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Popular music is popular again and its everywhere Whether its the idols the stars the rivals or the academy the pop music industry has never flaunted itself to such a large extent But how can we label pop music Where is its place Many would argue that it belongs solely littered across the floors of teenagers bedrooms worldwide Others would say it is most at home listed on the bank balance of a major multinational organisation A lot of people would insist that pop music has no home and is just a fad applauded by the culturally inept those who are only capable of enjoying a pre-formatted formulaic product of the culture industry Or is it infact a diverse and artistic phenomenon allowing a socially and culturally rich expression Maybe pop music will never be pigeon holed as such but I hope to identify the arguments surrounding popular music and determine its place within popular culture and within modern society The Formula The subject of pop music seems to have been lightly touched on by many writers when talking about popular culture but none have theorised on the topic as much as Theodor Adorno Adornos approach which is bound heavily by its Marxist leanings is based largely on observations of 1930s Germany and subsequently the United States when The Frankfurt School re-located to New York in 1933 Adorno talks about popular music as a product of the culture industry a formulaic and stubborn master-plan to which all pop music adheres He suggested that pop music hears for the listener and is pre-digested and he closely collaborates with Marcuses theory of The One-Dimensional Man when the culture industry is viewed as an irresistible force In light of these statements Adorno went on to conclude that pop music lacked the potential to be rebellious and subversive a quality which he regarded music of a higher culture to possess Adornos On Popular Music may identify
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