POP Vs. Classical Music

Difference Between POP And Classical Music Folk music is one of several categories into which the world’s music…

Difference Between POP And Classical Music

Folk music is one of several categories into which the world’s music is divided. As mentioned above, these categories sometimes overlap. But it is helpful in understanding folk music to consider it in relation to other kinds of music. The two other main categories of music are classical music and popular music.

Classical music, sometimes called art music, was formerly associated with wealth and royalty. Initially used to refer to the music of the courts of Europe, the term has been broadened to include the music of the courts of India, Indonesia, Japan, West Africa, and other non-European regions. Classical music is most often taught in formal institutions or through lengthy apprenticeships. In general, folk music is learned through practice and careful listening. But the learning process is less structured.

Classical music is different from folk music in another important respect. Classical musicians rely heavily on music that is written down for them. Improvising, or making music up as it is played, occurs very rarely in European classical music. Certain kinds of folk music, on the other hand, are entirely improvised. Rarely does a folk music performer refer to printed music.

Popular music refers to music that is created to be sold to a wide audience. It developed when printed music could be mass-produced and, later, when recording technology enabled music to spread beyond the local community in which it was created. These technologies made it possible for audiences to enjoy the music of performers they would never see in person. Many different kinds of popular music were created, and the music industry, as the business of making and selling music is called, became very profitable.

The kind of music produced by the music industry—designed to sell as many copies as possible as quickly as possible—stands in contrast to what people think of as folk music. While folk music has been printed in books, and many recordings have been made, there is a difference in the way it is conceived. Instead of trying to appeal to the largest possible audience, as is the case in the music industry, performers of folk music are concerned primarily with satisfying their immediate audience, usually a community of which they are a part.


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