Folk As An American Pop Music Genre Media

Essay add: 28-10-2015, 19:45   /   Views: 88

• Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land".

Defense for "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie is that the song is an ideal example of Folk as an American Pop-music Genre on account of the simple usage of instruments. Also, the song is mainly acoustic driven, or in other words, uses acoustic instruments as primary instruments. Furthermore, the musical instruments take on a significantly proactive role making you entirely focus on the music, and not the song, although such a song was of great significance.

The folk music element comes in through the fact that certain base instruments have been used; for instance, the base guitar. Furthermore, the song is a very well-known patriotic one that transcends cultural values; as well as, it is a song that is still sung till now by many American schools; also, such a characteristic reinforces the folk dimensions of the song, and this is a quality that I admire in folk music.

• Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer"


Defense for "If I Had a Hammer" by Pete Seeger is that the song makes its place in Folk as an American Pop-music Genre through the fact that the song makes minimal use of modern day instruments and mainly uses acoustic instruments, and this is similar to the musical settings found in "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie. Moreover, supporting what I have just stated, it is evident in this specific video as you can see Pete Seeger dependent on his guitar as his only musical instrument, as well as, the audience who are singing and clapping along.

In addition, I have realized that the song is driven by vocals, and not by instruments. Additionally, I personally think that this song is highly unique, and the only genre in which this song can be placed is that of folk. Also, it comes as no surprise that the song has developed the reputation of a standard over time in supporting the rights of the common workers and calling for action towards equality.

2nd Genre: Country as an American Pop-Music Genre

• Toby Keith's "American Soldier". ( - Dr Bill, when I came to your office you gave me permission to keep this song because we did not discuss it in great detail in class.

Defense for "American Soldier" by Toby Keith is that the song maintains a strong patriotic element through the theme of the song while the lyrics continue to narrate a story of sorts. The song makes use of modern day instruments, such as the electric guitar, and I assume the guitar in use is a Gibson. Also, while the song does make use of the base drums and the guitar at certain points, the two instruments eventually come in as the track progresses. Also, you will realize the "twang" available in the performer's voice, which is a characteristic to country music performers.

The essential elements of the song that support its position in Country as an American Pop-Music Genre are that the song speaks of patriotism and that the music has been placed to drive up the listener's enthusiasm. Additionally, the song tends to build upon the central theme and then gradually increases in momentum in terms of the musical instruments and the intensity of the lyrics.

• The Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away". (

Defense for "Cowboy Take Me Away" by The Dixie Chicks is that the song follows a combined set of instruments that are typical to Country music such as the banjo and the base guitar. Also, the lyrics tell a story, by which you get the feeling that the vocalist sings the story to the listener; much like traditional country songs.

Moreover, the song introduces the listener to the setting in which the song has been placed as it speaks of any teenage girls' dream, or in fact any woman's dream. The dream of being away with the person whom you are in love with, as indicated in the lyrics of the song, "Cowboy take me away... Fly this girl as high as you can... Into the wild blue… Set me free oh I pray… Closer to Heaven above and closer to you, closer to you…" Moreover, I was very fond of the acoustic guitar and the notes played on the violin which brought gentle images to my mind, making me imagine the story, and the vocals provided by the main singer could be referred to as genuine. Also, an important element that merits highlighting is the fact that the banjo can be heard clearly in the background which is an important part of the song's composition.

3rd Genre: Rock as an American Pop-Music Genre

•Aerosmith's "Cryin'". (

The defense of "Cryin'" by Aerosmith is that the song makes use of the musical instruments in a manner that is typical to Rock music. It is imperative to highlight the fact that the song follows a steady progression from a light start towards a heavier tone; and this characteristic is not only present in the lyrics, but also in the usage of the instruments. Also, you will realize that the song starts with a bluesy guitar sound making this song fall under a bluesy-rock genre. Moreover, rock music is characterized with regards to the availability of a "back-beat", which is also clearly heard in the song.

