Wikipedia defines music as an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. There are many different types of music as stated previously, so with that in mind, I took to interviewing some of my friends at Fredericton High School to understand what type of music they preferred and why they did.
I first chose one of my good friends, Chris Robinson, who was quick to name his favorite type of music when asked.
“My favorite type of music is mostly soul.“, said fellow student Chris Robinson, who praised the late Marvin Gaye as one of his favorite artists. “I like happy…uplifting music. I’m not into the depressing stuff, honestly. Happy, uplifting, funk, soul.“ Robinson really enjoys music from the 70s, 80s and 90s, though he’s not completely against modern music.
In contrast to him, fellow student John Jang praised hard rock.
“It makes me feel like a big boy.“, said Jang, noting that he did not enjoy pop music for its childish sound and simple lyrics. “I enjoy the complexity and mystery surrounding hard rock music. Listening to it makes me feel good. In my opinion, pop is garbage and rap is crap!“
I then chose to see how the female students of Fredericton High felt about music.
“I love the music from India! However, I also really, really like mainstream music that you hear on Capital FM and Hot 92.3! Justin Timberlake…Rihanna, those are my absolute favorites!“, said Preema Sarkar, before stating that she was very open to other kinds of music, barring country, much like Robinson and Jang stated beforehand.
I realized during all of these interviews that a common theme among the students was their strong dislike of country music and the stereotypes of cars, girls, beer, pick-up trucks and dogs. Almost everyone was in agreeance that country isn’t very good and is very one-dimensional. One man who didn’t criticize country music was one of FHS’ most popular students, a man amongst men, a visionary, a true Paragon of Virtue, Matt Marr.
“Country is the best.“, said Marr, listing Florida-Georgia Line, the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson and Kellie Pickler as some of his favorite country musicians. Marr even plans on attending the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 7th of this year, which will see artists like Kenny Chesney, the Dixie Chicks, Little Big Town, Shooter Jennings, Michelle Wright, Deric Ruttan, Small Town Pistols, Jason Blaine, Autumn Hill, and Mike Biggar among several others! Marr will be attending along with fellow students Chelsea Cogswell and Alicia Gallant who really love country music. “Country just makes me feel like I’m not alone in the world, like I am here to serve a purpose, you know? I love the cowboy vibe. I’ve always wanted to be a cowboy! Yee-hah! I just think it would be really fun to be a cowboy, to ride on horses and save damsels in distress from morbid murderers. I will be a cowboy, one day. Country has changed my life.“
I, however, have a different opinion than some of the people that were interviewed and I have a pretty diverse taste in music. Personally, my favorite type of music is hip hop. I will call it hip hop all the time because I hate the negative connotations that come with the term “rap.“ My favorite hip hop artists in no particular order are 2Pac, Nas, Fugees, The Notorious B.I.G., Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Eminem, Dramacydal and Joey Bada$$ among others. I also quite enjoy soul music and funk, and quite enjoy Marvin Gaye much like my friend Chris. As well, I am a big fan of Michael Jackson and while I do think he was an oddball that was guilty with the child stuff, he made great music during his time and revolutioned dancing.
In addition to what’s stated previously, I embraced reggae music not too long ago. With my paternal side being Jamaican, I really enjoy reggae music and the positive vibes it gives. Artists like Fugees, Bob Marley, Buju Banton and many others really pique my interest and keep me coming back to the genre. For those not aware, I’ve decided to break down some of the genres, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Reggae – A music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady.
Country music – A genre of American popular music that originated in the rural regions of the Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from southeastern American folk music and Western music. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas.
Heavy Metal music – A genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and in the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo.
Hip Hop – A broad conglomerate of artistic forms that originated as a specific street subculture within African-American communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically in Morris Heights, The Bronx, then later spread its influence to Latin American communities. It is characterized by four distinct elements, all of which represent the different manifestations of the culture: rap music (aural), turntablism or “DJing” (aural), breaking (physical) and graffiti art (visual). Despite their contrasting methods of execution, they find unity in their common association to the poverty and violence underlying the historical context that birthed the culture. It was as a means of providing a reactionary outlet from such urban hardship that “Hip Hop” initially functioned, a form of self-expression that could reflect upon, proclaim an alternative to, try and challenge or merely evoke the mood of the circumstances of such an environment. Even while it continues in contemporary history to develop globally in a flourishing myriad of diverse styles, these foundational elements provide stability and coherence to the culture. The term is frequently used mistakenly to refer in a confining fashion to the mere practice of rap music.
Soul music – A popular music genre that originated in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s, combining elements of African American gospel music and rhythm and blues.
Funk – A music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and R&B. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground. Funk songs are often based on an extended vamp on a single chord, distinguishing it from R&B and soul songs, which are built on chord progressions.
Rock ‘n’ Roll – A genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African-American genres such as blues, jump blues, jazz, and gospel music, together with Western swing and country music. Though elements of rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, rock and roll did not acquire its name until the 1950s.
R&B (Rhythm and blues) – A genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular.
Screamo – A post-hardcore-influenced subgenre of emo that predominantly evolved from emo, among other genres, in the early 1990s. This initially involved a more aggressive offshoot of emo music and used short songs that grafted “intensity to willfully experimental dissonance and dynamics”.
Punk Rock – A rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produced recordings and distributed them through informal channels.
These are only some as there are so many genres of music out there that it would be nearly impossible to compile a list. Once you get into genres, then you devolve into subgenres and the vicious cycle continues.
In conclusion, I learned a lot during this final project and have actually learned to respect some of the genres of music that I wouldn’t give the time of day before.
Tyrone Caplin is a Grade 12 student who enjoys a variety of music and has stopped being so stubborn in regards to other types of music.