Tragic or Not? Mirador Analyzes Little-Known Music

Kate Wolffe, Staff Writer
March 9, 2012

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Genres that Should be Appreciated:

Folk: Contemporary folk music has gradually emerged from the more traditional “roots music,” but is sadly, just as unappreciated. It tends to be lumped in with Country and Western styles, though it is decidedly different. There is no definite definition for this genre, other than it is generally an infusion of different styles that relate to the culture it emerged from. American folk music is a blend of acoustic instruments that’s merging creates a joyous sound that reminds one of rustic evenings spent outside beside a fire.
Check out: Laura Marling, Emmy the Great, Tallest Man on Earth, and Iron and Wine (pictured).

Swing: A rythmic groove is what characterizes this style of music, made popular in the 1930s. Playing time has declined steadily since then, becoming essentially nonexistent, so much so that we almost never hear it, save for evenings spent in our grandparents’ living rooms. This is a pity, because its strong brassy instrumental theme is a striking contrast to modern pop. And, let’s face it, the world needs a little more dancing.
Check out: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy  for some neo-swing, and the classic jazz artist Louis Armstrong

World Music: This genre entails everything from Celtic music to African percussion. It is unfortunately overlooked, but world music isn’t solely an audio experience. It’s also provides some insight into the cultures of other countries.
Instead of listening to rap this month, check out Bollywood artists like Kumar Sanu and Mariachi music courtesy of Vicente Fernandez.

Genres that Are Unappreciated for A Reason:

Yodeling: Yodeling is a style of singing that is characterized by the undulation of a note for an extended period of time. For some reason, in the 30s and 40s it was a hit with Americans, but there are a select few that still embrace the style. There is a reason for this. Yodeling was formerly used as a way to send messages between herders and their stock or between Alpine villages, kind of like a text message for 16th century farmers. And that’s where it should have stopped  Want some actual words in your songs? Check out country and western style, as well as any of Adele’s crooning ballads.

J-POP: An abbreviation for Japanese Pop, J-POP is an integral part of Japanese popular culture, though is also, I’m sad to say it, a style that is essentially ear-splitting plastic trash. When you type J-POP into Youtube, the resulting videos remind one strongly of the early Dance Dance Revolution games. There are few redeeming qualities to the genre, the most prominent of which being its strong beat, which is somewhat catchy if one can get past the other pointless noise.
Next time check out the more tame Korean Pop, or K-POP if you’re still hungering for boy bands. In fact, just skip the middle step and revert back to good ol’ fashioned N*Sync.

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