Pop music

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Jameshow, Jul 27, 2021.

  1. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

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    I recently saw a video by a philosopher named Roger Scruton. He hypothesises on the impacts of modern music/ pop.



    This video confirmed a few things that I had always thought about modern music. Like the killing of attention span and how modern music is more for passive listening rather than active/ conscious listening. Modern music aims to grab your attention immediately with a catchy riff. This is why pop music is simpler than predecessor genres, e.g classical, blues, jazz.

    The band MGMT even started because they wanted to (mockingly) create the most cliché pop ever.

    A few questions I have:
    What makes certain songs sound so "radio"? Why do songs by musicians like Calvin Harris, sound so blatantly pop? What about them makes them "radio-friendly"?

    What makes a cliché pop song is my overall question. I am hoping for someone to break it down fully in terms of music theory.
     
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  3. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    In the past you went to the record store, there you could listen to your records before you bought them.
    Today there is still good music - just finding it is getting harder and harder.
    The big money labels - the heads of the music industry - analyze everything in terms of data they can get their hands on.

    What sells well - is your question?

    It has been found that when the users zap through online, the first seconds are crucial - therefore the intros are, got shorter.
    The "big companies" also have trend scouts who go to the clubs and discos and see what people are dancing for.
    There are also "target groups" to whom the songs are presented to a certain extent.
    If rap is hot - because the YouTube clicks are high - you will also hear more rap as long as it can be sold.

    The way out are alternative radio stations that are privately operated.
    And forget the charts or the Top100, they are there to make money and to stupid the masses.
     
  4. Dimentagon

    Dimentagon Platinum Record

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    "For the most part, the music is of an astounding banality"... yeah much like Roger Scruton.

    It's easy for "conservative pompous twats like Scruton to dismiss Pop music because he could never write it. He was too busy taking Tobacco money whilst fighting for causes for his tory mates.

    What an insidious odorous bore his book on the aesthetics of music is. Written without actually understanding the essence of musical culture, its significance, and appreciating what it is like to be an actual musician. He faffs on about obscure crap and high concepts, his music is banal, uninspiring, boring, and stuffy. It is the personification of conservative (another subject that he is apparently an authority on) ..much like him

    Just for the record, the reason he considers music to be no longer ritualistically relevant like the "olden days is "HE DOESNT UNDERSTAND IT!" He's the penultimate Musical Snob who lived a life of privileged white elitism.
    Yes, mate music is commercial, much like him taking money from tobacco companies.


     
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  5. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

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    Not exactly, my question is more about the composition of modern pop music. What gives pop it's sound. What are the general rules for making a modern pop instrumental. i.e. simple melodies, create general roller coaster pattern with melodic intervals (this I know). What makes certain songs "radio-friendly".

    Just want to say I myself am not anti-pop (nor pro-pop), I am open to all genres and I don't think any genres are better than each other. They just are composed following different rules.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  6. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    You just copy and steal from other artists. (Joke..)

    Hear a lot!

    ABBA - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)


    Giorgio Moroder - Chase (Casablanca Records 1978)


    Giorgio Moroder Tribute


    " The basic tempo of disco is approximately 120 beats per minute, 4/4 time signature and four-on-the floor rhythms. "

    Four-on-the-floor is a drum style where the bass drum plays on all four beats of the 4/4 bar and an eighth note (quaver) or sixteenth note (semi-quaver) hi-hat pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat.

    This basic beat would appear to be related to the Dominican merengue rhythm. Other Latin rhythms such as the rhumba, the samba and the cha-cha-cha are also found in disco recordings, and Latin polyrhythms, such as a rhumba beat layered over a merengue, are commonplace.
    Disco drummers use a standard drum set, African/Latin percussion, and electronic drums such as Simmons and Roland drum modules.

    Just revive the 80s!
    https://sites.google.com/site/elena...ces/disco-practitioners/disco-characteristics
     
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  7. Donut Nyamer

    Donut Nyamer Audiosexual

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    This is why I like to watch 4 hour long documentaries in one sitting. It's what made me notice everyone has the attention span of dog asshole.
     
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  8. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    You mean modern music like this one?


    Or that one?



    Yes, I agree, it's too fishy ....

    :rofl:
     
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  9. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

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    I mean you're not wrong there! Nothing is really original, everything has already been done. All that we perceive as new is just a remix of concepts already thought of by someone else. Want to make a "new" genre? Just combine elements from already existing ones!

