Of course, there is no song or genre that everyone will like. This means that at least some people will always complain about songs that are just popular at the moment. I also often hear the opinion that contemporary music is getting worse and worse, that it is impossible to listen to it and that it shows a downward trend. As I love music and I play the instrument, of course I have something to say here.
I treat this entry mainly as an opportunity to write about my thoughts, which I have never had the opportunity to share with anyone. I’ll just touch on a few aspects that I think are related to the topic. I will mainly refer to popular music.
What is pop?
Pop is short for popular music. It has different: narrower or broader meanings, but I always refer to the broadest one. That means that when I write about pop music here, I mean songs that are very popular now. Maybe they were top-listed, maybe they gained billions of views on YouTube. so pop in this sense is hard to treat as a musical genre, because it is impossible – let me remind you that in the broadest definition – to indicate its characteristics.
A black metal song, if it suddenly became very popular, could be classified as pop. But it sounds incorrect, not without reason. Despite minor exceptions confirming the rule, the most popular songs of recent years seem to be very similar, which I will write more about soon. Our brains have simply identified their common features with the statement of pop.
Let me just stop here for a moment and touch on a slightly different topic. In recent years there have been voices saying that rock music is dying. I’m writing about it because it’s probably the genre I listen to most often. Of course rock will not die. Music is evolving. Everything is changing. The people who make it, the people who listen to it, even the technology you use to make it.
The Auto-tune problem
Auto-tune is, in simple words, a device that changes the sound in such a way as to remove falsehood. It is mainly used on the vocalist’s voice, but recently I found out that it can also be used on instruments. In short, you may not be able to sing at all, but sound good on the recording… at least in theory. Even musicians have protested against the use of this technique.
Personally, I think – although I don’t think it’s a very popular opinion – that there is nothing wrong with such a scam. The technology is evolving, allowing dreams to come true for people who can’t sing and may not have time for singing lessons. If someone wants to make music, I think they should be able to do so regardless of the condition of their vocal cords. He can even create a masterpiece.
In addition, Auto-tune is not the only way musicians help themselves, although it is certainly the most effective. This scam is to provide the listener with the best possible product. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with it. Let us remember that Auto-tune will not write a song for anyone. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling it a scam, because that’s exactly what it is.
This is probably the main part of this entry. It is something that will annoy people who know a little bit about music, but probably everyone can notice it. Music is business. When someone writes a song, they want it to become popular, to make a profit. It’s perfectly normal. Being a musician is work.
That’s why he or she much more often decides on proven patterns in songs that have already been successful. Same rhythm, same chords… Few people want to experiment, so the next songs sound similar. I’m not going to write here about the lyrics of contemporary popular songs, because it’s not something I often pay attention to, although I certainly have something to say about it. I’m going to do the chords.
I will only touch the subject superficially, so as not to frighten anyone and in a way that is as understandable as possible. Of course, there is much more behind it, but it’s hard to talk about it without going into the theory of music.
When you play a few notes at the same time, a chord is created. When you choose a few chords and play them one after the other, chord progression is created. All you have to do is add words and you can call the piece a song. However, this is not the repetition that he criticizes. Repeatability is desirable here. A song in which the chords would change every now and then without repetition would sound like jazz, and nobody wants that.
That’s more or less how it looks. Choice of four chords, looping and ready – once again, I’ll remind you that I’m simplifying it considerably. Now imagine that two songs use the same chords. It wouldn’t be a plagiarism, because nobody can have the exclusive right to progressify chords. In addition, people, listening to these songs one by one, wouldn’t have to realize that they use the same chords. Different lyrics, a bit different rhythm, different instruments.
Now let’s imagine that there are more such songs. In fact, we don’t have to imagine anything. There are a lot of such songs. In fact, if something was popular, there’s a good chance he’s using those chords. For the record, these chords are: I, V, VI, IV, although there are different variations of them. Of course, I would have to justify this statement with an exemplary list of the works in question, but I will not do so. If someone is interested in the subject, let them write “4 chords” in their browser.
What should music be?
It doesn’t matter to me. It’s something I like to analyze, but I’m convinced that it’s impossible to draw any conclusions from it. It doesn’t matter if the vocalist can sing live, if the song has the same chords as the three previous ones on the playlist, if someone, while writing it, wanted to experiment or follow proven patterns. Then what is important? If something sounds good, it’s good.
If the song liked at least some of the people who listened to it, it’s good that it was made. While working on this entry, all the time I was listening to songs that were said to be popular in the last year. Now everyone can go back to listening to what they like most and complaining about everything else. Because I think it’s worth criticizing music. If you don’t like a particular genre, don’t hold back on criticism.