American Popular Music

1. Please provide a very thorough and very detailed summary overview of American Popular music. Create a narrative that successfully addresses the salient elements of this genre of music, one that represents what you believe to be important aspects of AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC. Please include in your essay significant singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, practices and events that you believe assisted in shaping American popular music 2.  rap music is now over forty years old, older than rock music was when rap emerged. We are overdue for “the coming thing” .What do you believe is the future of Folk, Popular AND Concert music? Please be thoughtful. YOU MUST ADDRESS ALL THREE . INFORMATION FOR QUESTION 2 BELOW YOU CAN CERTAINLY RESEARCH THE INTERNET FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE BE THOROUGH Western music is defined by music deriving from the western hemisphere, to include “the Americas, portions of Europe, Africa, and the extreme eastern portion of Russia (Siberia).” (Wikipedia.com) The term world music, refers to music that is markedly different in form, function and practice than one’s own music. Clearly this is a subjective term, and should be understood as such. To many parts of the world, the music of the United States may be viewed as “world music”. Concerning western music, there exists three fundamental genres of music: folk, popular, and concert (also referred to as “classical” or “art” music by some). Folk music in this context, should not be confused with the more popular folk music that thrived in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. To create a distinction between these two types of music, we refer to the more popular folk music of the 50s and 60s as urban folk music. Folk music in this context then, as a fundamental genre of western music, is music that derives from a specific geographic location; the music of a specific group of people in a specific place in the world. It is music that expresses the lives and times of these people, it celebrates their joys and mourns their tragedies. In a way, it can be viewed as a sort of journal for that group of people. Folk music is the music of the common person, usually deriving from the lower socio- economic levels of a given society. Folk music is not the music of the rich and powerful. Folk music is simple and highly repetitive. It is created and not composed, meaning it is not notated, written down music. It is taught and passed on orally. It is created by amateurs for amateurs. Excessively ornate or complex music is not a consideration in the creation of this music. Many times this type of music may serve utilitarian needs for the given group of people, such as work songs, wedding songs or funeral laments. Popular music, as the name implies, is music that is created for the purpose of being accepted and embraced by as many people as possible. For this reason, popular music tends to focus on more universal topics such as love, so that as many people as possible may relate to such music. In this case, this creates a distinction between folk and popular music. However, like folk music, popular music tends to also be more simple and repetitive. Popular music can be created or it can be composed. In popular music there exists a wider array of talent, from extraordinarily gifted performers, singers, or instrumentalists who possess a supreme command of their music abilities, yet have never studied music formally, to those who are equally gifted, yet have studied music formally, and can read and notate music. One aspect of popular music is what is known as “the hook”, meaning that there exists one portion of the song that is attractive, catchy and memorable, easy to remember, so that you are “hooked” after just one hearing of the song. The primary function of popular music is to entertain, but popular music is not limited to only that purpose. Many pop artists, within the context of popular success, do create compelling artistic music. And, many pop artists have chosen to express social/political messages to draw attention to specific issues in a given society. Concert music, commonly referred to as classical music, is probably the most distinct genre of music. It is usually written by very well-trained composers for very well-trained musicians. As a result, concert music tends to be more complex in nature, and this is one reason why concert music has never been as popular as the other two genres. In order to enjoy concert music, one has to know and understand the music better. There is a necessary investment on the listeners part to focus and pay attention to the music in order to fully appreciate and enjoy it. And, while every person likes to be popular and successful, and whereas there are many classical composers, performers and conductors who strive to be very popular, many times composers and performers of concert music are not motivated by popularity or financial gain, but rather by artistic, self expression, at the expense of popularity. Hybrid music is music that may posses qualities of more than one fundamental genre. Crossover music is music that may begin in one genre, but over time may take on qualities and characteristics of another genre. Please do not confuse this term with “crossover” hits in the Billboard Top 100. Finally, sacred/religious/spiritual music may be categorized in any three of the aforementioned genres of western music. And, whereas such music is most definitely a genre of western music, please note that it is not a fundamental genre of music.

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