    A couple of famous quotes sum it up nicely:

    Igor Stravinsky - “A good composer does not imitate; he steals,”
    Steve Jobs - “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” (Allegedly he quoted Picasso)

    Interesting read and thanks for providing resources.
     
  10. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

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    Thank you Olymoon for sending very avant-garde neo-classical music :)
    Sounds like what Scruton described. As "bad" as it sounds, it still sounds pretty timeless to me. Although I'm not sure what you're position is on this, are you pro-pop?
     
  11. Donut Nyamer

    Donut Nyamer Audiosexual

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    I think his stance is pop music can be complex without following the top 40s set formula. Which I agree with but then again that music is almost never actually top 40s popular which the vast majority of the masses reach for and try to replicate like a dead beaten horse which is the problem in the first place.

    I think it all ties back into marketing to you so you are head deep into your phone being told what to wear, eat and how to shit. Pop music heavily ties into social media and marketing. Brainwashing to be quite frank.
     
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  12. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

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    I agree that it is marketing/ promotion that makes or breaks pop these days. But, you can't tell me that the pieces he sent are classed as contemporary/ modern pop music. I think they'd have to be popular first (pop = popular). Then they need that 4 on the floor bassdrum and snare on 2 and 4.

    I think all commenters so far have misconstrued the sound I am talking about. I am talking about that cliché pop, that Calvin Harris sound for example.




    Is it just 8 bar loops with samples?
     
  13. Donut Nyamer

    Donut Nyamer Audiosexual

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    No he either used a poor example of music representing pop music or is simply saying pop music could be any genre which is true. Pop music doesn't belong to any one genre because they have pop genres of every style out there. Even punk which was by definition anti pop and anti mainstream pop punk. Like your Green Days and NOFX's.

    I think that's where people would say pop music sounds like Michael Jackson where as Justin Beiber and Calvin Harris are all pop too. Pop to me means massively popular which could borrow from any style of music.

    Everything you'd find in mainstage is all pop. It's just from house music, which many would argue doesn't even sound like house music other than having 4x4 drums which is found in every style under the electronic music umbrella other than Dubstep and DnB. I think they call it Trouse; Trance and house for molly shitted trousers.

    Pop music in my eyes is the turning point where artists get big, their hunger subsides and they become lazy only putting out trash that panders to mainstream fans with an already set formula for you to follow. Pop = anything that massively sells.
     
  14. Donut Nyamer

    Donut Nyamer Audiosexual

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    Actually I'll even go as far as saying pop holds the vast majority of music fans who are actually non fans of music. The ones that only know about pop music and that's all they ever knew to like or been told they should like via Cola commercials.

    Pop holds the most amount of fans that would make outsider music. You can't deny that your most common pop fan is a commercial bubbie that only knows 4 songs from the top 40 hit clueless bubbie charts. If Bieber decided to suddenly turn to other styles, guess who would follow? Everybody.


    [​IMG]
    If anything pop music is a weapon that's ready to shit up the very thing you love using some brainless bubbie whale hipsters that could swallow up dubstep and shit out brostep overnight.
     
  15. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

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    Exactly, that formula you mention is exactly what I aim to discern via this thread. What is it that makes a song "radio-friendly"/ pop in terms of composition/ theory?
     
  16. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    To Calvin Harris - born 1984, he makes the sound - he can make it. The sound reflects the society in which he grew up and lives again. How does the Calvin sound? Everything is pretty weird - sometimes inharmonious - too fast at the pace - rather hectic and nervous. The generation cannot make any other music. The best years of music were in the late 70s to early 90s.

    I can't hear his music through. The music that is created on the PC is mostly very machine-like - robot-like - without a soul. Most people don't know music theory, but use the piano roll or ready-made midfiles. There is nothing new - you pitch a little and a few crooked notes, maybe a little faster. The lyrics are not a hit either - love talk or hate rap.

    Calvin Harris - Green Valley 1st place - So what! For us older musicians, such music is absolute agony. Nothing at all fits together. After 5 seconds I have to turn it off. That's why I'm promoting "Back to the 80tys". You are probably wondering about this opinion - then you are probably much younger - born 80 years or later. In the past it was called the generation conflict, the old didn't understand the young and that's how it is today. Generation SmartPhone and Amazon. Willing uncritical consumers - that is exactly what every ruler and technoloy company wants.
     
