “take these broken wings and learn to fly”. While this bass line intends to create a smooth bass line between the chords, it also seconds as a counter harmony to the vocal melody. It is one of the most recognizable solo guitar parts, in my opinion that is partly because of this unique

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