Soulful Country and Popular Music

Country Music and its Roots

Country music is fairly new to the music scene, originating in the southern United States; it has grown immensely in popularity in the past 50 years. Country music is set apart from jazz and blues by both its topics and its tone. Country music resolves in major keys often, and subjects usually range from girls to activities commonly practiced in the “country” or rural areas.

First called “hillbilly music,” country’s first self-proclaimed country artists emerged in the 1920s. At first, record companies turned country artists away, claiming the music was too rough. The first record label country artists come from the American Southwest. Western sounds dominated country music, and due to popular country movies at the time the music become extremely popular.

Pop Music

Pop music is brilliant in that it relies on catchy tunes and easily repeatable melodies to capture listeners. Pop music often follows a formula to achieve success, and that formula works. Pop music is distinctly separate from rock or country music, but draws on elements of both genres to create its sound. Often aimed at a youth market, pop is constantly changing and is always affected by the modern wants of that particular time.

Though critics have commented that pop music is declining in quality, there’s no doubt that it appeals to a wide audience, hence its popularity. Pop usually contains a noticeable rhythm, sing able lyrics, and a traditional verse and hook structure that is very familiar.

Pop owes its early fame to technological advancements such as new and improved microphones and the TV. Being able to watch Madonna or Michael Jackson on MTV was a big deal, and led to the widespread fame of these artists. Whether or not pop music is your cup of tea, there’s no doubt that it dominates the charts both in the US and abroad.