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Pop Music

2018-12-12
By: jennabrooks
Posted in: music
Pop Music

Music is an art, and like every other type of art, music can be found in each known culture, whether it is past or present, or varying between places and times. Every culture or group of people across the world, even the most isolated tribes, practice a form of music. Therefore, music is a way of life, intended to inspire and evoke emotions in a healthy way. Music is spiritual, it creates ambiance, and that is why it pervades our worlds (Moskowitz, 2010).

Music is widely influenced by all other aspects of culture. It includes the social and economic organization, technology, climate and experience (Hatch, 1991). The ideas and emotions that are expressed by music vary between periods or rather regions.

Like many other countries, China has seen tremendous growth and advancement in different aspects of music since 1970s (Hatch, 1991). China has continuously experienced an advanced level or state of the cultures and traditions of the society, an example being the development of its pop music (Shepherd, 2010). The intellectual and material advancement in Chinese society has greatly contributed to this growth.

The rise of pop culture has greatly transformed the lives of people in China and all around the globe. Through this music, one learns more about the Chinese culture, their way of life, architecture, art and design, and how it has affected their lives and its evolvement over the years (Hatch, 1991).

Following the civil war, which lasted for quite a long period in China, Mao declared the country as the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and formed a communist government. The new government under Mao had several objectives (Latham, 2007). It was committed to implementing the economic, cultural, social and gender equality reforms (Shepherd, 2010). During this period, a lot of China’s music was comprised of communist’s anthems and traditional operas.

Since the late 1970’s, pop music has continuously mushroomed and bloomed (Hatch, 1991). Nowadays, China’s music has become diverse with pop stars, classical artists, hip-hop music, rock bands, and so forth. Before introduction of pop music in China, the art of traditional opera had developed diversely and rapidly in numerous regions (Markowitz, 2010). The artists used to combine different styles to create opera.

The reforms in pop music that have been made since 1978, created an excellent musical bridge from the rebellious communists songs from the 1960’s and the happy “feel good” pop songs that started to bloom in 1980s (Latham, 2007). However, during the early 70s, pop music did not really exist in mainland China. It was introduced in 1978 by Teresa Tengs love songs that completely attracted the mainlanders.

Her songs influenced a few mainland musicians, who in turn began to produce catchy pop songs. It was not a smooth sailing at all because they faced outrageous hurdles and difficulties form the authorities (Moskowitz, 2010). However, their music was appreciated widely; it opened the eyes of public, and changed their perception about this type of music. First Chinese pop bands, formed in the beginning of 1980s, mostly played western classical rock music. Moreover, foreign pop bands began to perform in China in the early 80s, which attracted millions of listeners (Latham, 2007).

The Cultural Revolution in China that happened in the late 70s, led to a craze for a new music by the young people. The fact greatly influenced and launched the pop trend that was very new to China and way out of the mainstream opinion of the 70s (Hatch, 1991).

Today, Chinese pop music is very similar to modern western music. Yet, there has not been a great difference between the then pop music, and the one being recorded these days. Many of the music patterns and the metrics in pop music have been consistently stable since the late 70s. The difference rises from the growth in music technologies that has made production of music easier and faster (Hatch, 1991).

Many transformations happened in the period from 1993 to 1997 that changed the face of pop music in China (Latham, 2007). There was a foundation of The Midi School, emerging of ‘cut CDs’ in the market, and many other significant events. Radios and TV shows became popular means to find new songs and music. They were also used to identify new bands, especially in the beginning of the 90s (Moskowitz, 2010).

Another transformation that made a great influence on pop music culture of China was the death of Kurt Cobain. He was of a major importance, as the music and behavior of his Nirvana band, influenced the Chinese rock and pop music scene thoroughly (Shepherd, 2010).

Another difference between the past and the present is the increased literacy levels experienced in China today. It had led to a more open-minded individuals and society as a whole (Latham, 2007). Pop music, which was initially met with controversy and interference, has experienced growth over the past years. The period between the late 70s and 80s saw the introduction of mix tapes that majorly influenced the up and coming rock and pop musicians (Moskowitz, 2010).

One more difference between the two generations is that the pop artists in the opening years were greatly influenced by heroism, individualism, and idealism, in establishing a unique Chinese pop music style. The artists during this period expressed their desires, feelings, and even their moods within their music (Hatch, 1991).

They used music as their medium of choice to criticize the political and social situations they were living in. On the contrary, the present pop music artists mainly concentrate on their playing virtuosity, their own techniques, and mostly experimenting with new sounds and the influences they get from western bands (Shepherd, 2010). The first generation of pop music artists showed their individualism and a strong realistic perception of the world, whereas the new generations of pop artists show a characteristic of pure rebellion.

After establishing of the People’s Republic of China, it provided a gateway to a more literate community that embraced pop culture and music (Moskowitz, 2010). It greatly contributed to the number of employed women, gradually increasing from 7 to 38 percent in 1992. Music schools (e.g. the Midi School of Music) were established for people with talents, regardless of their sex. The foundation of this school was very beneficial to improving the quality of a new generation of pop singers. It also helped students from different places to be acquainted with one another and exchange skills (Hatch, 1991).

The changes to encourage gender equality were obviously met with equal opposition from the male dominated country. The enrollment of women in schools has grown largely after the introduction of communism and the People’s Republic of China, although this advancement is still facing numerous obstacles, especially for the ambitious women, seeking for more equality in the country (Shepherd, 2010).

There are any socio-spatial outcomes brought by the introduction of pop music (Moskowitz, 2010). For example, the involvement of women in pop music, greatly grew and mushroomed after the founding and rise of the People’s Republic of China (Latham, 2007). It was geared towards realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women (Shepherd, 2010). The growth of pop music in China has led to growth of economy and basic contributions to the amount of family income. Education and literacy has given the people independence, ability to be self-reliant, allowing them to control their lives as they please (Latham, 2007).

Pop music also acted as medium of awareness. Apart from its entertaining values, it was also used to create awareness and provide information to the community (Hatch, 1991). It educated women about their rights and freedom on various matters, such as their right to choose their partners, based on the law and The People’s Republic of China’s ethics (Shepherd, 2010). Through pop music, awareness was created, and people were able to demand their rights, which led to passing of laws, including the marriage law that banned any kind of arranged or forced marriage in China (Moskowitz, 2010).

Some socio-spatial transformations brought about by pop music have really benefited the society, although others have not done that to the required state or level (Shepherd, 2010).

The various forms of music, experienced in the Chinese culture through its succeeding dynasties, have produced a rich heritage of music, which is a part of the Chinese culture today (Shepherd, 2010). Pop music in China keeps on growing and evolving in the modern times, with emergence of more contemporary forms (Hatch, 1991).

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Walton
02/22/19 02:09:39AM @walton:
Good afternoon. I don't like all kinds of music and musical instruments. Mostly I am attracted to playing guitar, especially in professional performance. I'm dreaming of a master of the instrument and is now training with the help of fingerstyle sheet music. I've already made some progress.
Jeneen
02/04/19 02:39:39PM @jeneen:
As summer winds down, let�s explore a two-part article series about songs with �Summer� or �Summertime� in the title:
new songs 2019 shqip