Popular music

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{album, band, music}
{theory, work, human}
{company, market, business}
{country, population, people}
{rate, high, increase}
{math, energy, light}
{school, student, university}
{language, word, form}
{line, north, south}

Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" [1] and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music [2][3][4] and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local audiences.[2][3][4] Although popular music sometimes is known as "pop music", the two terms are not interchangeable. Popular music is a generic term for music of all ages that appeals to popular tastes,[5] whereas pop music usually refers to a specific musical genre.

Contents

Overview

Musicologist and specialist in popular music Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects:

"Popular music, unlike art music, is (1) conceived for mass distribution to large and often socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners, (2) stored and distributed in non-written form, (3) only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and (4) in capitalist societies,subject to the laws of 'free' enterprise, according to which it should ideally sell as much as possible of as little as possible to as many as possible" [4]

For Richard Middleton and Peter Manuel, "a common approach to defining popular music is to link popularity with scale of activity", such as "sales of sheet music or recordings".[6] This approach has a problem, in that "repeat hearings are not counted, depth of response does not feature, socially diverse audiences are treated as one aggregated market and there is no differentiation between musical styles".[6] Another way to define popular music is "to link popularity with means of dissemination" (e.g., being aired on the radio); however, this is problematic, because "all sorts of music, from folk to avant garde, are subject to mass mediation".[6] A third approach to defining popular music is to based on "social group – either a mass audience or a particular class (most often, though not always) the working class", an approach which is problematic because social structures cannot simply be overlain onto musical styles. These three approaches are "too partial" and "too static". Moreover, "understandings of popular music have changed with time".[6]

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