OK, before writing further, I would like to say one thing, music is completely subjective. It’s your personal choice, and if someone doesn’t like something you listen, he is not idiot. It’s just that he has different taste. Unfortunately when we don’t like something, we are used to hate it. If you don’t like Justin Bieber or Himesh Reshammiya, don’t listen to his songs. Just listen to what you are comfortable with. No need to fight/insult those who like it.
That said, I am going to touch the base and do a comparative analysis of music Genres and my experience listening to them in a modest way. In no way I am an expert in music. These are just my experiences.
One of the oldest questions in my mind, since I started listening to music quite regularly (because of Himesh Reshammiya’s Aap Ka Suroor – the album & Jogi – Kannada film) was what exactly Pop, Rock & Metal are. Until recently I joined Keyboard classes, this question remained in my mind without finding a proper answer. Due to the efforts of my Keyboard teacher Chandrashekhar Bhandari & a bit of my online research, I could gather more info about different musical genres, and here are a few chunks of what I got.
Today people call all forms of popular music as Rock. But it’s actually not like that. Rock has it’s roots in “Rock n Roll” music of 1940. Rock music typically uses simple rhythms in a 4/4 time signature, with a repetitive snare drum back beats on beats two and four. Rock is characterized by;
- Snare Beats
- Electric Solos
- Symbolic Lyrics
- Performance oriented
Rock has many sub genres like Heavy Metal, Indie rock, Alternative rock etc. And I couldn’t listen to most of those songs. They irritate me heavily. I tried to listen Metallic Rock many times without success. I used to think it is because I couldn’t adjust to the speed, and can’t dedicate enough energy which is required to listen this form of music. While this may be a reason, I soon found out the particular characteristic which irritates me. That is the “snare beats” combined with “electric riffs“. The heavy distortions it produces, without any accompanying acoustic sound is just not my thing. Sorry Linkin Park, I am not in the list of your billions of followers.
The word Pop originated as an abbreviation of the word “Popular”. It is influenced by Rock & Roll among many other influences such as Blues. It’s a softer alternative to Rock. The main characteristics of Pop music are:
- Recording, production, technology & commercial orientation (in contrast with rock, which is performance oriented)
- Encourages dancing with dance oriented rhythms (in most of the POP music)
- Uses more general themes like romance (in contrast with rock, which uses society & it’s practices as theme)
- More disciplined form of music than Rock
- Uses kick based rhythms most of the times.
- Uses a more general song structure – like same tune for all verses, hooks in between verses etc.
I have had great success listening to Pop rock (fusion of pop & rock). It’s the form which we see in most of south Asia (with fusion of regional music such as Indian classical, Sufi etc.). While writing this, I am listening to songs from Jal band, Zubeen Garg & John Mayer, and I am loving it. Songs from Himesh Reshammiya (sufi rock songs) do have a good influence of Pop in my opinion.
Hip hop is more a culture than just music. I like the modified voices & rhythmic rapping, but I cannot withstand the lyrics. Also it’s quite easy to listen, to tap the foot, and quite jovial. Originated by Afro-American communities, it’s often easily distinguishable because of the rhythm. It contains dance – which is actually an expression of violence in it’s lyrics. It’s often blamed for it’s lack of political correctness, hyper sexuality & promotion of violence. It’s the most commercialized form of music today.
Indian classical & Karnatic classical music:
This our own traditional music. Indian classical music has it’s roots in Sama Veda, and it evolved with time. Nowadays, western instruments such as Harmonium & Violin are being used as Indian classical instruments along with traditional instruments of India such as Veena, Tabla etc.
It’s indeed one of the most evolved & disciplined forms of music, but I have problem with it’s approach towards music. It requires mastery, it requires understanding of how things work before enjoying the music. Most of us do not have enough patience to learn all those things. Also, it emphasizes more on happiness, mental health, moods etc. which makes quite rigid framework for music.
For now, I don’t have enough patience to enjoy it. If I ever achieve that level, I will be really happy.
So that’s it. My current taste of music leans towards Pop & Pop-Rock. When nicely combined with Indian classical as in “Dil se re” (film – Dil Se) , “Jiya se Jiya” (album – Connections by A.R.Rahman) or with Sufi as in “Tera Suroor” (Aap Ka Suroor – The Album by Himesh Reshammiya) or with Folk as in “Ello Jogappa” (Kannada film – Jogi), “Bulla Ki Jana” (by Rabbi Shergill), it creates magic.
Your comments are always appreciated.