The Meanings of Popular Music Essay

The Meanings of Popular Music Essay

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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...

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