March 29, 2003

Rock, Art, Pop

by Stu Hood

I've had ideas fervouring in my head lately over the concepts of the music we listen to and what basic principles
distinguish what it is. So I managed to break up the whole of musical existance into categories that I thought were
reasonable troughs of what could be organized as either Rock, Pop or Art. But not completely restricting are these vague
compartments, since most music would most commonly end up under more than one or all of these.

Rock music, being the product and voice of the indifferent opinion, uses its music as a carrier of intense emotion and activism.
A lot of punk, metal, hardcore and highly controversial musical mediums would be the acurate distinction of what is rock,
though what falls here can only be judged by the heart of composer. It can encompase the archaic dreams of a folk singer, or
distraught screams of political discontent from the underground. If the intent is of stimulating reaction, then the rock is
well in place.

The music singularly defined as art follows the paths of individual or cultural reflection, which is a main concept of
general art anyways. The reflection, easily being traded with the same brand as rock or even pop, may be for the sake
of intellectual or aesthetic inspiration. Some jazz, instrumental and classical are good examples of art music, with the lack of lyrical
content the focus of musical appreciation is centered there. As all music is considered art or a medium of the artistic mind,
art music is the more definite structure of artistic motive, willing to be open minded and progressive. The emotional aspect
is usually there as well, many times in unspeakable tones.

Pop: what is 'wanted' to be heard. 'Music of general appeal of young people' [WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University].
While a lot of what is rock and even art is meshed into being synonymous with pop music, the basic grid of picking
the pop tunes from the rest is once again about motive. The true pop artist will play what wants to be heard for that
sake, not being too concerned with the reflection of life, or the state of society but more of a marketing strategy.
The progression of pop music is noteably always what is favoured of that which comes out of all other genres of music which
have mass appeal.

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