Ask a Korean just lately wrote a weblog publish referred to as Okay-Pop is Not a Style by which he argues that Okay-pop shouldn’t be a musical style (as you will have guessed). (He has since additionally written one other.)
As a lot respect as I’ve for the creator, I’ve reservations concerning the arguments introduced (which I’m certain he gained’t be stunned by as we’ve had this dialogue earlier than) which I wished to articulate. Greater than that, it looks like a very good alternative to discover the time period Okay-pop and its meanings and makes use of. This text, then, is the primary of three which can talk about: Okay-pop as style, Okay-pop as cultural expertise and Okay-pop as advertising technique.
First, onto whether or not Okay-pop is or shouldn’t be a style. Right here’s what TK needed to say:
“Okay-pop” is a generic time period meaning completely nothing greater than “widespread music of Korea.” In case you ever thought concerning the time period “Okay-pop” rigorously, and thought onerous concerning the sorts of music and the sorts of artists the time period covers, you can find that it can’t presumably denote a style or a mode.
There’s a very basic flaw on this argument. It assumes that different generally used style labels have clear, simply outlined definitions. They don’t. You may make this exact same argument about lots of the world’s mostly used style descriptors. So let’s give it a go:
Pop is a generic time period meaning completely nothing greater than “widespread music.” Besides when it doesn’t. To some individuals it means “skilled music made for consumption by youngsters”. Within the 70s and 80s particularly “Pop” to some individuals additionally meant “singles-based music for shoppers who aren’t subtle sufficient to get pleasure from rock music”. To the so-called poptimist music critics, it got here to signify an music misunderstood by this “imperialist” outlook embodied by the “rockist” who “reduces rock ‘n’ roll to a caricature, then makes use of that caricature as a weapon”. To a whole lot of children, it simply means a manner of discovering music they could like on Spotify.
Since you set a cat in your article, right here is certainly one of my outsized lovable menaces. Her title is Tiger Lily and, sure, she is on a lead.
Sure, pop is notoriously troublesome to outline, significantly as our yardsticks for reputation change drastically with expertise, and means one thing completely different to just about everybody but when that is each the fashionable world’s most beloved and most maligned style and we don’t have a transparent definition of what it really is, it type of factors to the truth that, not less than some, style descriptors don’t really imply that a lot. It additionally means that maybe a style which incorporates pop in its title shouldn’t be given too powerful a journey.
The factor is – we solely actually perceive a chunk of music by listening to it. And all of us perceive it otherwise. All genres labels are doomed to woefully fail to encapsulate the whole thing of the nuanced influences, constructions, chord patterns, rhythms, cultural references, timbres, poetry, keys, melodies, harmonies et cetera et cetera of just about all trendy music.
Many style descriptors do level pretty precisely to a specific set of conventions, or an origin in a specific location inside a specific tradition or group however many don’t and the character of inventive pursuit is that as quickly as one thing turns into a conference somebody will break it, the impact usually then being of stretching the boundaries of no matter style they’re thought-about to be. The character of recent expertise additionally signifies that music is far much less simply confined to a specific location or group. A lot of Korean widespread music depends on this usually drawing from varied and disparate influences from completely different geographies and conventions.
Musically-speaking, right here’s your pop/jazz/swing/Broadway/funk/disco/electro outlier, TK. Not PSY.
There are music psychologists who argue genres are fully outdated and we might and may categorise music scientifically by the impact it has on the listener however that appears impractical. In follow, we use style labels to 1) attempt to clarify advanced music in easy phrases and a couple of) attempt to discover new music we like. Nobody really makes use of genres to make concrete, definitive lists of particular sorts of music. They’re relational phrases we use so we are able to type an understanding of a chunk of music (usually earlier than we’ve listened to it) in relation to our current cultural reference factors and additional perceive our and others’ enjoyment (or lack thereof).
Okay-pop, then, is: music coming from a pop custom and sensibility (no matter these are); in all probability made not less than partially in Korea; in all probability written not less than partially in Korean; in all probability commercially obtainable in Korea; probably coming from a practice of manufactured idol teams (as that is the most well-liked type of Korean music exterior of Korea and Okay-pop is a time period used principally inside a non-Korean context) and subsequently is presumably accompanied by intricate audiovisual components and complicated choreographies.
I don’t know the place he matches in. I don’t assume he has ever identified.
This isn’t an excellent description and far of the music classed as Okay-pop doesn’t match very simply into it. However, with out taking an excessive amount of of a nosedive into postmodern philosophy, normally we categorise issues by consensus and if we’ve determined an artist or piece of music is Okay-pop, there’s a reasonably sturdy argument that that’s what it’s. Or not less than no weaker an argument than why we’d name one thing pop or rock or indie. That doesn’t make all of it that it’s. (And that additionally makes Jambinai not what it’s as a result of nobody besides whoever made that SXSW line-up calls them Okay-pop.) It could even be pop and hip hop and R&B and rock and disco and a complete vary of different genres. Okay-pop may also be extra issues than only a style.
As a Korean learner, the Okay-pop class on no matter music platform I’m utilizing is a straightforward approach to discover music in Korean. It may also be a great way to seek out music like that different group you want. On social media, the time period Okay-pop is a straightforward approach to discover different individuals fascinated about an analogous widespread tradition to you (and this actually does imply so much to many individuals, significantly youngsters, and shouldn’t be dismissed). Critics of Korean idol music could maybe use “Okay-pop” as a time period of derision. That’s actually about it.
It’s unreasonable to count on a typical for Okay-pop as a class that no different style is held to. And if we have been to insist on utilizing Okay-pop solely to explain a particular fashion tied to a particular place, one thing particularly widespread and particularly Korean, there’s a very good argument all we might be left with is ppongjjak EDM and that’s one thing not a single particular person on this planet needs.
Think about if Spotify’s Okay-pop playlist was just this… on repeat.
In the end, having written a thousand impassioned phrases, my argument right here is certainly one of virtually full apathy. TK argues “Okay-pop” is a generic time period meaning completely nothing greater than “widespread music of Korea.” He’s proper. And that makes it a style.
Now let’s give attention to the place it does get fascinating lets?
Within the time between writing and modifying this piece Roboseyo has written a superb weblog publish from an analogous perspective that’s properly price a learn.
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