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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Do you like pop music?

October 29, 2011 at 7:18 AM

I find that non-musicians sometimes assume that classical musicians are brainiacs who would never condescend to listen to popular music.

Not true, at least not entirely. Granted, musicians tend to see through a lot of pop music tunes, if for no other reason than that they can hear the chords:

You can see why a person might roll his eyes or fail to see any brilliant inventiveness in such a tune. At the same time, musicians like music! They often find that the music that accompanies daily life gives them inspiration. I'm seeing more and more classical musicians jump straight in and put their artistic spin on the music that lives all around them, be it pop music from the last few years, or pop music from the last 50 years.

For example, witness this rather astounding cover of Smooth Criminal/Owner Of A Lonely Heart by Alex DePue:

And this has become a favorite for me, Time for Three's cover of Imogen Heap's 2005 hit Hide and Seek.

And who can forget Adam DeGraff's "Sweet Child o' Mine":

How about Bohemian Rhapsody for four fiddles?

Maybe you do like pop music, maybe you don't; here is your chance to vote! Also, if you'd like to share more covers and pop-inspired music, please do!

From Hopengrace Dela Cruz
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 7:46 AM
Yes I do! :)
Though I gravitate more on the movie soundtrack side (does that still count as pop?)

On YouTube, I especially love Paul Dateh's work

From di allen
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 3:47 PM
i think musicians should attempt to listen to, and appreciate all kinds, or most, of music. i find that there is a great deal of cross--pollination. i was lucky enough to be raised to hear classical music as well as pop....but country was considered beneath my mom! and now i am playing with a c/w band and studying suzuki violin. more is better.
From Lori Mizelle
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM
ThE pop music videos available are proving to be very inspirational to my school strings students. It helps them to realize all the possibilities available to them in learning their instrument!
From Trevor Jennings
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 6:00 PM
Just to say that my vote is a qualified "yes", because for me there is a chunk of pop music that is not worth wasting time on, for example that which uses Auto-Tune and other studio techniques to disguise basic incompetence.
From Andrei Pricope
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM
And there there's this:
From Simon Streuff
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 6:36 PM
what do you all think was the pop music back to the time of mozart, beethoven..usw?
Today is just everything more globalised, the difference between Entertaining-Music and Serious-Music has always been there. One is coming from the people, the other one from the more sophisticated society like the aristocraty and the churches.
The roots are fairly the same wiith the entertaining music beeing very often a source for the serious music. The only thing wich seperates both musics is the way we listen to it. One type we listen to closely, calm and carefully and the other we dance and/or talk to...while "listening" That makes it necessary to the entertaining music to be more "in your face" and with a steady beat, wich captures your attention. In serious music this would feel too blatant and ordinary.
I really have a problem to answer the question: "do you like pop music or not"
Pop music has the greatest range of styles quality and taste(less) stuff... so how can i say I like or dont like "pop-music" as a whole, this is really a quite simplistic way to judge music.
Keep your ears open all the time, be tolerant even to music wich may scare you in the beginning. Always remember that great art have never been accepted by the audience right away. Look out for that stuff. I am not talking about Justine Bieber or Lady Gaga, they sell their stuff. But look at all the subgenres wich are full of interesting, inspiring and mind opening ART. We only live once, its no time to be stubborn :P
From Paul Deck
Posted on October 30, 2011 at 1:58 AM
Most popular music is without merit. Most classical music that has been written over time is not very good either. We're just not aware of it because it has disappeared. Most of what is on television is not worth watching. Most books are not worth reading.

We have the benefit of the filter of time and the combined discernment of generations of enlightened critics who have spared us from having to listen to every piece and read every book.

Is there ANY good pop music? Yes, I have heard some. But I just don't have time to listen to the radio for an hour just to hear one or two things that I might like, especially when 25% of the airtime is consumed by very offensive advertising. I am satisfied to get my allotment of pop music by hearing it when I am with others who are listening to it because they really like it. One of my friends is a blues freak and he made me a CD of some of his favorite blues tracks and I really enjoyed that. But I cannot listen to it over and over again the same way I can listen to a good recording of the great violin sonatas and concertos.

