Popular music is not always intended for focused appreciation by an attentive audience, and for that reason, I was somewhat apprehensive in compiling this issue due to the intent of this publication. On the one hand, popular music is defined as music that places very few demands on the listener and performer. On the other, there are elements of its heritage that are relevant to practitioners of any genre. Anything from technology’s impact on music to how a culture is defined in its era by music can be most easily traced by a brief survey of this genre. In addition to this point, my worries were finally eased when I considered that sometimes a solid four-four and some loud guitars are the only things that will do.
It is generally accepted that popular music is a loosely defined genre as well as an umbrella definition of many other specific styles such as rock, jazz, and country. In this issue, a few of the sub-categories will be covered.
The art of songwriting is relevant to nearly every category of popular music. This is addressed in Ideas and Approaches for Songwriters which is a reprint from a pamphlet originally published in 2006. Rock music is the subject of the essay The Pursuit of Artistic Expression In Rock and Roll. Though not intended to be the definitive treatise on the subject, it will hopefully generate some lively discussion on the topic.
Speaking of which, we have enjoyed the feedback from the last installment and encourage you to continue letting us know what you think.