  17. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    MUSIC - The formula for the catchy tune (from Pamela Villages)

    A researcher from Bonn is investigating what makes a hit - and what it does in the brain.

    A melody that just can't get out of your head, although you might not even find it beautiful - everyone probably knows that. "Breathless" by Helene Fischer is such a catchy tune from the last time. With their formulaic nature, these songs create a sense of well-being because they address the relevant brain areas, says Volkmar Kramarz, musicologist at the University of Bonn. “This is an effect that affects everyone,” he says - and adds: “But of course we are free what we do with it.” That means: Even if a pleasant song has burned itself into the brain, you can, depending on your personal taste choose not to like it.

    The scientist, who has been on stage as a rock guitarist for decades, has analyzed what turns pieces of music into hits - and in collaboration with colleagues from the “Differential & Biological Psychology” department at the University of Bonn, examined what happens in the human brain when hearing such melodies happens. Kramarz has summarized the results of the study in the book “Why Hits Become Hits”, which will be released in August.

    To find out which ingredients compositions need to land at the top of the charts, he scrutinized successful pop songs from 2007 to 2014. For his music theory analysis, Kramarz selected the winners of the “Grammy” and “Echo” music prizes, the winners of the “Eurovision Song Contest” and the “Singles of the Year” from Germany and Great Britain. All songs that can be seen as “characteristic of contemporary tastes”.
    In the next step, the music expert then checked which elements in melody, chords and rhythm these pieces have in common. The analysis showed that the vast majority of pop songs that became bestsellers were based on just three chord progressions. Volkmar Kramarz calls them “pop formulas” and lists them: first, the “turnaround” with the sequence C major / A minor / F major / G major.

    The Dutch duo "The Common Linnets" relied on this at this year's Eurovision Song Contest, took second place with "Calm after the storm" and is therefore more commercially successful than the winning title "Rise like a phoenix" by Conchita Wurst, which sounds more like a musical, as the scientist says. He assumes that in this case factors such as personality and less the melody influenced the audience's vote.
    A typical example of a “turnaround” is also “Where have all the flowers gone”, sung by Marlene Dietrich as “Tell me where the flowers are”. Although almost 60 years old, the melody involuntarily flatters itself when reading the lines.

    A currently very popular formula is “Modern Pop”, for which the sequence A minor / F major / C major / G major is characteristic. Lena's winning title “Satellite” at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 builds on it - or “breathless”, our national team's favorite. And finally there is the “Four Chord” scheme, recognizable by the sequence C major / G major / A minor / F major. The Beatles are among the most popular beneficiaries of this formula for success.

    Volkmar Kramarz recognized something else: “These formulas move through the decades. They experience phases of rebirth and never die out. "

    In the practical part of the study, the musicologist then composed an example for each of the three formulas - and three variants of each: With the first, he strictly adhered to the scheme, with the second, he only took “half the formula” by changing parts shifted a semitone. And at one point the scientist finally resolved the formula completely by “cutting up the music into snippets, underlaying it with sinus curves, mixing keys and rhythm,“ until the usual musical context was no longer recognizable ”.

    The latter was reminiscent of the music reformer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who of course didn't care whether his compositions would sell well. But even the “half formula” had already led to a strong alienation: What sounded smooth before, just because of a changed semitone, sometimes sounded like “Gothic”.

    The effects that these variations triggered in the participants in the study were strikingly different: the researchers played a total of nine melodies to 40 men and women between the ages of 20 and 72 years. A magnetic resonance tomograph recorded their brain activity. The result: across all ages, the three common pop formulas addressed areas in the brain that are responsible for a particular sense of wellbeing.
    In addition, the reward system was “excessively activated” by such chord progressions, says Kramarz. This region of the brain is also involved in "sexual activity" and in "spontaneous purchases". And, not surprisingly, the pop formulas also stimulated those regions in the brain that are responsible for body movement - and thus encourage people to dance.

    Even half the formula, however, no longer allowed any “comfort” to arise. The completely resolved formulas then even put those areas of the brain into action “that deal with aggression and willingness to conflict”.