The song follows a progression that is driven mainly by traditional rock instruments such as drums and base guitars. In essence, the song qualifies as a good example of a track from the rock genre as the lyrics are supported by a musical note that is intended to accentuate the theme of the song and the lyrics, and this can be observed through the guitar solo that is present in the middle of the song. Therefore, making the guitar solo supported by the drums, present a perfect example of the manner in which rock as a genre is influenced by these instruments.

• AC/DC's "Highway to Hell". (

AC/DC is a hard rock band and this song is one of their major hits. The defense for "Highway to Hell" as an American Rock song is based on the fact that the song has all the elements of a rock genre such as the electric guitar, the remarkable choir, and the classic rock forceful sounds of the drums.

"Highway to Hell" is most likely to be the best hard rock track I have ever heard.

Moreover, nothing seems to interfere with the way the guitars and the drums make the song fit within its genre. This song is certainly a true depiction of rock in the contemporary age. Also, this song is well written, clear, and easy to follow which is something that surprised me because usually hard rock songs, and especially songs by AC/DC, are difficult to understand.

4th Genre: Blues as an American Pop- Music Genre

• Aerosmith's "You Gotta Move". (

Defense for "You Gotta Move" by Aerosmith is that the song qualifies for a Bluesy/Rock American Pop-Music Genre in comparison to other songs because it highlights sorrows and upheavals in life, in addition to following the 12 bar blues scale. Although Aerosmith is classified as a Hard Rock band, "You Gotta Move" is a distinctive song by them by which it combines several music genres altogether.

The lyrics stress on the theme related to the state of an individual, and refer to the hardships in life in metaphorical terms in order to stress on the relevance of moving on with life. Moreover, I have realized that the track reflects a state of "melancholy/sadness" throughout the lyrics, and I believe that the 12 bar progression compliments the lyrical melancholy perfectly.

• B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault". (

The defense of this song as an example of Blues as an American Pop-Music Genre is that the song comes across as a classic example of the blues. The vocals and the lyrics complement each other through the slow and mellow highlighting of the central theme. Moreover, the lyrics are simple and easy to follow. Also, the music produced by the guitar, piano, and drums are all individually detectable when you hear the song.

I believe that the story behind such a performance is a love story which had ended and that B.B. King is expressing his feelings of sadness and regret through his guitar and vocals. Also, what I liked about this performance was that in order to keep the mood alive, the band suddenly increases their pitch engaging the interest of the listener thoroughly.

5th Genre: Pop as an American Pop- Music Genre

• Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream". (

"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry is of a typical American teenage pop song. The defense of this song is based on the fact that it is created electronically including instruments such as the electric guitar, and I believe a drum machine is available too; also, the lyrics are smooth and romantic. Furthermore, the lyrics and the music of the song have been placed so that their intensity gradually increases as the song progresses making the listener want to dance along as the song continues.

The song's lyrics and music complement each other. It is a great portrayal of what teenagers think of when they actually fall in love for the first time. Moreover, the song even further strengthens its position in the genre by following a pattern that is characteristic in terms of the rhythm presented.

• Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" (

The defense of this song is incorporated in the fact that the song is based on a theme that is aligned towards an element of the classical American culture as the song speaks of the relationships and the complications that come in relationships and takes an approach towards these complications. The song displays a characteristic that allows the song to relate to younger listeners, which is a classic characteristic of music from the pop genre.

Moreover, I find it impressive that the song is a pop track, yet it maintains a certain rock style. Additionally, the content of the lyrics and the consistency with which the lyrics and the music support each other is undeniable.

6th Genre: R&B/Soul as an American Pop- Music Genre

• "Crazy in Love" by Beyonce (

Defense of "Crazy in Love" by Beyonce, as a modern R&B song, is that the song makes use of a beat that is clearly insistent in nature. The effect of the song coming across as a heavy track with a bluesy/funky outlook, which strengthens the song's position in the R&B genre.

