Free «The Influence of Pop Culture» Essay Sample

The effects of pop culture are noticeable in various parts of the world. It has been profound in Western countries particularly in the United States of America. The country has witnessed the emergence of diverse pop music styles such as jazz, swing, ragtime, rock, doo wop, bluez, punk, techno, grunge and hip hop among others. The distinctive pop music styles emerged in the 19th century and developed fully in the 20th century. The recent genres of American folk music and elements of blues have changed American music industry. The country’s pop culture has had far-reaching impacts on its musical industry.

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Blues are components of pop culture that has greatly impacted the mainstream of American musical. Rubin and Jeffrey (2001) point out that the huge influence of blues was noticed in the 20 century. In the early 20th century, popular musicians such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley used to record for Chess. With the introduction of Chicago blues, they shifted their enthusiastic playing styles and adopted the Chicago blue styles. They employed blues accents. In addition, they used electric solo guitar and other common arrangements of blues. The new blues that emerged in 1950s and 1960s influenced great musicians across America. Magic Sam and Buddy Guy pioneered Chicago West Side Sound which was characterized by strong rhythmic support from bass guitar and drums. This was later adopted by prominent artists such as Luther Allison, John Lee Hooker and Freddie King (Rubin & Jeffrey 2001).

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African-American music encompasses a vast range of musical genres that constitute pop culture. Note worthy, this music emerged from African-American culture and affected American Musical. The influence of African-American music on American musical started in the 19th century. For instance, the banjo which originated from Africa was popularized in the 19th century. Notably, some of its African-derived tempos were integrated by famous American artists. Stephen Foster, a famous American Artist of 19th century, was among the first people to incorporate African-American music into their music. 

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In the 20th century, rhythm and blues gained popularity in the American music industry. Prior 1950s, terms such as soul music were only associated with music by black artists. However, this attitude and perception changed completely in 1960s when rhythm and blues were utilized by American artists in the form of R&B, and this has continued till the present days. With the popularization of sultry funk singers and pop stars like Prince, Michael Jackson and Madonna, contemporary R&B gained popularity. Towards the end of 20 century, Gospel music gained popularity (Starr & Christopher, 2002).

After the World War II, Pop culture exploded in the United States of America and other Western countries. Some of the popular music artists during this period included Claes Oldenburg, Richard Hamilton and Andy Warhol. These artists utilized aesthetics of mass consumerism in order to promote modernist ideals and materiality of their music. In addition, they also used youth culture characterized by repeated images of celebrities. However, their actions were criticized heavily by pop artists who argued that their music did not meet the contemporary culture measures. They agitated for adoption of pop culture as inspiration to upcoming American artists.

It can be concluded that American pop culture has had strong impacts on music practice in the United States of American since the 19th century. Popular artists have adopted American pop culture in their artist works.

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