What is the difference between "academic" and "popular music"?
I'd need a lot more wine to answer that
You might as well ask for a definition of music.
Sounds like terms a musicologist may have come up with. Note that they are arbitrary, as evidenced by the fact that no one here seems to know the answer, or even recognize the question itself.
No, they aren't arbitrary.
Paul, Just out of curiosity, in what setting are these "academic music" are usually presented to the audience? Does university set up annual/monthly/weekly recital for "like minded" people to cheer for each other?
Sivrit asked, "Does university set up annual/monthly/weekly recital for 'like minded' people to cheer for each other?"
"Academic" for me means that music which appeals to the intellect rather than the emotions. It tends to be found almost entirely in academia, which has become the sole promoter and conservator of 12-tone music.
I think the OP meant "popular" vs. "serious" or "popular" vs. "classical". The word "academic" has been misconstrued, ironically, by those with (too much?) exposure to academe. (And of course you can't say "classical" as a generic term because then people will get on your case because "classical" only refers to a certain period and so on.)
Dividing music into "popular" and "serious" categories is, I'm sorry, uninformed. It implies that popular music isn't serious, and that is foolishness. One kind of music I play is traditional Irish music, and while it is very popular in Ireland, it is also very serious. And it is barely academic, so... how do those categories work again? The fact is that without vast support of new classical music through... wait for it... academia, there would be no new classical music. Calling it academic, since everyone doing it was trained in academia, and it is supported by those institutions, is far more accurate than calling it "serious."
I didn't find Scott's description of "popular music" elitist or dismissive at all. I think popular music is important and useful, even if there is a lot of it I don't care to listen to. But I think Scott description of it is actually pretty accurate. It's repetitive, it appeals to emotion, and the melody is what you take away. Those are pretty solid observations if you ask me. They don't apply especially well to hip-hop, which one could argue is less music and more poetry -- but also something that's hard to pin down in the end.
So, you don't care to listen to "popular" music, but you feel comfortable describing it in simple terms that you feel are solid observations (if I ask you). But you think it's "important and useful." And then you choose a major style of popular music and say that this whole shtick doesn't apply. Forgive me, but you are not making much sense here.
The discussion here freely mixes the terms "academic" and "classical" because the main source for musicians performing classical European music is in fact institutions of higher education-- "academia." There is the problem of "classical" being a particular period, as has been mentioned, but also that there has been a split in the audience between the majority who like the old stuff and lose interest in most music in the tradition created after, say, 1920, and the professional class who have continued to develop descendant musical styles within the same tradition that have required institutional support (hence, "academic"), and reach a much smaller audience, in spite of enthusiasts' passionate advocacy.
Legend has it if you say that popular music must be "catchy", you will invite Baba Yaga onto the boards.
Some violinists of perhaps "questionable" music taste would disagree with Vieuxtemps oeuvre being "academic works"-they were meant to be singing-violin, (sometimes virtuoso) works. That students are often made to play the Ballade et Polonaise, Concerto #2, and Concerto #5 (among others) doesn't make them "academic works". Vieuxtemps himself played his 5th Concerto beyond the confines of a Music Conservatory, and it was quite well-regarded among "serious" composers and musicians, along with the 4th.
the difference? one word: catchy! ;-)
"Scott's comment that it appeals to the intellect rather than the emotions is valid, while his specifics are a bit weird--no one is writing 12-tone music anymore"
Historically, there has been a lot of overlap between art music and popular music in the Western world; I think the gap is wider now than it has been in centuries. Remember that, from Mozart and late Haydn onward, composers increasingly relied on public concerts for their income, which meant selling tickets to Europe's growing middle class. For many, the most lucrative work was composing music for the theater, whether it was operas (which were very much entertainment for the masses in Italy) or incidental music for plays. Today we tend to think of film music and video game music as "popular" music, but I think of it as functionally identical to the incidental music composed in the past that is often performed as art music today. The practice of extracting concert suites from film, TV, and video game music today is similar to what past composers did as well. For that matter, there even seems to be a line drawn within film music... I've wondered why Prokofiev's scores to
The difference is simple. "New" Classical 96.3 plays one and not the other.
