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  • There is no 'inferior'

    How can you just write down that certain types of music are inferior? Sure, the techniques, practice time and everything is much more advanced, but we can discredit the entire pop music industry just because of that. You have played a classical piece, ok good, but now try to go create a piece of pop music by yourself. All the instruments, all the notes, the singing, everything. You will then realize its not as easy as you think it is.
    Of course there are good classical and pop songs, but there are also bad of both. We can't just judge based on the few good classical pieces and ignore all the rest of it, while only taking the bad pop songs into account.
    I also see the 'every song is about love' argument a lot. Well if songwriters didn't write love songs, who would?
    I listen to both, I find them equally enjoyable, but they are suitable for different settings. For example, when I am on the bus alone, I listen to pop, but when I'm trying to do homework, I listen to classical.

  • Yes, pop music is inferior to classical music on several levels, most notably performance and training.

    Classical music is a higher art form than pop music. Composing and performing classical music requires rigorous training to acquire an expert skill set. In comparison, pop music is easy. Almost anyone can make a pop music record. There is nothing wrong with pop music, but it cannot compare with the art of classical music.

  • Yes , it is.

    -It takes longer and costlier to study it in formal academic training setting.
    -Audience of classical music are more disciplined than that of pop. People pay respect to musician in classical performances while in pop concert, just look like a group of noisy money shouting endlessly.
    -Audience of classical music (mostly) has some knowledge of music and they come to concert to observe the fine performance. Audience of pop music in contrast are just mindless people come to make noise at concert for fun.

  • Classical Is Art, Rearranged in Notes, With Beautiful Harmony

    I am 17, I listen to classical music quite a lot, I find it more complex and harder to form, pop music is full of repeating melodies, but every track is the same. I was at a party and they played pop, I thought I was listening to the same track, there is no variation. Classical music I find very different with every track. I can picture fight scenes, running in fields, walking through a mansion, train rides. Classical plays with my mind in ways pop does not. I use classical to study, sleep and to awaken. My favourite has got to be Johannes Brahms - Hungarian Dance No. 5. Overall I would happily choose classical over pop.

  • Classical music is an art form and each peice is a masterpiece

    Classical music could take months to write and compose while it only takes few hours to create a pop song, all you have to do is write lyrics about nothing and add the same most boring beat all the way through it, the skill in classical music is unmatched in any other type of music, the skill in pop is minimal, and the final argument is that classical has survived for generations and shows the height of human musical achievement while pop will die in about 10 years and is just catchy watered down tunes fedto the masses

  • Because it is a lower standard of music.

    If you were to go to a fine restaurant and order a fancy meal like Duck A L'Orange, would you say that this fine meal is the same quality as a simple sandwich you could make at home using ingredients from the fridge? No. Why? Because the ingredients are a superiour, the chefs are better trained and know what they are doing. Now just because it took a chef the same amount of effort to make the Duck A L'Orange, as it did for you to make the simple sandwich, it doesn't mean it is the same quality as the food you will find in a restaurant. Pop music is the same. It is a lower standard of music, less well thought out, less complexity, less genius, less musical training and expertise, less knowledge. It is a lower standard of music, and one cannot dispute that fact. Therefore, it IS inferior to classical music. Classical music is ART. And for those of you who are going to say, well classical music was the pop of it's time then listen to this: Classical music has withstood the test of time. Pop music is rubbish. Here today, gone tomorrow, and it will not last as long as classical music has and will. Classical music was not just popular music of that time, because t has survived for over 200 years. No one will remember Justin Bieber or Kety Perry in another 200 years.

  • Singing higher is easier than in pop.

    When you sing in pop you normally don't have a lot of force behind each note. Since your vocal chords are stretching upwards when you sing, I believe that since it is stretched high you can hit more notes. Also in pop it is easier to strain your voice. I mean really pop is way less fun to sing since there is almost no harmony.

  • Classical music beats pop any day

    Classical is better on so many levels. It takes mad skill to compose and play it also isn't about drugs and sex like pop and it is not as repetitive as pop. Instrumentals of pop are boring and repetitive take no skill to compose and almost all artist use auto tune.

  • Longevity is the true test

    Strictly speaking, my answer would be: "One cannot say". However the longevity of classical music demonstrates that it is the incumbent and it is up to contenders like Pop to prove themselves.
    However, IMO, there is less of a distinction between the two than is made out to be. Classical music has the ability to absorb styles and one need only look to the advent of Jazz and how musicians like Gershwin, Copland integrated the new sounds into the music landscape. At the end of it all, music is music...

  • Yes, very much so.

    Most pop music cannot be created without distorting and amplifying sounds that would left alone in classical. What's more, much pop music is not sung at all but spoken. And rap? Don't get me started. A huge amount of pop music seems to be about love. Can pop 'artists' not think of anything original?

  • Simply Put: NO

    I honestly find the whole premise of this type of argument wholly fallacious: music is subjective! This argument is honestly just a specific type of music elitism grounded argument that is no different than the ridiculous Rockism problem pop music criticism is currently suffering from.

