Since popular music first appeared, there have always been experts analysing it and explaining it. Popular music became such a huge thing, and so many people are trying to understand it. Here we bring an overview of the analysis of popular music throughout its history.

Analysis of Popular Music Throughout Its History

Anahid Kassabian, the author of books about sound and music in the audiovisual context, divided popular music into four categories:

  • Populist popular music – music that has tones of expression
  • Folk popular music- the music that is written by people for people
  • Counterculture popular music – music that motivates people to act against abuse
  • Mass popular music – the music that becomes an instrument for oppression

Popular music reflects the ideas that are popular at the time of its release or performance. David Reisman explains how audiences choose either a majority group or a subculture in popular music. Commercially produced music is listened to by the majority group, unlike the subcultures that find certain styles within the popular music that suit them.

In the 1970s, Robert Christgau, a popular music critic of the time, used the expression ‘semipopular music’ to explain the music that was available but not successful. He noticed that the distribution system was not as good, both in record sales and radio broadcasting of certain music. This happened with the music that had certain qualities to become popular music but still did not have a strong enough impact.

Since the very beginning of popular music, western music preceded on charts. However, other nations outside the western world have their own popular music, that is known in music vocabulary as world music. Today, popular music uses music from all over the world and blends it into different genres. These hybrid styles are used to express the culture of different nations and bring the world closer to them.