Lessons - Lesson One Pop Music On February 9 1964 John...

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Lesson One: Pop Music On February 9, 1964, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, otherwise known as the Beatles, made their first North American television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Despite having had their music released in North America just two weeks before, the Beatles played on live television that night to about 74 million people— about 40 percent of the American population. Although people at the time may not have realized it, they were watching one of the pivotal events in the history of pop music. Pop music, from the Beatles to popular artists today, has had a large impact on the society we live in. We may emulate the fashion trends of our favorite pop artists or find ourselves humming a catchy tune that we hear on television or over a store intercom. Regardless of whether we listen to pop or another genre of music, we have all been exposed to pop music in one area or another of our lives. In this unit, we will examine some of the history of pop music, as well as the characteristics that separate pop from other music genres.
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Lesson Two: Pop Music Defining Pop Music More than likely, a great deal of the music that you are familiar with is music being produced today. Today’s music, in all its variable forms, can be thought of as popular music. Popular music is any music since industrialization in the mid-1800s that is in line with the tastes and preferences of the middle class. When we break this definition down, we find that popular music encompasses a wide range of music: from rock to rap and from country to heavy metal music. These forms of music have been influenced by many of the same earlier forms of music throughout history. We might also note that popular music today has an economic component. In other words, popular music is often produced and distributed in a way that creates profits for the artists and music companies. This may be tied into areas such as concerts and merchandise, as well as the actual music product. One type of popular music that we often see around us is pop music. These two terms can be somewhat confusing because of their similarity. While pop music is one example of popular music, popular music consists of more genres and types of music than just pop music. Pop music is music produced for a mass audience with typically shorter songs about love and other existing themes. Pop music often involves technological innovations, and it is typically oriented towards youth within the culture. In practice, many of the types of popular music have a great deal of overlap with each other and clear distinctions are often difficult to make. The exact boundaries of pop music are impossible to draw. For our purposes, however, we will try to treat pop music as a distinct genre of music as we examine this form of music.
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  • Fall '16
  • Dr. Odom
  • Music

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