    Inferior is a subjective term. You have to establish a desired set of features/outcomes to determine between a given set of objects which are superior or inferior. E.G. A toaster (#A) that can produce 2 pieces of toast simultaneously will be superior to a toaster (#B) that can only produce 1 piece of toast at a time. The aforementioned statement is true because a toaster's primary function is to produce toast, therefore the more toast produced in the same amount of time, the more superior the toaster. It does not matter if #B was crafted by the finest metallurgist/wood artisan, or that you believe it has more "personality"; That metal, factory manufactured toaster with the two bread slots will continuously out sell the "fancy, intricate" model that is #B. For those of you who did not pull any parallels from that example to the question on hand, allow me to explain more plainly.

    1) The music buying public did not come to the consensus that "complexity" or "expert skill" should be the barometers for music quality. Even more to the point, classically trained musicians are simply experts at classical music not music in general. One of the most ludicrous and illogical statements I have ever heard is that "anyone can do pop music"...It always sounds like the not-funny-at-all punchline to a bad joke. 1000s of new pop acts fail everyday to even sell a 1000 copies of their album, BUT ALLEGEDLY ANYONE CAN BE A POP STAR. I dare any Classical musician to attempt to outstage the likes of Beyonce, Michael Jackson, or Tina Turner! The fact that people you think are untalented are allowed to make CDs is no winning argument either; right now there are 1000s of classically trained musicians that my personal music coach and 100s of others can not believe were allowed to obtain a degree in music. More to the direct point, NONE of this is relevant because the general public is not under your assumption that "complex music made by expert musicians" is the end goal or even important for music. The GP believes a song should move you, and they have chosen the various phases of pop music the last 100 years by continuously buying it!

    2) Classical Music is a misnomer at best! Are you referring to Baroque? Romantic? "Modern"? The ancient music of Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America came out at the same time, so why isn't it called Classical (you know why)? Anyone every pondered why this "inferior" music seems to resonate so well with people across all socio-economical stripes, while "classical" music seems to only appeal to the Upper Class/Elitist mentalities? Because "people are stupid"? Answering yes leaves my point made.

  • Neither is better

    You can not say that any is inferior to the other. Classical music was simply the pop music of its time. Some may say that classical music had feeling and emotion to it but of you listen closely to most of the lyrics so does pop music. Therefore I say No.

  • Frankly, there's good and bad classical and pop music

    I'm a classical pianist myself and enjoy playing, in particular, Rachmaninov, Liszt and Jopin (so where does he sit then?). I take great pleasure in listening to all types of music from classical to rock, pop to folk, electro to techno. Now, take Liszt. A prolific composer indeed with more than a 1000 pieces (some of them transcriptions from others). But many of the more seldom-heard pieces in his repertoire are not particularly inspiring in my book. You see, we can list our favourite classical composers in a couple of sheets of paper. How many thousands of obscure and unsuccessful classical composers have there been? It's likely that we will always keep Led Zeppelin as a classic rock group. What about the myriad of smalltime hits we hear now which are forgotten next year? There are many who say that classical music is more complex. Well, there are glaring exceptions here, and it's what makes these exceptions stand out. Listening to Richard D James (aka Aphex Twin, Polygon Window etc) is highly complex stuff although definitely not everyone's cup of tea. This is even termed as the much maligned Intelligent Ambient music. What about some of those progressive rock bands (e.G. Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer). Pretty complex stuff. On the other hand, there are thousands of very simple classical melodies from (which, by the way, are frequently used by modern music as a base). Modern classical music, with all its polyphony, atonalism, discorfance and serialism, can be very challenging to listen but can be very satisfying. Listening to the 4-hour piano marathon,Opus Clavicembelasticum by Sorabji whilst reading its score is devastatingly mindblowing. But, at the end of day, I would far prefer to listen to some complex electronica than listening to the way-overperformed 4 Seasons by Vivaldi!

  • None of them are better.

    Each one has its good and bad things, it's just that they are different. Everyone should be able to choose whether they like one or the other, or both of them. In my opinion, pop music helps you to understand your feelings. Teenagers can identify better with it. On the other hand, classical music is more complex. The structure is less boring and repetitive, and there are more types of music: coral, chamber, orchestral, etc.

  • Pop is just as good as classical.

    If you dig as deep as you possibly can into five of your favorite songs, you will find that they are just as complex as classical. If you just look at what meets the eye in pop, you will think it is easy. Pop is just as hard to make as classical.

  • Pop music and classical music are both genres. One is not inferior to the other.

    Both pop and classical music are types of music! They are both equal. You may think one is slightly better than the other, but that is an opinion. Both of them have good and bad things about them. For example, Gangnam Style may be a catchy tune, however it isn't inspiring and meaningful.

  • Classical Music Was The Pop Of Its Time

    I don't know how we can argue that pop is better or worse than classical music, because pop music encompasses such a huge amount of music. Classical music was the pop music of its day. It was written for the nobility to entertain them, much like music entertains us today. So it's not really better or worse.

  • No, it's not

    Pop is, at its most base, just music, the same as classical. It is neither inferior nor better, simply different. Liking and disliking certain kinds of music is all subjective and depends on the person, so no one can really say with certainty that one kind is definitely inferior than another.