Brent Johnston...... I'll meet you at the pub. I've got first round.
Well in a similar vein I'll tell you a joke that jazz musicians tell:
Paul Smith wrote, "So, you don't care to listen to 'popular' music..."
Sigh... you said that "popular music" was "repetitive, it appeals to emotion, and the melody is what you take away. Those are pretty solid observations if you ask me."
Ha, John Berger! I remember laughing over his biography of Picasso in the 80s. Don't ask me why, I can't remember that. Something to do with how far he stretched the concept of vertical invasion vs. horizontal invasion.
Academic music is for musicians, popular music is for everybody else.
Paul Smith--EXCELLENT description of "American vernacular music." I'd hit the like button, if I had one.
Paul I agree with you about lyrics in popular music. They're inseparable from the tune -- to the extent that the term "melody" should be seen as encompassing both. You don't hear folks humming the tune without the words, and you don't hear people reciting the "poetry" without the tune.
The question is rather vague. What do you mean by popular music? Is jazz popular music? What about Pop, Bebop, New Age, Rap, Folk, Heavy Metal etc. Classical music (or what you seem to refer to as Academic music) refers to yet another genre of music. Classical as other pointed out also refers to a time period, then you have baroque music, romantic music also referring to a time period but classified in the classical music genre. Popular vs Academic taken out of context mean entirely different things, which are characterizations; one meaning "liked, admired, or enjoyed by many people or by a particular person or group" and the other (amongst several other definitions) "not of practical relevance; of only theoretical interest", such as meant in "this discussion we're having is purely academic"!
I honestly think this is too deep a subject to cover here in a thread on it.I see some points made that struggle to see light while I get the jist of the statements.It's just too difficult to cover in this format.
It depends on what jazz you're talking about, of course. I'd argue that, because of the AFM's recording ban of 1942-44, jazz started to make a hard swerve toward the "academic" lane beginning with bebop. Ornette Coleman and free jazz seem to appeal mostly to academics.
"...not ALL "popular" music fits Scott's original description."
@Scott Cole It gets the point across and I agree. Shows that you are objective coming from your background. I have heard some of it that I liked,not much though. It's sort of like AI before there was AI.It fits but how does it SOUND? Other people simply LOVE it. Who am I to say?
" He has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise", which today could be interpreted as, "never argue with a drunk in a pub, you won't win".
Lol. Trevor I don't think I've ever won an argument. I just hold a position:)
I really, really didn't want to get involved in this, but I do attempt to abide by the mantra "never publicly disrespect another person's taste in music"
@Scott "But generally, the most popular music is melodic and emotionally appealing, in contrast to academic music, which is basically compositional m---erbation."
Demian should be awarded "jelly bean of the month" for stirring the possum so beautifully.
"But don't you think most music in the romatic period was composed to be emotionally appealing? "
Maybe 'types of music' depends on the listener.'Music can be a birds call to a tribal drum,to a harmonic chant IMHO
A couple of points...
When we visited Ireland a year and a half ago, we were able to find traditional music, but we had to look for it. Most people seemed to be listening to the same sort of pop as the rest of the western world. One B&B was playing Motown, the next Michael Bolton. But we did find a couple of good pubs...
I was going to withhold comment because I think it's pretty obvious that Ireland is a big place and vacation there isn't likely to yield a true picture of the country, especially if one only frequents tourist destinations. I can't claim to have seen anywhere near all of the country, but I've been there and traveled quite extensive.
There has been some words on contemporary styles of music in this thread. Well, here is my two cents on that:
You UNDERSTAND academic music.
@Sander Marcus I don't know what kind of music you should understand and not enjoy. Anyway, there is a lot more to music than understanding and/or enjoying it.
I'll have a go.
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