View Poll Results: Is "Pop" a style of music, or is it just what's popular?
Style of Music 69 75.00%
Just what's Popular 23 25.00%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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  #51  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
I would most definitely call "Sweet Child o' Mine" pop. It's guitar-based pop, but still pop. Hell, the genesis of this thread idea was me thinking that SCoM was the greatest pop-rock tune of all time, then wondering "well, it's pop... but what makes it pop? What is pop, anyway?"
Sure, but the band, and most of their songs aren't pop.
  #52  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
To me, what you're saying is "pop can't possibly be a real style because the music industry keeps redefining what it is."
Pop is a real style, it's just unique in that it tends to be directed by big money players rather than bubbling up from the underground, and like anything centrally planned it sometimes completely fails to meet demand. I mean, I can't go to a local club to hear a pop artist very often. It's almost all rock, hip hop, and singer songwriter lite pop at best. Youtube could potentially fix that problem, but unfortunately almost all Youtube stars just like to do whatever is popular at the moment, which doesn't get you very far and contributes to stagnation.
  #53  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
Sure, but the band, and most of their songs aren't pop.
It's called "crossover success" when a rock or hip hop artist gets a big hit with pop audiences. Of course, the greatest crossover success of all time is "Another One Bites the Dust", which was not only a #1 rock song, a #1 pop song, but also a #1 R&B song. No one will ever pull that off again.
  #54  
Old 05-13-2019, 04:26 PM
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I suspect “pop” means many things to many people. When my kids took dancing, one of the categories was “Jazz,” but that dance-jazz was nothing like jazz as I’d come to know it. In fact that “jazz” may have been much closer to what some people call “pop.” And then there’s the whole other category of pop/rock, which is how I would tend to categorize the Beatles if I had to.
  #55  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
It has elements of both, but it's definitely a style of music. Katy Perry is pop music. U2 has had several number 1 hits but they are not pop music.

Nirvana sold more records than Carly Rae Jepsen, and so are more "popular," but Carly Rae Jepsen is pop music and Nirvana is not.
Nirvana absolutely wrote pop songs. They may have been harder and more "alternative," but Kurt would be the first to admit it (and he had a great admiration for pop.) Heck, his characterization of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was that it was his (jokey) attempt to write the ultimate pop song, and rip off the Pixies (and also Boston.)

Clearly, the definition of "pop" is very much contextual. I absolutely think Nirvana is a pop band, or, if you want to be more precise, a hard rock band that wrote pop songs, I suppose. No, it's not Billy Joel pop, but it's still pop to me.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-13-2019 at 05:14 PM.
  #56  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:24 PM
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ISWYDT. Good one!
  #57  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:44 PM
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ISWYDT. Good one!
  #58  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Nirvana absolutely wrote pop songs. They may have been harder and more "alternative," but Kurt would be the first to admit it (and he had a great admiration for pop.) Heck, his characterization of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was that it was his (jokey) attempt to write the ultimate pop song, and rip off the Pixies (and also Boston.)

Clearly, the definition of "pop" is very much contextual. I absolutely think Nirvana is a pop band, or, if you want to be more precise, a hard rock band that wrote pop songs, I suppose. No, it's not Billy Joel pop, but it's still pop to me.
Ehhh, if it was pop they'd have chart success. Plus Cobain was all over the place in his opinions, on one hand he said good things about pop but on the other criticized Pearl Jam for doing guitar solos? WTF?!
  #59  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
Originally pop music was synonymous with folk music, but jazz and then recording technology put folk music into a particular lo-fi category of its own, while introducing many other non-folk genres of pop music throughout the 20th Century.
My classical-music-loving Hungarian father told me that all of Bela Bartok's best music was borrowed from Zoltan Kodaly, and Kodaly's best work was writing down and orchestrating traditional Magyar folk music. Bartok may have been a better composer, he said, but he preferred Kodaly because it was closer to the roots.

