Music Genre Analysis

“Produce two short descriptive reports on two music genres of your choice. Use a set of formal terms to profile each.  Research the influence of technology and other innovations that helped create that sound.”

First Genre –

-Alternative Rock

—- This genre came about in the 1980 among underground bands and became popular by the 90’s. It’s distinctive from mainstream rock music hence the name. The lyrics were mostly inspired by common troubles – a lot of the time reflecting economic strains of those times. Could be considered the rebellious genre with the music’s non conformist attitude. Alternative rock is mostly defined by its lack of acceptance by mainstream consumers. Popularity spread through word-of-mouth. The sound of the music itself can vary from Gothic rock to indie pop guitars to sounding closely to grunge. Today these bands have large fan bases around the world thanks to the internet and are no longer as underground as they once were and becoming increasingly mainstream, however the same spirit and inspiration from the original Alternative Rock carries on in the music today. Some might argue Nirvana was a key innovator of the genre mostly due to their huge impact that made alternative rock – a genre that defied modern attitudes and had one of its own with strong independence – mainstream and arguably one of the biggest genres of the 90s which in itself is contradicting all that the genre stood for in the first place.

—- Alternative bands include Nirvana, 30 Seconds to Mars, My Chemical Romance, and Panic! At The Disco.

—-Taking Back Sunday is a group formed near the end of the 90’s. They make music typically of the Alternative Rock Genre.

-Technologically this genre has become more today due to the grounds it covers online – with information about these band easily accessible and making it bigger than it ever was before.

The song above is ‘Ghost Man on Third’. Consists of the typical Alternative Rock elements. Prominent guitars throughout, drums, etc. with typical lyrics fitting with the Alternative Rock message. The song was released in 2002 on their album Tell All Your Friends.

The song is 151 beats per minute, 3/4 time sig? Major key. Dynamics of the song vary – louder parts and quieter.

There have been 11 different members over the years but today current line up consists of Jesse Lacy (Bass, Vocals), Shaun Cooper, Adam Lazzara (vocals), John Nolan (vocals and guitar) Stephen DeJoseph (drums), and Eddie Reyes (guitar).

I think the qaulity is pretty good but I’m sure some will disagree – their live version sounds very similar to the studio version so I imagine there much hasn’t been altered past the recording stage. They use basic amps and microphones for their instruments.

Adam Lazzara wrote the song “that they were a reflection of “where he was at at the time.” Recorded in New Jersey -Big Blue Meenia Recording Studio. Produced by Sal Villanueva.



—-This modern genre originates from South Korea, East Asia, and focuses on a fusion of multiple other genres as well as visual aspects – mostly hip-hop, rap, and Korean Trot music (popular pre-Korean War). It fuses both eastern and western values in music to create their own and meet together in the middle appealing to a wider audience. Together it forms a fusion and comes together as K-POP. K-POP is known for their large groups that sing these types of songs. Visually they’re distinctive and have very tight in sync performances. To the ears, K-POP consists of a mix of Korean and English words – taking heavy inspiration from American pop music. K-POP groups are typically 4 to 8 members large and usually have more rappers than singer, and the others are the main ‘performers’ (but of course still have lines). These groups normally follow a strict formula as to how they’re formed. In a typical KPOP group of eight you might find 4 main vocalists, 2 rappers, 1 main dancer, and 1 visual (all real positions in a KPOP group). Along with those you have sub responsibilities that reflect Korean culture such as leader (due to their respecting elders rule & seniors) and maknes (the youngest).

—-A lot of the songs are written by Scandinavian songwriters because their style of songwriting is popular in asia (repetitive, simplistic, and the notes work well with the Korean language), however in K-POP they want an american beat. The fusion of the two results in appropriate lyrics for many ages unlike a lot of songs in the west but a beat that appeals to a younger generation regardless of lyric content.

KPOP has evolved due to how these groups are formed and the entertainment companies – it’s very uncommon for artists to form a group before debuting. You audition as an individual and train for multiple years in between going to school and free time before they put you in a group with more or less strangers and debut. A key innovator would we the group G.O.D for being one of the first kpop groups the come around the time and after the IMF bailout in South Korea. After that the group BigBang (and also Girls Generation) is the one responsible for making KPOP global as one of the first group to sell out multiple stadium dates in Europe and North America.

I don’t think KPOP has a set definition but the music typically comes from big companies fusing traditional genres together and cultures. Like most music, really.

Most fans of KPOP follow a certain label and will only support groups from that label. It’s very competitive with over 60 boy and girl groups debuting each year.

—-K-POP groups and singers include BigBang, EXO, Lee Seung Gi, MBLAQ,and Super Junior.

—-An example of song is Mr. Mr. by the nine member girl group Girls Generation.

—-Most people could argue that KPOP became increasingly popular after the Korean war and the south became more liberal and accepting of other cultures.

—-An essential technological aspect would be the set up of the industry in South Korea itself – the genre follows a set rules and doesn’t tend to be as wide as other genres which I’ve only ever noticed with kpop. The fans of the genre also make kpop what it is due to their support for the companies rather than artists, which creates rivalry between them more than the artists themselves. KPOP artists can seem fake and all clones of one another, the interact with fans using personalities that aren’t always them so they can fit into a ‘role’ in the group, for example, the youngest – makne – has to act an innocent as possible in all situations. It may sound stupid but they really do and it reflect in their voice used to sing. On stage they perform a set routine, a dance that has been prepared months before for that song that they will perform every time they sing. KPOP might seem robotic, fake, vain, but it is what makes it as much of a genre than anything else.

I chose this song because it’s clearly KPOP. Released in 2014 under SM Entertainment. It consists of the Korean and English words, the bright visuals, and shows what a typical performance would look like close to the end.

The lyrics (translated) would be considered appropriate in the face of some songs on radios here (mostly due to broadcasting rules set by stations in S. Korea, anyways) and takes heavy electro-pop themes in most of their recent songs. The video itself is very typical of KPOP. This group sing in harmony at the chorus but, but mostly have their own lines. This group has more singers than the typical KPOP group, and no ‘main rapper’.

I /think/ the melody is in minor (A Minor??) However I think there is some modulation in this song. 4/4 time signature, 116 beats per minute. Polyphonic melody. Plagal cadences? Instruments used include fretless bass, piano, violin, syn brass 2 and syn saw wave.

There is an instrumental break like in most KPOP songs.

Line up includes (stage names) – Yoona (vocals and ‘face of the group’), Tae-Yeon (leader and vocals), Tiffany (vocals), Seo-Hyun (vocals), Yuri (vocals and lead dancer), Soo Young (vocals and lead dancer), Hyo-Yeon (vocals and lead dancer), and Jessica (vocals. Currently inactive).

Recorded in the sm recording studios, Seoul, South Korea.

Jo Yungyeong and Kim Hee-jeong wrote the lyrics. The concept for “Mr.Mr.” was described to be a “classy, mystery girl”.

Produced by Lee Soo Man and American production team The Underdogs.

It doesn’t sound as good live so you’d imagine some tweaking was done to their voices.



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