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Has Pop Music Gotten More Repetitive? 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:28 am
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Location: Nephelokokkygia
Apparently, yes.

I think a lot of this is from more instruments and synthesizers than we used to have, so artists don't need to lean as much on vocals for variety.

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Fri May 12, 2017 12:59 pm
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I think it's largely due to music's changing role in society. Whereas in the past (as in, 1800s and earlier), going to a concert was more like going to a wild music party (side note; the notion of 'be quiet and just listen to the beautiful music' is actually a relatively new concept, it didn't exist prior to the romantic era, concert goers before 1800 were often loud and rambunctious), popular music nowadays tends to be used most commonly as a sort of 'background' to whatever you're doing - driving, dancing, sipping coffee in a starbucks, etc. From about 1960 til somewhere in the late 80s, record releases were as big a deal as new video game releases are today - one of my teachers in college talked about how he and his friends went to a record store on the day that a new album from The Doors was released and waited 2 hours in line for it because there were so many people there trying to get a copy, and then spending the entire rest of the day in his room doing nothing but listening to it on headphones.

I'm not saying pop today isn't expected to be good, but it is expected to be infectious, and something you'll want to listen to in the background - the main goal of pop music though is not actually to sell records anymore, it's to sell concert tickets - so it all needs to be relatable to just about anyone - too 'artsy' or 'intellectual' could put off a large amount of potential ticket money who might just want to listen to something they can jam to while they're driving or working (not that you can't do that with artsy or intellectual music).

All this i'm writing is debatable of course and mostly based on what i've learned in my music and entertainment business classes. I'm also not saying that modern pop music is bad, or worse than older music, or written with some hidden agenda - nor am i really trying to defend it.

though i do have to say that an article like this will no doubt be popular with all the 30somethings on facebook who frequently repost the same two memes comparing Beyonce with Freddie Mercury or Justin Bieber with Queen (interesting comparisons to me given that it's comparing rock to pop) :P

also fun note is that Mozart (and many, many more composers of his era) wrote music for Catholic masses, which often included a 'kyrie' movement, of which the only lyrics were "Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison" repeated over and over again until the end of the piece (though anybody who's ever sung or listened to one of these is aware that it's sung or harmonized differently through most repetitions of the phrase)

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Fri May 12, 2017 1:27 pm
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