I think that the song makes extensive usage of backing vocals in a manner where the backing vocals do not repeat the main lyrics, but continue to repeat specific words and phrases to highlight the main lyrics. More importantly, I find this characteristic highly impressive since the backing vocals fall into harmony with the lead of the vocals.

• Destiny Child's "Survivor" (

Defense of the song as an R&B/Soul track is based mainly on the lyrics of the song as the song puts a great degree of stress on the importance of continuous struggle and effort. The song also qualifies as an R&B track because of the particular approach that the song follows to make use of the chorus and the vocals in a typical R&B style.

Moreover, the lyrics of the song indicate a will to face challenges head on; also, I have admired the "rising from the ashes" theme that the song reflects; additionally, to the idea of the whole song as it empowers women to survive whatever obstacle they could face.

7th Genre: Jazz as an American Pop- Music Genre

• Glenn Miller's "In the Mood". -- Dr Bill, when I came to your office you gave me permission to keep this song, but to provide more support. (

Defense of the song "In the Mood" by Glenn Miller is based on the fact that the track makes use of all of the instruments that are known to have given jazz birth by starting the song with the saxophone followed up by the trumpet and the trombone. The track's classification as a jazz genre is based mainly on the perfection of the track as it is in line with the traditional conventions of jazz music, as it has a swing beat to it, as well as, the instruments in use including the trumpet, the saxophone, and the piano.

I admire the fact that the track makes use of all the instruments that are known to be the central elements for jazz in perfect unison. I personally think that the track brings forth some of the most prominent elements of jazz that have acquired a widespread acceptance over the course of time. Also, every time I listen to this piece of music it urges me to learn how to swing dance!

• Chet Baker's "My Funny Valentine". (

Defense for "My Funny Valentine" by Chet Baker is based on the fact that the track presents almost all the characteristics that are required for a track to be present in the Jazz Genre. The music not only follows the classical conventions of the jazz genre, but the extensive usage of the saxophone strengthens the track's listing in the jazz genre.

Moreover, when you listen to Baker's track for the first time, you might not be impressed as his music is smooth and does not have many fluctuations; however, when you listen carefully to the song you will realize that he is using/performing intense notes.

8th Genre: Vocal as an American Pop- Music Genre

• Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (

Defense of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Celine Dion is that the song continues with a smooth musical score in the background without ever dominating over the vocals. In layman terms, the vocalist's voice is more dominant than the musical instruments and the instruments clearly become less attention-grabbing when the vocalist sings.

The vocalist continues to sing and remains the primary element throughout the track. Also, every time the vocalist begins to sing, the musical instruments play to highlight the vocalist's notes and very occasionally take a leading role. Moreover, I like the fact that as the song begins; it is almost as if the musical instruments introduce the vocalist to the listener.

• Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" ( -- I am not sure whether this song fits this genre or not; however, you did not tell me to change it when you revised my paper. Also, the song gave me the feeling that it could be fitted within the Vocal Genre because to me the vocals were quite dominant.

Although "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow could be fitted as a song in the Disco Genre; however, it could be also referred to as a Vocal based on the fact that the song enables the vocalist to take a leading position to the musical score. Although the vocalist sings in a voice that is somewhat loud compared to the music, but it is important to note that the tone of the vocalist's voice plays a great role in the song. In fact, at certain points, the vocalist continues non-stop and it comes as no surprise that the listener gets carried away with the domination of the vocals, and this is the main reason the track qualifies as a Vocal Genre.

Needless to highlight, the track does not give the vocalist complete control since the musical instruments continue to play as the song progresses. However, every time the vocalist begins to sing, the musical instruments recede to the background and only the drums and the guitars continue to take a prominent position. Also, I have found myself impressed by the way the song makes excellent use of the music as a supporting method for the vocalist.

Article name: Folk As An American Pop Music Genre Media essay, research paper, dissertation