Pop VS Popular Music

Some people are confused whether Pop is one and the same with Popular music. We explore their differences to distinguish them clearly from each other.

First, the definitions, Popular music is a common term used to describe the broad genres of music that has mass appeal. The key here is that different genres, such as rock or jazz, could be considered as popular music.

Pop Music, on the other hand, is a music genre itself. It is said to be a milder version of rock and roll. Pop Music doesn’t aim for the higher music discipline such as in classical music. It is made to be likable to the public. It’s focused on the recording, production, and marketability of the songs.

The primary medium of pop is the song itself. You will notice that the pattern of a verse-chorus form where the chorus is a perfect contrast of the melody, rhythm, and harmony of the verse. The lyrics of the songs are everyday relatable things to make it appeal to more people.

Arguably, pop music started when music halls became popular. Before music recording was available, music halls had drawn an audience with songs professionally written to appeal to almost everyone. The music scene evolved as the gramophone became available. It allowed music to be recorded and distributed to more audience.

The recording saw the rise of famous crooners and millions of record sales. Famous pop artist of the 1930s and 1940s were Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Other music genres also started to record their music.

To keep track of who’s who in the music scene, pop music charts were developed in the 1950s. The first Top Twenty chart was compiled and recorded during this period. Rock’n’Roll music also began to take the music industry by storm. The great Elvis Presley was the biggest pop star until the early 1960s.

And then came The Beatles, who set a new bar in pop music. These talented group could write their songs, and they produced a unique sound that is called “Beatlesque.” The Beatles generated a cult following and influenced a lot of upcoming artists, especially in the songwriting department.  However, professional songwriters for singers were still in great demand as producers continue to manufacture stars that have the perfect looks but with less talent to back it up.

In the 1990s, Boy Bands started to gain a footing on the music scene. The producers handpicked the members of these groups to be the in front lines of pop music. Since the followers of pop music are mostly the teens, the producers cast good looking young singers to better appeal to their listeners. Their songs were the same catchy arrangements that are easy to the ears. However, the boy band trend started to fade towards the end of the millennium, but some of its better band members were given a solo career.

Pop music is continuing to dominate the music scenes up to the present. This genre takes in the most patronage and sales in the music industry. The formula of selling accessible music targeted to the general public is working very well up to now.


Do We Still Need Genres?

Popular music or Pop is commonly called mainstream music. Some people think that it is a separate category, but they do not realize that pop music actually consists of different genres such us hip-hop, rock, dance, jazz, electronic, R&B, among others.

I think the best way to describe pop music is to think of it as the current fad or musical style of the moment. If we go back in time, we will realize that certain music genres stood out and became the pop music of the period. For example, in the 1950s, rock and R&B are the raves. In the 1980s, hip-hop music prevailed. Now, at this current time, it seems that dance music is the chosen genre of pop music. I rarely hear band acts on the radio lately. In fact, other artists are evolving and adapting their music to meet what the listeners want to hear at the moment.

It gives me a feeling that genre is not that important as before. Twenty years ago, you can say that you like a particular genre. You write “alternative rock” when asked what your favorite music is. I even recall my school mates forming cliques based on the music they prefer as hip hop vs. metal (rock music).

Now, you cannot claim to belong to an exclusive music genre anymore. You get to hear everything and discover new music to love with just one streaming. Before, people go to a record bar and go straight to the aisle of his selected genre. Today, we are given a library consists of million songs and sounds to choose from. Although the streaming sites still categorize the music, I am pretty sure that one does not stay in one box of criteria. With all the music available right at your fingertips, it is impossible not to trail off and find something new to like.

The internet seems to shatter the stereotype of music and let everyone hear whatever music they like. One day, we might see that there will only be two music genre, the one you like and the one you don’t.


Pop Goes My Heart

Yes, I know that that is the title of a fictional song by Alex Fletcher A.K.A. Hugh Grant, but what happened pretty much fits the title. I am a big fan of music since I was a kid and I had a somewhat strange hobby, and that was collecting song books, and man did I have a lot of them! But last month during a visit to my folk’s place, the house I grew up in, I was surprised with some people in uniform surrounding my house, they wouldn’t let me in, I asked who they were and told me they were from a Pest Control Jonesboro company.

I called my folks, and they told me that they were staying at a bed and breakfast close by. Apparently, the house was infested with termites, and everything in the basement was already gone; the basement where my mother kept the box where my entire song book was kept. I know I could get those online, but the memories I had with those song books was something irreplaceable. If I remember correctly, in one of those books was the number of a girl I had a crush on, and a few other doodles and notes me and my friends made, all irreplaceable. The music might still be playing, but those memories are now just memories.