From bill platt
Posted on October 30, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Take Paul's first sentence and apply it to rock and roll and it is the same as with the classical. The 60s and 70s rock that we hear played is the good stuff. You forgot all the incredibly dreadful stuff. Same with any "genre."

In fact "genre" in the contemporary sense is an artificial concept cooked up by the record companies and the Executives In Charge Of Radio Playlists.

Playing style and technique and musical traditions are different from genre. Not really the same thing at all but we often muddle the two especially anything from the past 40 or 50 years.

From Tony Boone
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 2:42 AM
Pop Music
From Rebecca Hopkins
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 1:28 PM
Fantastic thread, thanks for the videos. I love all kinds of music but agree with the autotune statement. Some of the stuff I hear is just plain irritating, and when I listen more closely it's because of the engineering. A big part of what I love about older pop stuff is listening to the amazing musicians and hearing the choices, their choices in playing/singing, and the choices of what to include by those engineering the sound.
The older I get the more I appreciate some things, recently fell in love with the guitar riff from the long version of an old (OLD) pop song and I swear it's just as satisfying to hear that as some more "serious" music. (Long version of "Rapture" by Blondie, more than four minutes in, but listen to the whole thing if anyone's interested.) Music is the most amazing gift there is!
From Jason Hurwitz
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 3:43 PM
I love pop music (including hip hop and electronica). In fact, most of my car's radio stations are programmed to Top 40, hip hop, and pop stations. Honestly (and I know this is somewhat blasphemous to say as a violinist), I've never been big into listening to classical music outside of the concert hall.

And, of course, I have to throw out a plug for Barrage's cover of Viva la Vida by Coldplay (ignore the minor technical difficulty at the start of the piece :-p):

From Kathryn Woodby
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 5:02 PM
I was totally thinking of posting on this subject, as I'm dreaming up a listening challenge for my studio. I want it to have a big classical component, but I want an almost equal component of really quality music of today, from "art-music" composers to film to world to folk to sacred to oldies to really quality "pop"--only I was trying to figure out how to define my terms b/c i really don't want a whole bunch of listening worksheets of just the newest teen idol or whatever. But I do want to recognize that some of it is actually crafted and substantial and worth listening to. any recommndations on how to direct that? Maybe that'll be its own thread one day. :) but timely to this discussion, I thought.
From David Wilson
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 6:04 PM
Pop music has been my field for the last 20 years of so. First playing live at private parties for "old" Hollywood, then recording of eventually ten albums. These have been laid back renditions of older songs, Latin favorites, and pop hits for the 60's and 70's. Over 160,000 albums have been sold. And there are 119 songs on itunes. A beautiful song by the BeeGees is at or an orginal pop tune is at I am proud of my ability to please an audience of non classical violin lovers.
From Kim Vawter
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 6:18 PM
As a beginner violinist, (6 years) I was able to join the Intergenerational Orchestra of Omaha. It is great fun to play with such a fine assortment of people over 50 and under 25. All we play is 'Pops."
Our conductor, Chuck Pennington, arranges all our music so it is tailor made to our ability. If it weren't for these great older pops tunes as well as a his original compositions we would be out of business. We play for retirement homes and we are very well received. It is a way that I can play the violin and not just practice and practice with no other goal in sight.
We have wonderful professional Symphonic Orchestra here in Omaha as well as an organization that other music professionals and amateurs can join that plays more difficult classical music. This is a volunteer organization as well--so there is something for everyone.
Playing the "Pops" tunes is great fun for me because I am familiar with these tunes. It is another way to keep motivated and positive about my playing even though I know that the clock is ticking and I may not be able to play with the proficiency that others have achieved who started in their youth.
From Charlie Gibbs
Posted on November 3, 2011 at 10:47 PM
Rebecca Hopkins wrote:

> The older I get the more I appreciate some
> things, recently fell in love with the guitar
> riff from the long version of an old (OLD) pop
> song and I swear it's just as satisfying to
> hear that as some more "serious" music. (Long
> version of "Rapture" by Blondie, more than four
> minutes in, but listen to the whole thing if
> anyone's interested.)

The guitar riff is OK, but what I really like on that track are the saxophones. One of my favourite guitar solos is at the end of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall". (As a bonus, listen for the organ's Leslie speaker cranking up and down in the background.)

> Music is the most amazing gift there is!

You got that right.

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