Pop Music:An Underestimated Art | Teen Ink

Pop Music:An Underestimated Art

June 5, 2021
By Andrew2005 SILVER, Shenzhen, Other
Andrew2005 SILVER, Shenzhen, Other
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Everything that has a beginning has an end."
—The Matrix: Revolutions

Nowadays as pop music becomes a symbol of new fashion, controversies have been arisen on the topic of the cultural value of pop music itself. While a large group of critics with a conventional mindset will naturally consider pop music inferior to classic music, it has to be admitted that pop music today deserves much more serious studies than it does now.


What should be noticed first for its marvelous historical value is the spiritual content of pop music. The earliest pop music emerged in the mid-20s when the WWII had just taken its heavy toll on human beings. Traumatized from warfare and longing to make a change to the cold world, the young men then rebelled against the old traditions and planned to establish a more peace-loving world with their own hands, in which pop music served as a carrier of their revolutionary spirits and dreams for a better future. Though their reform is not, from the historical view, an entirely successful one, the spiritual content of a bold heart that is willing to face changes and overcome obstacles is successfully conveyed through the pop music pieces that last till today, and is undoubtedly worth our respect and studies.


Additionally, pop music pieces in the 20th century serve as a perfect reflection of their creators’ contemporary mental states, and thus they can be attributed as valuable historical resources. Classical pop music pieces like Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall illustrate the common dread of people for the intense cold war situation, while famous pieces including Queen’s Killer Queen expresses sarcasm towards the chaotic political situation dating back to the 1970s. Historical textures may be recorded or edited to one’s personal will, but the songs that carry truth will always echo in people’s heart, making them unignorable materials that may help us reveal the true look of the past.


Also, from a more musically professional perspective, the emergence of pop music marks a boom in innovative use of modern techniques both in composing and performing. The classical cords and blues in previous Jazz music are generally inherited and improved in the era of pop music, with some of them evolving into the typical cords of rock music that build up the foundation of modern pop music. For another, the performer-audience interaction is greatly enhanced in the performance of pop music. A typical example is the ceremonial concert of Linkin Park in memory of their ex-lead singer, where audience sang along with the band to mourn the loss of their greatest singer, allowing emotions to freely echo in the hearts of both the performers and the audience, which is sadly absolutely impossible to see in traditional concerts.


With no exaggeration, the innovative techniques employed in pop music pieces are a monument in the history of music, and once carefully studied, they will surely be treasures for the future.

The author's comments:

Most titles of pop music that appeared in this essay belong to music pieces that prevailed once and have become classic pieces today, for which people may argue whether they should be considered as pop music as well. My opinion: since they continue to win the hearts of the audience even after decades, why not?

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