Understanding the Basics: Art Music and Popular Music
Before we delve deeper into the differences between art music and popular music, it's essential to have a broad understanding of what each term means. Generally, art music, also known as classical music, is a type of music that has complex structural and theoretical considerations with a written musical tradition. It is primarily performed by trained musicians and is primarily intended for a concert setting. On the other hand, popular music, often known as pop music, is a genre of music that has mass appeal. This music genre is made to be catchy and entertaining, and it often caters to the trends of a particular time.
Exploring the Origins: Historical Background of Art Music and Popular Music
Art music has roots that can be traced back to the medieval times, around the 9th century. It evolved over centuries, influenced by various periods such as the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and the 20th Century. Each of these periods brought distinct styles and aesthetics to art music. On the other hand, popular music is a relatively modern phenomenon that started around the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The inception of recording technology and the rise of mass media contributed significantly to the evolution and spread of popular music.
Breaking Down the Composition: Complexity Vs. Simplicity
One of the most noticeable differences between art music and popular music is their complexity. Art music is often complex, both in its musical structure and the themes it explores. It is composed with a high level of artistic depth, often requiring a certain level of musical knowledge to fully appreciate. On the contrary, popular music is generally simpler, with repetitive structures like verses and choruses. The objective is to create music that's easy to listen to and enjoy, even for those with no musical training.
Understanding the Audience: Elite Vs. Mass Appeal
Art music and popular music also differ in their target audience. Art music is usually targeted at a smaller, more refined audience. It is often associated with the elite class, as it was historically patronized by royalties and aristocrats. Conversely, popular music aims for mass appeal. It's designed to be accessible and enjoyable to a wide range of people, regardless of their social status or musical knowledge.
Performance and Presentation: Concert Hall Vs. Popular Media
The presentation and performance of art music and popular music are starkly different. Art music is typically performed in concert halls, with a high level of formality and adherence to traditions. The performers are usually highly trained musicians using classical instruments. On the other hand, popular music is commonly performed in a variety of settings, from concert stages to television shows, and even on the Internet. The performers could be bands, solo artists, or DJs, and they often use modern instruments and technology to create their music.