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What's the difference between pop and classical? (Read 18784 times)

Offline stiefel

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What's the difference between pop and classical?
« on: November 04, 2012, 04:23:07 AM »
What is the difference between pop and classical music?  Is it the emotional content?  Is it the complexity?  To me, it is really easy to tell the difference when listening, but it is really hard to describe in words.  What are your thoughts?

Offline mikeowski

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 05:05:28 AM »
Well one big difference is that pop music is completely focused on songs as its main music form. So much so that people who never listen to non-pop music will start calling any music piece a song. I know some would call it nitpicking but I can't stand when people say stuff like "für elise and moonlight sonata are my favorite classical-songs". That's #1.
#2: It's mostly very simplistic and repetitive, sometimes using only one chord progression over and over.
have a look at this video:

#3: When played on a piano, the left hand is pretty much always nothing but octaves.

Offline outin

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 07:12:34 AM »
I am not sure if one can make this type of comparison without first defining what you mean by pop music (or classical). There's a lot of non classical music that is not pop and some of the modern "classical" music has had inluences from non classical like jazz. But if you really mean just pop, the difference I guess is mostly in the form and way/quality of execution.

If I didn't dislike cross-over so much, I would investigate this by listening to non classical music played by a symphony orchestra or bands like Apocalyptica. Also you can find "pop" arrangements of classical songs.

IMO most of the pop music (as a genre of non classical music) is crap, but there's a lot of good non classical music around.
But IMO some of the classical music is crap also...
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 02:04:09 AM »
My piano teacher once told me that a lot of pop music is primitive classical.
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Offline pianist1976

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 10:20:54 AM »
Charles Rosen made a very interesting statement about this:

A classical music recording is a poor reproduction of a concert hall.
A pop/rock live concert is a poor reproduction of a recording.

Offline asuhayda

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 07:40:34 PM »
My piano teacher once told me that a lot of pop music is primitive classical.

That's a very interesting perspective.  I'd have to agree with this to a degree.

Pop music is production line music.  It brings about the ontological discussion "what is art?".

Pop music nowadays has become much more about production companies and technology than it has about talented performers.  Actually, just about all types of music are like this now.

Basically, if you're weird, hot, a mildly good singer and maybe able to play the guitar a little... you can be a pop star.  But ultimately, turning a profit trumps talent, progressiveness and art.

It's sad but true.
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Offline nystul

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 08:34:37 PM »
That's a very interesting perspective.  I'd have to agree with this to a degree.

Pop music is production line music.  It brings about the ontological discussion "what is art?".

Pop music nowadays has become much more about production companies and technology than it has about talented performers.  Actually, just about all types of music are like this now.

Basically, if you're weird, hot, a mildly good singer and maybe able to play the guitar a little... you can be a pop star.  But ultimately, turning a profit trumps talent, progressiveness and art.

It's sad but true.

To put it on the flip side, contemporary art music has to fit within academia's notion of serious music.  Which leads to a lot of music that nobody likes except music professors.  Such that people's favorite "classical" music of the late 20th and 21st centuries tends to in fact be pop music (movie scores, video game themes, etc.).

Offline nanabush

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 09:55:26 PM »
There are two sides to being ignorant... pop musicians who can't tell the difference between Debussy and Mozart; and classical musicians who label ALL music today as pop.

There are some great song writers who don't need advanced harmonic language to express what they are singing... it's not therefore a packaged product.  What about some Lieder that uses a broad range of colours, but the song is basically about a tree growing fruit...

Artists who are famous simply because you can't AVOID their face (over-advertising) annoy me.  But if you go see a local musician play some self-written songs, and it's poetic and beautiful it's awesome stuff!  It's got some heavy pop influence, but it's unique.

Pop does kind of stick around the idea of a 'hook' (aka there's one general theme in the song), stays in one key, may dip up a semi-tone for the last chorus to revitalize the song... but the chords aren't anything like you'd see in Wolfe.

Classical musicians who disregard music today without hearing it are as annoying as pop people who haven't heard of Chopin.
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Offline asuhayda

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 10:26:35 PM »
To put it on the flip side, contemporary art music has to fit within academia's notion of serious music.  Which leads to a lot of music that nobody likes except music professors.  Such that people's favorite "classical" music of the late 20th and 21st centuries tends to in fact be pop music (movie scores, video game themes, etc.).

Pop music is driven by the media.  The media influences young people to listen to it because it's "cool".  And it's all about money. Cash is king right?  Make it young, make it hip, make it sexy, make it cool... but if it doesn't sound good... well... eh.. no big deal.  They won't know the difference.

I don't listen to contemporary music either... but I do like all kinds of different music. 

However, pop music grinds on me. It sounds processed.. for lack of a better word.

... and I very rarely agree with what acedemics consider to be "good music".. however, I'm sure that there are those out there who probably are swayed by the acedemia.  And you'd be correct, that is equally bad.  However, perhaps, slightly more informed.  Snobby, but informed.
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Offline perprocrastinate

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 10:31:14 PM »
I'm well aware of my ignorance and I don't care!

*snob level up

Pop music sucks! It's so saturated.

Offline chopianologue

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 06:58:56 PM »
Pop music - *pops*
Classical music - *infinity*

Ah, if Freddie Mercury were a pop composer; Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody and March of the black queen were been very, very good pop compositions...

Offline nanabush

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 07:13:51 PM »
I just think that people need to redefine the line between 'current' and 'pop'.  Music that gets radio time isn't necessarily 'driven' by the media.  I am annoyed at the prejudice that classical musicians have towards new music.  I am not defending Rihanna; I am defending musicians who have left a cultural impact on their own, without full-on media guidance, and who aren't classically trained.

Queen, The Beatles, hell - Alexisonfire (here in Ontario!); they weren't started up by corporations, and because they aren't in a tux performing Brahms, it is INSTANTLY labelled as 'lame' 'saturated' 'terrible music' 'driven by money'.  This is BS people!
Interested in discussing:

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Offline starstruck5

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 07:56:38 PM »
I'm well aware of my ignorance and I don't care!

*snob level up

Pop music sucks! It's so saturated.

You are entitled to your opinion for sure -try writing a song though -with a catchy melody that people enjoy. It is a great buzz to hear your song, sung by teenage girls, as they go shoplifting on a saturday morning- -Very few can actually write catchy melodies though -

Pop may be all about the money but what isn't in our culture?  People think that because pop music sounds simple it is easy to produce -it isn't.  It is an art form like any other -exploited by greedy industry moguls -but an art form nevertheless -

Classical composers wrote some great hooky melodies also btw -using just two chords -so what?
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Offline perprocrastinate

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 09:58:58 PM »
You are entitled to your opinion for sure -try writing a song though -with a catchy melody that people enjoy. It is a great buzz to hear your song, sung by teenage girls, as they go shoplifting on a saturday morning- -Very few can actually write catchy melodies though -

Pop may be all about the money but what isn't in our culture?  People think that because pop music sounds simple it is easy to produce -it isn't.  It is an art form like any other -exploited by greedy industry moguls -but an art form nevertheless -

Classical composers wrote some great hooky melodies also btw -using just two chords -so what?

Whether or not that holds true (I wouldn't be able to tell, as I know less music theory than a potato does), pop artists will not sustain or even create a legacy.

Offline j_menz

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Re: What's the difference between pop and classical?
«Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 11:05:34 PM »
pop artists will not sustain or even create a legacy.

Elvis? John Lennon? Jimmy Hendricks? Bob Marley? Etc.. Etc...  ::)

All been dead for as long as they could be and still more popular (and influential) than Schoenberg.
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