  • Subjective and mythical

    All forms of music are unique and have their own structure. Each possess complex and simplistic approaches, and can require much training to produce sound quality. The amount of effort needed to learn a genre holds about as much weight in proving superiority of a genre as arguing popularity.

    Each side can throw the usual Classical music is harder or Pop gets music awards arguments, neither side can and will prove either genre superior nor inferior. As a musician, I've come to learn that there is "genius" to simple and complex music. I've encountered clever compositions in pop as I have in classical and have found crappy songs in classical as I have in pop. Just like Classical music is artistic, so is pop. Just because some artists choose poor methods of producing pop, doesn't mean the entire genre should be judged accordingly. There are a number rot hard working pop artists, who approach their music like it's a canvas.

    Every genre has it masters, has its artists, has its simplicity, has complexity, and is too uniquely structured for either to truly go up against each other fairly, without undermining the others beauty. I believe all genres should be appreciated for what they uniquely offer us, and not spend so much time tainting the musical art form by adding, yet again, the same distracting and evil human flaw of logical reasoning. You like what you like, that's fine, enjoy it, it's meant to be enjoyed. But remember that every genre has its good and bad, its simple and complex, its masters and its posers, trained and untrained.

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thg says2013-07-30T06:05:50.390
While I agree with many of the comments posted on both sides of this opinion, I must say I believe the initial opinion question, while provocative, is really too ambiguous for me to weigh in. So I'll just include some thoughts here.

===="Inferior" is really an ambiguous term. I agree with the post that suggested that we really need to define our terms and standards in order to make meaningful comparisons.

====Nevertheless, I believe the initial question implies an attempt to make an assessment of artistry. While art surely involves more subjectivity than, say, sports, I still believe that we can evaluate artistic pieces and, with proper experience and education, we can usually tell whether or not a piece was made with great skill. What might some standards be when we evaluate musical works? Entertainment value is one factor, but that really is not directly applicable. One might be a great entertainer while still a poorly skilled musician. Entertainment might itself be considered an "art"...So, for example, we might consider Elvis to be a great entertainer (something hard to deny), but I know very few music critics (pop, rock, classical, or otherwise) who would consider him to be a "great" musician. Why is this? Musical complexity certainly can't be the only standard and has its own ambiguity, but I can say with reasonable certainty (being a professional and classically trained musician myself who also plays pop, rock, and other genres) that Elvis' vocal and guitar skills involve a good bit less complexity than those of even average classical musicians. I have very little problem playing along with most any Elvis tune with little or no rehearsal, but I can play even basic classical pieces only because I have had years of training and practice, and most classical pieces are either still out of my reach or take a good while to practice and master. The fact is that, from a music theory standpoint, classical music almost ALWAYS is FAR MORE complex than most pop tunes. Are there exceptions? Yes, but the general rule remains intact. No one who has a substantial music education would dispute this. And I would include jazz as well as classical. Both genres continue to be far more complex than the pop and rock genres. Hendrix might be considered one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time (again, "great" is an ambiguous term), but I don't know of any serious music critic (rock or otherwise) who would consider him to be a BETTER or MORE SKILLED guitarist than, say, the likes of Segovia (classical), McLaughlin (fusion), or Christian or Pass (jazz). So, perhaps we could word a question like this: Which genre requires more practice and training? The answer to this question clearly is that pop, generally, requires much less practice and training. I know this first-hand. Lifting off a pop tune is easy (for those of us who are trained musicians), while lifting off a classical or jazz piece is a completely different animal (lifting off means playing back a piece that you hear without the use of any written score).

====While we may confess that we are dealing with subjective and ambiguous terminology, we need to guard against total relativism. If a kid who's never taken a music lesson and can't read a note of music (despite having some innate potential) picks up a little skill here and there and is able to muddle through some piece (classical, pop, or otherwise), surely we're not going to grant that he is JUST AS GOOD as, say, Hendrix or Beethoven. So, yes, we are dealing with some degree of ambiguity, but most of us (even those of us who aren't trained) can readily tell the difference between such a kid and a polished, experienced musician. So, while there are ambiguities, we surely should admit that there is a difference between SKILLED and UNSKILLED attempts at musicianship.

====There surely are several other factors to consider, but even if we consider only the aspect of "complexity" or, say, "level of difficulty", I would assert that classical and jazz music is far more complex and difficult to master than pop and rock music. There may be a few exceptions here and there, but I'd bet that most instances of pop and rock that are more complex involve musicians who were classically trained and/or who are also skilled in classical or jazz genres.

====Part of why this entire question is problematic is because it is fairly difficult to clearly and completely isolate one genre from another. There truly has been a great fusion movement throughout the music world, and, therefore, many musicians and works involve combinations and cross-influences. Nevertheless, I'd still assert that a musician who is classically trained and can master more complex works (regardless of genre) is a BETTER musician...Or, at least, a MORE SKILLED musician...Than one who barely knows the difference between a C Major chord and a C7 -5 chord and who can barely play the latter even when the notes are staring him/her in the face.