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I'm interested in studying Pop music. What are the best scholarly books to start with?

 

And, also, what do people on here think of Pop music generally? What do you like or dislike about it?

 

Do you feel Pop's more manufactured/highly-controlled nature make it soulless and less worthy? Is music that makes a point 'better' for having done so?

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Theodore Adorno, may be a good place to start for studying pop music. Part of the Frankfurt School he Critique Pop music back in the 1940's that theorists like to expegate to modern ditties in the hope of keeping it relavent/

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'Faking It' by Barker & Taylor is good for a continuing examination of the Frankfurt School's theories using more contemporary examples.

 

As for what I think about pop music - I fahking love it. Some of the greatest pieces of music ever written have been pop songs. I'm not sure I'd trust a grown man who had nothing but Rihanna and McFly in his record collection, but equally I think the sort of people who insist all they only listen to 'serious' artists and that all pop music is worthless are very likely to be wankers.

 

Apart from at the extreme end of each scale, is it even that simple to tell the difference between pop music and 'serious' music? To pick the most obvious example, the Beatles are generally regarded as respected artists, but I'd struggle to define records like 'She Loves You' and 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' as anything other than pop songs.

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As for what I think about pop music - I fahking love it. Some of the greatest pieces of music ever written have been pop songs.

The way I'm conceiving of it at the minute, greatness in Pop in about catchiness, accessibility and fun. For those reasons, Britney Spears' Toxic is a song that I utterly love. But I wouldn't say that Britney is a great singer. Not that any genre has a monopoly on good or bad singers (or even talented musicians), but does the way that Pop singers can essentially get a pass here substantiate the idea that other genres are generally more 'worthy' and 'real'?

 

I think the sort of people who insist all they only listen to 'serious' artists and that all pop music is worthless are very likely to be wankers.

Agreed.

 

Apart from at the extreme end of each scale, is it even that simple to tell the difference between pop music and 'serious' music?

Like in pretty much everything, there's of course no absolute dichotomy.

 

I guess people would look at, say, political Rap and hold it in higher regard than a Britney Spears record. The former has more substance, but is it possible to consider that to be something which adds more quality or another layer to a work without being elitist? Not to say that all these things are mutually exclusive. So, would a catchy Pop song with substance be one that has everything and therefore better than a song that primarily only lays claim to one of these things?

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I love good pop music that's made by real bands, I'd consider some of my favourite music to be pop music (not much from the last 20 years or so though)

I'd love to start a pop band and make good pop music, it's when it starts getting manufactured and people perform songs they didn't write that I start to lose interest, pop as a genre by good musicians though I think can be great.

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I love good pop music that's made by real bands, I'd consider some of my favourite music to be pop music (not much from the last 20 years or so though)

I'd love to start a pop band and make good pop music, it's when it starts getting manufactured and people perform songs they didn't write that I start to lose interest, pop as a genre by good musicians though I think can be great.

 

There's loads of decent pop music performed by people who didn't write their own stuff. Pop music's a really broad term too, what parameters are you talking about?

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I'll say what I say in every pop thread that crops up here.

 

Pop music when done right is fucking awesome. "Biology" by Girls Aloud is one of the greatest pop songs of all time and anyone who dismisses it because it's by Girls Aloud (even though it's written by talented songwriters) is an ignorant cretin. Rachel Stevens' 2007 album Come And Get It is also essential.

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I disagree about Biology. I love pop music, I love Girls Aloud but that is one of my least favourite of theirs.

 

Again I love pop music, but I'm not limited to it, and it annoys me when people limit themselves simply to 'indy' music, or 'heavy metal' and refuse to give other kinds of music a chance (there's one lad at work like this, he insists I shouldn't like Elvis because he's dead - logic I can't even try to understand).

 

Pop music however, isn't what it once was, that's probably my age, but in the mid-late 90s, even the shit pop music was good, and the good pop music was great. Nowadays it does seem that a good pop song comes along a lot less often, but the same for all music I suppose...must be my age.

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Biology is flawless!

 

As for today's pop not being as good as the past, I'd suggest you're not looking in the right places. The stuff that tops the charts is usually rubbish but there's some fantastic stuff out there. The awesome Florrie for example:

 

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What is wrong with music performed by people that didn't write it? If someone is a great songwriter but can't sing a note, and someone else is a great singer but can't write good songs, why on earth shouldn't they collaborate? It's like only watching movies that are directed by one of the actors in it.

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Again I love pop music, but I'm not limited to it, and it annoys me when people limit themselves simply to 'indy' music, or 'heavy metal' and refuse to give other kinds of music a chance (there's one lad at work like this, he insists I shouldn't like Elvis because he's dead - logic I can't even try to understand).

 

I was like that at around 18 - then I went to a Music Production/Technology and grew up and became a lot more open minded and found the production in the studio interesting.

 

- Current favourite of mine, don't know why just think its a really well done song.
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Biology is flawless!

 

As for today's pop not being as good as the past, I'd suggest you're not looking in the right places. The stuff that tops the charts is usually rubbish but there's some fantastic stuff out there.

 

I don't get this. Isn't "pop" short for "popular"? If hardly anyone's heard of it then it isn't popular music. The point about old pop music being better than new pop music is not necessarily valid though, for whilst great stuff like the Beatles, Hollies, Mamas & Papas etc was wildly popular at the time, I'm sure the vast majority of chart music then was just as crappy as it is now.

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