The Meanings of Popular Music Essay

The Meanings of Popular Music Essay

Length: 1204 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Bob Seger once soulfully sang, “Today’s music ain’t got the same soul/ I like that old time rock ‘n’ roll,” and he could not have been more accurate. Lyrics such as these were commonplace in decades past, with songwriters such as Art Garfunkel, John Lennon, Bob Marley and many more. Much like grandchildren modernize their grandparents’ ideas, music has slowly diverged from the path its ancestors blazed a long time before, and as years have gone by, music has lost its depth and meaning as newer genres evolve and others fade into the background.
Princeton University defines popular music as a “developing” genre of music that has “popular appeal” (Popular Music). However, the meaning of popular music can vary. Over the years, the public has developed different appetites for different genres and styles of music, and thus history is seasoned with a variety of music that possesses a certain meaningful charm. For instance, in the 1940’s, Swing, Blues and especially Jazz were popular genres, the 50’s brought Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rhythm and Blues, and the 60’s was a melting pot of many popular genres from the past decades, mixing Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rhythm and Blues, and more (Hayes 18-22). As is discussed in an article published by CHNM, Swing music was initially accepted in the 1930s and continued to gain popularity in the 40s. Swing is a genre of music with stylistic origins in jazz that uses instruments such as trombones, clarinets, and saxophones. Similarly, Jazz, which originated in and around New Orleans, found popularity in the 1930’s and 40’s as Swing’s popularity peaked and faded. Through the 1940’s, Jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and Coleman Hawkins produced albums that would keep Jazz prominent (Tap Your Knowl...


... middle of paper ...


... Gillian. "The 15 most influential Elvis songs." Goldmine Magazine. Goldmine Magazine, 31 Aug.
2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. .
"500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Rolling Stone 1 May 2010: n. pag. Web. .
Turner, Steve. A hard day's write: the stories behind every Beatles song. New and updated ed., 3rd ed.
New York: Harper, 2005. Print.
"Have curse words lost their shock value?." The Premier Online Debate Website. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr.
2014. .
Powell-Morse, Andrew. "Statistical History of Swearing in Rap." ShortList. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
.
"About Improvisation." About Improvisation. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2014.
.
Hutchinson, Lydia . "Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"." . N.p., 5 Sept. 2012. Web. 5 May 2014.
.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Does Popular Music Remain Popular? Essay

- When anyone says the words 'pop music' today, he or she is bound to be a subject of ridicule. Pop music has taken on a whole lot of affiliated meanings. Prominent names such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and a whole universe of names from the times of Madonna and Lil John have become subject of caricatures by 'serious music' enthusiasts who think that the music these people make are inferior and dumbing. This is not to include concerned parents and groups who think that most of popular music concerns itself with inane subjects such as sex, drugs and general decadence....   [tags: music industry, academic analysis, jazz]

Strong Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

The Differences Between Pop Music And Rock Music Essay

- The Differences between Pop Music and Rock Music Almost everyone everywhere in the world listens to some type of music. Pop music and rock music are among the most popular music genres today. Sometimes it is hard to classify songs as rock or pop music. It all depends on perspective and opinion. Everyone may believe different things about each genre or songs in those genres and that 's okay. Even though everyone may see pop and rock music in their own light, there are still distinctive and provable differences between the genres, such as, their basis, their lyrics, and their audiences....   [tags: Rock music, Pop music, Popular music, Singing]

Strong Essays
1038 words (3 pages)

Analysing Popular Music: Theory, Method and Practise Essay

- ‘Analysing popular music: theory, method and practise’ (Tagg, 1982) is an article that illustrates brilliantly the issues and nuances of analysing and discussing popular music. It lays out a scientific method for achieving analytical goals, using some of Tagg’s previous work to help explain his methodology and process. In the first part of this essay, I will discuss the analysis of ‘Kojak Theme’ (Goldenberg, 1973) and ABBA’s ‘Fernando’ (ABBA, 1976) that Tagg writes about in his work. Tagg’s method on analysis is based on hypothetical subsitition of musical material to provide a background to make an analysis....   [tags: KOJAK theme, abba's fernando, music]

