In response to the Millennial Whoop
I have seen many people sharing this “millennial whoop” video (If you haven’t seen it, check it out here: The Millennial Whoop). Their share often follows such ingenious musical observations like, “The last century left us Gershwin, Bernstein, Sinatra, and Basie. The current century is leaving us this” from Seth MacFarlane or, ”Your pop music is repetitive garbage” from an asshole on my Facebook. Although these opinions are stated ever so eloquently, I think there are a few things that we should take into consideration before blindly sharing this video and dismissing the beauty that is Work by Rhianna and other pop songs.
First off, the video makes no normative claim with which we are to judge a song. It simply recognizes a pattern found in music and says, “[the millennial whoop] has become incredibly common over just the past few years.” If you make through the first minute of the video, it recognizes that similar patterns have existed in music since far before 21st century pop.
The MacFarlane quote above seems to idolize the 20th century’s ability to rise above such an asinine musical gesture but overlooks very similar patterns found in Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Frank Sinatra and Count Basie’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” Although these songs don’t specifically feature the repeated jump from the 3 to 5 to 3 interval, they feature familiar musical patterns that please the ear. It is these patterns that have cemented these song’s claim as two of the most recognizable of the 20th century. Patterns are an instrumental (lol) aspect of music that should not be dismissed as lacking creativity.
Secondly, and what is the deeper issue at hand, “garbage” pop music is often the only accessible music for us plebeians. Many people just don’t have the innate knack for picking up rhythms and harmonies (certainly The Knack did, My Sharona) and very frequently the teachers and classes put in place to teach such practices are folding under budget cuts.
When kids aren’t given the opportunity to try to grasp complicated music found on 88.1 KJazz, they choose what is easy to listen to and tune into 102.7 KISS.
However, it at this point where we unearth the sad truth for you musical purists.
It is natural and okay for you to enjoy bubblegum pop music! Katy Perry, Drake, and Justin Bieber make music that is fun and pleasing to the ear. These artists have an ocean of engineers and craftsmen that make music that appeals to our ear, so bask in it’s simplistic and repetitive glory!
So, to these self entitled pricks supremely declaring pop music as lesser, I ask you to get off your soapbox and realize your opinions are musical bigotry that breeds elitism. Shitting on other people’s art does not make yours anymore palatable.