Three things everyone should know about popular music

Essay, 2017

6 Pages

Abstract or Introduction

This essay discusses three fundamental points everyone must know about popular music. Firstly, popular music is a reflection of society; secondly, there are many benefits to engaging in popular music culture; finally, the genre is currently under threat. The term popular music first appeared in a publication by William Chapple titled Popular Music of the Olden Times in 1855 but it was not until the 1930s and 1940s until the term gained wider currency (Shuker, 1998). Since then, the definition of popular music has been heavily debated by scholars in the musical community due to the genre’s complexities and ambiguities, which create challenges when deciding what music can be regarded as popular (Middleton, 1990). A broad description of the genre is provided by Shuker who explains, “essentially, all popular music consists of a hybrid of musical traditions, styles, and influences, and is also an economic product which is invested with ideological significance by many of its consumers”.

It is important for everyone to know that popular music is a reflection of society because people can learn about history through music, which serves as an invaluable medium for documenting the evolution of society. A fantastic example of this is the song Over the rainbow is where I want to be, which was renamed to Somewhere over the rainbow. The song was written by Harold Arlem with lyrics by Yip Harburg and released in 1939 with July Garland as the vocalist. The lyrics perfectly capture the mood of the 1930s, which was a time of widespread unemployment, misery and despair known as the Great Depression.


Three things everyone should know about popular music
Griffith University  (Queensland Conservatorium of Music)
Bachelor of Music
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
456 KB
Popular Music, Music, Society, History, Documentation, Influence, Health, Mood, Piracy, Illegal, Downloading, File sharing
Quote paper
Bachelor of Music Kassidy-Rose McMahon (Author), 2017, Three things everyone should know about popular music, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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