Insect Names In The Music Scene

I am staying in my sister’s spare bedroom for the night, and I am sure I will be sleepless. My niece cries every two hours to announce her feeding time, but I do not mind the noise. It even gives me an excuse to listen to more good music while I am juggling homework and other tasks.

You might be wondering about this sleepover. Well, our apartment was scheduled to be fumigated by Pest Control Tampa. It is just a routine maintenance required by our landlord to ensure that the property is always in pristine condition. He is a neat freak, but we can’t complain since it is actually for a good cause. I haven’t seen rodents or roaches in our apartment complex since I moved in a year ago, and that’s a pleasant surprise compared to the places I lived in before. No pest means clean environment for everyone.

Now, since we are talking about pests, I am inspired to write about bands that were inspired by everyday bugs.

The Beatles

Before the band became famous, they called themselves “Quarrymen” and the “Silver Beetles.” Stuart Sutcliffe, the band’s original bassist, gave the name “The Beatles” in honor of his favorite band, “Buddy Holly and the Crickets.” John Lennon thought of a better name by combining beat and beetles, and then the name “The Beatles” was born.

The Crickets

This band inspired The Beatles, even in naming their band. As cited in a book about the band’s lead vocalist Buddy Holly, the group was inspired by other musical acts named after birds. They then fixed their sights on insect names, thus, the name Crickets.

Adam and the Ants

They were a new wave band from England lead by Adam Ant (real name Stuart Goddard). It is not certain how the band got its name, but some theorized that it must be from a brand of toilets and urinals in the UK. Whatever the origin was, the name turned out to be catchy.

Alien Ant Farm

They are an American rock band led by vocalist Dryden Mitchell. The band’s name was given by its guitarist Terry Corso who daydreamed about alien invasion on Earth.

Bee Gees

Many claims that the name is a fun way to spell the initials “Brothers Gibb.” However, the band said that it was actually in honor of their friends, Bill Good and Bill Gates who helped them when they were still starting their career.

Papa Roach

They are a rock band in the United States led by Jacoby Shaddix. The band name was borrowed from his step-grandfather Howard Willian Roatch, who was nicknamed “Papa Roach.”

Persephone’s Bees

Time to get a little geeky, Persephone is the daughter of the Greek gods Zeus and Demeter. Persephone’s story is the myth that explains why we have seasons. But the band’s lead vocalist Angelina Moysov said that she did not think of the myth when she thought about the band’s name.

Now, here’s something extra cool. Did you know that bands do not only follow insects’ name? In fact, in 2012, an insect was named after Beyoncé. Bryan Lessard called a rare Australian horsefly with a golden behind, Scaptia beyonceae. What glamorous horsefly that is!


My Basement Soundtrack: Lorde’s Green Light

The new song of Lorde has just been released, and it matches my mood while clearing our basement for our major project this year—the conversion of our basement to home studio/game area. It took an entire year to convince my mom and dad to let me use the space. I was also fortunate that they pitch in half of the expense as a present for my birthday. It is exciting news, and I will tell you of the development of the construction next time.

As of now, I was asked to contact Dumpster Rental NJ to haul away the unusable stuff and construction debris from our basement project. We used their service a few years back, and we only have a good thing to say about their service. I had the chance to read more about this new song from Lorde today after we took care of the clutter.

Lorde, the New Zealand-based singer-songwriter, is the culprit for the 2013 hit song “Royals” that landed her on the top on the Billboard Hot 100. Making her the youngest to achieve that feat since 1987.

It is also interesting to know that she had some really nice connection with New Jersey. How? Well, her Golden Globe nominated song “Yellow Flicker Beat” was recorded just under our noses, at the Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park. I might have bumped into her while she was walking at the boardwalks, without me knowing it.

Her song “Royals” was even covered by our very own New Jersey artist, Bruce Springsteen during his Australian tour in 2014. He uploaded a video of this cover song from his Australia tour

Fast forward to 2017; she recently released a new single titled “Green Light,” According to the artist, “the song is actually about heartbreak.” It was a great shift of gears from her previous album, but I am loving it! Oh, what broken-heartedness can do to young artist’s hearts! Much more creativity for sure.

“Green Light” is the first song released from her new album Melodrama. It is surprising that this track could sweep you off your feet to dance, just like when you broke your heart, and just want to kill it on the dance floor.

The music video for Green Light is out, too. It is directed by Grant Singer, the same guy who directed the “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” music video of Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik. You can watch Lorde’s Green Light

If you are wondering when the album will be available, it is said that Melodrama will probably be out in May or June this year. It is a bit of a long wait, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it.

Have a music filled day!