Day 16 – Your views on mainstream music.
I love music, all types of music (apart from a few genres which I have spoken about before), so I guess I am wondering what is meant by the term ‘mainstream’? Do we mean popular at this contemporaneous moment or popular mainstream music at any period of time in the past? I suppose it doesn’t matter, my feelings are the same for both.
Music is a business and all business is about making money and mainstream music is about making as much money as possible – once you understand this fact, it makes the picture much clearer.
Whether it be the music that is popular in the charts today, the music that was topping the charts in the 60’s, the song that was a Christmas number one or even a song created to raise money and awareness about a charity or a cause. They are all about making money – some are excellent songs, some are catchy songs, some are manipulative, some are ear-worms of the worst kind, some have jumped on a popular bandwagon, theme or fashion, some are just popular because they are associated with a celebrity, a personality or a television programme. There are even songs that have only become popular because they were associated with a product and used as the music to advertise that product.
But it is also true in reverse, music is a very powerful emotive tool for businesses to use; there are products, celebrities, television programmes and entire fashions, bandwagons and trends that originate or have became popular just because a fantastic non-mainstream song captured people’s attention and suddenly it has leapt from the lesser known to become mainstream both as music but also in mainstream culture.
As every empire falls, almost every niche, underground music genre, has the possibility to have its fifteen minutes of fame, become mainstream, become popular, become all-conquering and ultimately will fail to be popular as it is overtaken by the next underground movement that is going to be the next mainstream movement. Some last longer than others, Rock & Roll and Hip-Hop for example (which I personally think are very similar genres) and some will be here today and gone tomorrow like Acid House and Electro for example.
Rock & Roll, Punk, Crunk, Acid House, Trip-Hop, Rockerbilly, Creole, Samba, Ambient, Rock Steady Hip Hop Mambo, Fidgety House, Emo, Goth, Metal, Grunge, Dubstep, Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz, Baroque, Soul, Concerto for Strings, Surf, Garage, House, Garage House, Country, Western, Country & Western, 2-Tone, Ska, Psychobilly, Mod, Alternative, oh FFS check this article for a list of nearly all the musical styles that exist (it can’t be all the musical styles that exist because at least one new musical style has been created whilst you have been reading this).
All of these were once underground and were once popular and may be popular again!
To cut a long story short, it’s a personal choice and I love good music, mainstream or not!