The Instigator
MelodyPowers645
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
BetteMidler
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Classic Music is Superior to Modern Pop Music

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2016 Category: Music
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 545 times Debate No: 84946
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

MelodyPowers645

Pro

Hi! Welcome to my debate. If you accept this debate, you will be arguing that Pop Music is superior to Classic Music, specifically the era of 60's to 80's. For the purpose of this debate, modern pop can be defined as popular music from the 21st century. The first round is acceptance, but other than that this is a pretty relaxed debate. Good Luck!
BetteMidler

Con

I accept, let's do it!
Debate Round No. 1
MelodyPowers645

Pro

Great! Thanks for accepting this debate, and I will be looking forwards to debating you on this subject.

"I try not to turn on the radio often, but when I do I feel very sad for humanity, my future children, and the soul, or, the lack thereof, of the music industry."
~Jordan Taylor

Modern pop music cannot be an improvement upon older music because pop music is a stretch of the definition of music. Music is defined in the dictionary as vocal and instrument sounds combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. So how can a collection of sounds lacking real instruments, harmony, true emotion, and any beauty at all be defined as real music? So here I use the term "music" very broadly.

My second argument is about the sound appeal of music. 30 or more years ago big band instruments like trumpets and saxophones were often incorporated into music. Some songs featured full orchestras, or even cow bells and church organs. On top of all this 4 part harmonies are often incorporated. These days you’ll be lucky if you can find a 2 part harmony. The simplistic nature and similarity of today’s music has been a big disappointment to those of us that have been exposed to music from earlier eras. In fact, only 6 different chord patterns can be found in the list of top most listened to songs in America today. Older music has more diversity, so it naturally gains more appeal. There is actually scientific proof to back this up. When a person listens to music, a chemical reaction called the Dopamine reaction occurs, releasing """feel good” chemicals into our brain. Studies show that the simplicity and predictability of pop music actually reduces the amount of these chemicals that are released.

My third argument is about meaning. Today pop music focuses mostly on relationships, having fun, and making it big. Believe it or not, there used to be a lot more to writing lyrics. Yes, there were some songs about relationships, but they were less about how good their partner made them feel and more about the other person. But back then music went a lot deeper than that. It often presented ideas that make you think for a moment, or told an exciting narrative. It is a proven fact that you will continue thinking about the meaning of a song long after you have stopped humming the tune.
BetteMidler

Con

I must admit it’s difficult for me not to use my statement for rebuttals, and will try my best to only say this before my rebuttal turn. I, and many professional musicians, would take issue with my opponent’s definition of music. An organization of vocal and instrumental effects is not a good characterization because it is not always accurate. There are many organizations of vocal and instrumental effects that are not music, and there are many combinations of vocal and instrumental effects that lack organization but are most certainly music.

I chose to debate this topic because I don’t agree with the premise. There is no comparison between what is popular now and what was popular then when the two styles are so different. Certainly, there were more physical instruments used in the 60’s then there were in the 80’s, and more in the 80’s then there are today, but there’s no correlation between the two facts. If we look farther back in time, when minstrel’s were the popular singers of the day and folk music was “in”, a band consisted of very few instruments, and certainly less technical proficiency than can be seen in 80’s rock and roll.

At the same time that the two are not comparable, the two are not separable. Just as 80’s rock was influenced in timbre by 60’s rock, 60’s rock influenced by 50’s jazz and disco, 50’s jazz influenced by 40’s swing and musical theater, musical theater influenced by operetta, operetta by savoy opera, and savoy opera by the many stages of opera before it, popular music in the 80’s and 90’s used aspects of 80’s rock to evolve. These are only a few examples of the evolution of music, for music evolves with society. It is very easy to look at it in a very linear fashion, and through that fashion to choose to ignore the many directions that music evolves.

I will address my opponent’s use of the terms “appeal”, “emotion”, “harmony”, and “real instruments” during my rebuttal phase.
Debate Round No. 2
MelodyPowers645

Pro

There is no need to hold back on rebuttals, as I put down no guidelines for this debate. This is just meant to be a friendly exchange of opinions, so feel free to write whatever you deem necessary.

My opponent's statement: "I, and many professional musicians, would take issue with my opponent's definition of music. An organization of vocal and instrumental effects is not a good characterization because it is not always accurate. There are many organizations of vocal and instrumental effects that are not music, and there are many combinations of vocal and instrumental effects that lack organization but are most certainly music."