Strong Essays
2543 words (7.3 pages)

Is Music a Universal Language? Essay

- “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb; Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.” For centuries “Mary had a little lamb” has become one of the most universally recognized nursery rhythms since being published in 1830. Centuries later it is still one of the most popular songs of the world. Merriam Dictionary defines music as “the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.” With that in mind, music is found everywhere....   [tags: Music]

Strong Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

Bob Dylan and Popular Music Essay

- “the man who did to popular music what Einstein did to physics,” while initially sounding like hyperbole, really isn’t (Gates, cited in Detmarr, 2009,p.20) Why is Highway 61 revisited such a culturally important album. The year is1965, 8 years into the Vietnam war and 2 years in the shadow of a presidential assassination, marked the inception of an artistic vision, cut to Vinyl. Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 revisited is a testament to the state of America in the 1960s, using poetic devices, and engaging rock and roll music to capture the imagination of a breadth of people, unwittingly, it would seem, brought change to the minds of Americans....   [tags: imagery, life style, cuban missile crisis]

Strong Essays
3157 words (9 pages)

Essay on Popular Music in the United States: Rap

- Popular in the united states, the rhythmic music known as rap can be traced back generations to it’s ethnic origins. Centuries before hip hop music existed, the Tribes of West Africa were delivering stories rhythmically, over drums and sparse instrumentation. Connections between tribal story telling virtuals and rap music have been acknowledged by many modern day "tribes", spoken word artists, mainstream news sources, and academics. In the 21st century, rappers rap about their lives and how the place they grew up in was very hard and that is why many people think like rap music so much, because there are many connections rapper can relate to....   [tags: ethnic origins, hip hop, tribes]

Strong Essays
578 words (1.7 pages)

Rap Music's Influence Upon Teenagers Essay

- People are surrounded by music every day of their lives. They hear it in their homes, on the radio on their way to work; some people have even caught themselves humming the tune of their favorite song to themselves. But how many people actually listen and not just hear the music they are listening to. Teens in particular don’t realize the message behind the music they are quoting the lyrics to, or the effect it has on them. In today’s culture where rap music has become increasingly popular, many teens aren’t realizing what they are listening to....   [tags: Music & Society, modern music]

Strong Essays
1389 words (4 pages)

Bop Music in the 1950s Essay

- The Bop Beat The bebop revolution coincided with the birth of the Beat Generation. In a slightly unbalanced relationship, Beat writers often molded their poetics and style after the playing of such jazz music. "Jazz writers," such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, upheld their poetic ideals to the techniques of jazz musicians, such as rhythm, improvisation, and call and response. The structure of creative writing underwent a change, as the importance of form equaled that of theme. Swing, the predecessor of bop, was big, sweet, and hot....   [tags: Music]

Strong Essays
2523 words (7.2 pages)

Hardcore Music And The Punk Scene Essay

- In the second half of this course on politics and popular culture, we have assessed how music can either reinforce or resist the political status quo, and the significance of political depictions of zombies in film and literature. Drawing from examples from these two categories, I will critically assess what I learned about politics from these sources, as well as what they can teach us about the political significance of popular culture. Through studying the intersections of music and political culture, punk adamantly resists the political status quo, while country music often reinforces it; zombie depictions in film and literature are useful in understanding international relations and fore...   [tags: Rock music, Punk rock, Punk subculture]

Strong Essays
992 words (2.8 pages)

A Brief History Of Rock And Roll And The Woodstock Music Festival Of 1969

- A Brief History of Rock and Roll and The Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 Throughout history, major social transformations have taken place that has changed how people perceive themselves and the world around them. With each social reformation, cultural forms and institutions also change as well as their meanings. For Example, the development of recording and electronic communication within United States capitalism spurred the unique coming together of music traditions in twentieth century United States society....   [tags: Music History]

Strong Essays
1385 words (4 pages)