    According to Kramarz, similar effects also mean that music can be perceived completely differently 500 meters away - which leads to problems at open-air concerts with regularity. “Anyone standing right in front of the stage is bathed in feelings of happiness,” explains the researcher. “Half a kilometer away, the wind has already broken the chords. Basses take longer than higher notes until sound carries them to another place. For someone who is further away, the music sounds like the dissolved formula: with the result that the corresponding brain regions are activated. "Exactly the annoyance:" So neither side can do anything about their behavior, neither the concert-goers nor the annoyed residents, ”concludes the musicologist.

    What all Modern Talking haters or Helene Fischer-Mockers will be surprised: The effect of the popular chord progressions observed by the researchers applies "regardless of age, education - including musical background - or origin," says Kramarz. “We are just so knitted.” And: “The purer and more consistent a pop formula is, the more successful a song is usually.” But isn't it the case that at some point you can no longer hear the biggest hit? “Of course, melodies wear out after a while. Then the same thing comes on the market in a new guise, with a new interpreter and a new performance. "

    On the basis of these findings, the scientist therefore calls for a “paradigm shift in music lessons”. Young people are often advised to “do something new that hasn't been there before”. However, when it comes to this claim, Volkmar Kramarz is skeptical. In any case, it does not necessarily lead to commercial success.

    Source: www.fr.de/wissen/formel-ohrwurm-11651700.html
     
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  18. Tele_Vision

    Tele_Vision Platinum Record

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    Brostep?! I got the horrible image of the Winklevoss twins dancing like Spike Lee in 'Praise you'...damnit
     
  19. recycle

    recycle Audiosexual

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    I never got to fully catch what pop music is and what its boundaries are. In reality, I have always seen the pop genre not as a musical style, but as a market reaction: the song is appreciated all over the world, so it is pop.

    Believing that there are composition schemes for a pop song and trying to follow them means starting on the wrong foot, as evidenced by the countless fiascos made even by great artists

    The magic formula for being pop doesn't exist (it would be nice though)
     
  20. Donut Nyamer

    Donut Nyamer Audiosexual

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    The image is more horrible than that! Brostep is everything after Skrillex but some argue it's everything after Rusko. It's basically everything that is popstep with screechy annoying frequencies. It's the mainstage of dubstep. Real Dubstep is still being made though.

    I think it does and it's caused problems within labels that started following them and not putting your shit out unless you follow suit. It's happened in every genre. The formula is different within each genre. A trance label isn't going to have the same formula as top 40s artists. They have their own charts belonging to that style.

    Look at ASOT for example. At some point that shit became that garbage trouse shit Tiesto switched to.
     
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  21. Dimentagon

    Dimentagon Platinum Record

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    Pop is a very broad term. Something Scruton fails to recognise that's why there are so many subgenres. It's popular for a reason mostly because people listen to and relate to it. Hence why I said he doesn't understand what he cannot understand, for the better or worse its called taste which is a sociological dynamic. I would have much more respect for his opinion if he acknowledged change in society is reflected in change within the sociological and socioeconomic dynamic.

    I get really pissed off with this pro pop anti-pop nonsense.
    Mozart, Irving Berlin, Miles Davis, Stravinsky, Lady GaGa, and Scruton himself are all pop. Musical analysis is for musicologists and musicians, taste is for critics with opinions who for the most part are clueless music snobs that follow the trends they deride.


    The term "radio-friendly" is a bullshit term coined by FM stations using an old formula for nonoffensive music between soap commercials.
    Which radio? What programming?, What demographic.. If I'm on the air and play anything it makes it technically radio-friendly. Do you mean what makes music deemed popular or populist appealing as opposed to sucessful? (the two aren't mutually exclusive).
    It's really simple in the modern context. It's directly related to the proliferation of technology. Recording technology, portability, consumption, delivery platforms, media. I hate musical snobbery, however, we are all guided by emotional choice.

    Scenario.. Finius buys a laptop, feeds Logic Pro with arrangments, and creates relatable music with his equally talented sister that is deemed Pop. Millions of kids relate and are inspired to use the same process that creates more popular art some of which is appealing most of which isn't. Nevertheless, a technology from wire recordings to the latest Daw rig has driven what gets popular. There are lots of educated and non-educated musicians out there creating music that's popular, it's just the scale and reach of the network that varies. Now networks have no boundaries and traditional media consumption is curated in open platforms that are on-demand and self-curated by discovery as opposed to the old highly commercially driven model. Consumerism has evolved as has what is deemed pop.
     
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