In other words, traditional Amish hymn Simple Gifts >> Copland's Appalachian Spring >> Leonard Bernstein's note to Copland >> "I can’t get the music out of my head."
  #60  
Old 05-14-2019, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
It's called "crossover success" when a rock or hip hop artist gets a big hit with pop audiences. Of course, the greatest crossover success of all time is "Another One Bites the Dust", which was not only a #1 rock song, a #1 pop song, but also a #1 R&B song. No one will ever pull that off again.
R&B? I never in a million years would have guessed that song would have charted as a R&B song, much less made #1.

Then again, that particular era in Top 40/Pop was weird in that it seems to have been ALL crossover stuff. It was roughly when I was in 2nd grade and when I started listening to radio music- I think I got a FM/AM only Walkman about that time.

I recall oddities like hearing Queen, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt and Eddie Rabbitt on the Top 40 station along with Billy Joel, the Eagles, Peaches and Herb, and Kool & the Gang.
  #61  
Old 05-14-2019, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
Ehhh, if it was pop they'd have chart success.
They did, but depends, I guess on what charts you're looking at. Now, while I did answer the second choice in the poll being closer to what I feel "pop" is, I think you can write pop songs and not have any chart success. I mean, look at power pop or indie pop bands like Redd Kross, Apples In Stereo, XTC, Big Star, etc.

I suppose that makes more for the argument that "pop" is a style of music. Now that I think about it more and what bands and songs I consider "pop," it's a mix of popularity and songwriting philosophy, which I alluded to before in one of my posts. And, hence, context. The Pixies and Nirvana quintessentially wrote pop songs. There is absolutely no question in my mind, but through the lens of their respective genres.

So perhaps my poll answer now maybe should lean a bit more towards the first option, but it's not as clear-cut as that. It's a mix of both, but it's not a genre in and of itself as much as an approach to songwriting. But, once again, contextually, it can be "all music that is not seen as "fine art"/"classical" music" a la the debate you get in art circles about "high" art vs "low/pop" art.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-14-2019 at 08:56 AM.
  #62  
Old 05-17-2019, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
My classical-music-loving Hungarian father told me that all of Bela Bartok's best music was borrowed from Zoltan Kodaly,
That's a lie.
Quote:
and Kodaly's best work was writing down and orchestrating traditional Magyar folk music. Bartok may have been a better composer, he said, but he preferred Kodaly because it was closer to the roots.
All lies. Bartók did the heavy fieldwork, lugging primitive recording equipment. Bartók also expanded the fieldwork from just Hungary into Slovakia, Romania, Turkey, and Algeria. Bartók covered the gamut from simple arrangement of folk tunes through working folk material into larger works to original compositions informed by folk idioms. Yes, they had a lot in common, and Kodály pioneered some of the ideas first, but Bartók was more accomplished and developed the ideas much farther. That doesn't count as borrowing. They were colleagues and they cooperated.

Kodály wrote classical pops material like Háry János, which has broader popular appeal than Bartók's work, but its folk idiom was still processed through an urban art music style.

Bartók > Kodály > Liszt
  #63  
Old 05-17-2019, 02:23 PM
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Relevant article from the Atlantic today:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...p-gems/589456/

To quote it:

"Girlish, lovelorn sing-alongs of the sort often unfairly dissed as “generic” had suddenly found themselves with a highly specific constituency bridging the indie-rock club and the gay video bar."
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  #64  
Old 05-17-2019, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by phreesh View Post
Relevant article from the Atlantic today:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...p-gems/589456/

To quote it:

"Girlish, lovelorn sing-alongs of the sort often unfairly dissed as “generic” had suddenly found themselves with a highly specific constituency bridging the indie-rock club and the gay video bar."
Good article. And I agree Carly Rae Jepsen is amazing. Call Me Mabye is not close to representative. She makes a strong argument for Pop as a genre because she really isn't top 40 popular anymore.

Also Billie Eilish is pretty bananas too, though admittedly very top 40. We are living in a pop music (the genre) renaissance. I think we can all thank Lorde for that, honestly. But maybe it's because things all got so stale for so long. Maybe both.

Last edited by NAF1138; 05-17-2019 at 03:11 PM.
  #65  
Old 05-18-2019, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
Popular music, no particular style. There was even a time when jazz was popular, believe it or not.
When you could dance to it.

That's miles apart from Charles Mingus or Miles Davis.

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Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 05-18-2019 at 09:55 PM.
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