My Response: So you are a professional musician? Cool. The definition that I used was taken straight out of the Webster's Dictionary, but if you choose to contest it, that is fine with me. Your main problem with the definition is that "it is not always accurate." Can you give me a specific example of vocal and instrumental effects that is not music? As for organization, the definition (this is my understanding) means that the piece has a tempo, and a key. Without these things the work simply degrades into chaos. Can you imagine playing in a band where no one knows what song they are playing, and everyone plays something different? That would not be music.
My main point in using the definition, was that if there are no instruments used (or only synthesized ones) and the voice is so tampered with by a computer that it is barely recognizable, how can it be acknowledged as music at all, much less be recognized as "superior" to classic music?

Your statement: "I chose to debate this topic because I don't agree with the premise. There is no comparison between what is popular now and what was popular then when the two styles are so different. Certainly, there were more physical instruments used in the 60's then there were in the 80's, and more in the 80's then there are today, but there's no correlation between the two facts. If we look farther back in time, when minstrel's were the popular singers of the day and folk music was "in", a band consisted of very few instruments, and certainly less technical proficiency than can be seen in 80's rock and roll."

My Response: I disagree. Even though they are two different styles, we can still look at things like the quality of the lyrics, the level of complexity of the music, and yes, the amount and creativity of the instruments used. Though the third part is not as important as the other two (you can have a good song without an entire orchestra, but a song is not good if it has shallow lyrics and boring, simple music), it still plays a role in the distinctness of the artist's sound. When you reference the fold music, you are right to say that there were few instruments, but there were instruments like banjos and fiddles. However, in pop music, you will be lucky to hear a few simple chords on the piano.

Your Statement: At the same time that the two are not comparable, the two are not separable. Just as 80"s rock was influenced in timbre by 60"s rock, 60"s rock influenced by 50"s jazz and disco, 50"s jazz influenced by 40"s swing and musical theater, musical theater influenced by operetta, operetta by savoy opera, and savoy opera by the many stages of opera before it, popular music in the 80"s and 90"s used aspects of 80"s rock to evolve. These are only a few examples of the evolution of music, for music evolves with society. It is very easy to look at it in a very linear fashion, and through that fashion to choose to ignore the many directions that music evolves.

My Response: Yes, music has always evolved through the centuries, but they are all held together by one thing- they used real instruments and their lyrics had substance. The real question is- will Pop music stand the test of Time? How long in the future do you think people will be listening to stuff made in 2015? Now I am not claiming that every single piece of music made in the 70's was exceptional or worthy of listening to, nor am I claiming that every song made in this century is trash, but as a whole, my claim is that Modern Pop is Inferior to Classic Music.

My use of words as you brought to my attention:

appeal- please do not take this word out of context. The term was "sound appeal", as in the uniqueness and diversity of a song. As in the song is not just a loop of four chords. As in real instruments were used.

emotion- my use of the word emotion was meant to show that Pop music is simply about Partying, getting drunk, being irresponsible, and love/relationships. There is more to life than that stuff. You can claim that a song about a breakup has "emotion", but my claim is that a song about the Cold War, or about a friend who wants to commit suicide, or about the father of a starving family contains much, much more emotion.

harmony- the use of two or more notes that sound good together. The more notes, the more complicated. Some notes may change to other notes while the others stay the same, adding to the complication and the sound appeal.

real instruments- Violin. Banjo. Piano. Guitar. Rock Guitar. Even keyboard. The problem is that most, if not all instruments are synthesized in Pop music and then they are tampered with even more in some back room in Hollywood.
BetteMidler

Con

BetteMidler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
MelodyPowers645

Pro

It seems that my opponent has forfeited round three of this debate. I will give them the benefit of the doubt for this round and assume they timed out. During this round I will not present any new arguments, as the others have not yet been challenged. The next round will be closing; in it I will wrap up all my arguments and bring this case to a close.
BetteMidler

Con

BetteMidler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
MelodyPowers645

Pro

Because my opponent has forfeited a second round of her debate, I can no longer give them the benefit of the doubt and must assume that they simply have no arguments to present, proving me right. I have won this debate, no matter what Con may argue, because con has forfeited several rounds of this debate. Thanks for a good debate.
BetteMidler

Con

BetteMidler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Briannj17 1 year ago
Briannj17
Music is my thing,
Good rhymes from when I sing,
Just take what I say and defend,
Better music to the very end.
Posted by BetteMidler 1 year ago
BetteMidler
Ready when you are!
Posted by MelodyPowers645 1 year ago
MelodyPowers645
Very funny, and nice poetry, but I'm not looking to "pop anyone's bubble" and I am definitely not looking for an argument. I want to debate the pros and cons of both types of music and maybe even learn something from my opponent. Feel free to post any good points you have either way!
Posted by Briannj17 1 year ago
Briannj17
The classics were the best,
This is no big contest,
So pro should have no trouble,
Popping con's music bubble.
No votes have been placed for this debate.