Compare and Contrast Essay on Music

In an earlier essay, the value of music was stressed. Through the centuries, music has grown to be an important part of human life. Regardless of the source, music flows naturally if a person allows it to. The passion as well as creativity in music is evident in the classical compositions performed with a variety of wind, string, and acoustic instruments, as well as in contemporary rappers enjoying a variety of favorite rhythms. Clearly, music evolves as time goes by. To understand how music has changed from the classical age to contemporary times, it is important to compare classical and popular music.

First, some individuals assert that classical music is superior to all other kinds of music. In terms of performance as well as training, they argue that classical music cannot be surpassed. To study and then perform a piece of classical music, one has to undertake rigorous training. In other words, classical music is for those who are serious and studious in their musical education. On the other hand, many think that pop music can be composed and recorded by virtually anyone. The assertion is that pop is very easy to learn. Although no one would say that pop does not qualify as music, the widespread contention is that pop cannot be placed on the same artistic level with classical music. Nonetheless, pop artistes, along with their fans, refute this claim. According to them, performances in pop music require considerable musical knowledge and talent. Additionally, one must ensure that he/she produces an appealing melody or rhythm.

Another suggested distinction between pop and classical music focuses on harmony. To lovers of classical music, the notes are well arranged, thereby producing a very beautiful harmony. For this reason, every track in a typical classical music album sounds differently and elicits different feelings in the listener. For example, it is possible to envision different scenes such as a storm or tranquil scene when one listens to classical music. In other words, the effect of classical music on the listener is very fulfilling emotionally, as opposed to pop music.

Another distinguishing factor of classical and pop music is entrenched in the music notation. To a large extent, the vital details of a classical music piece are written down and then handed over to the person performing it. Hence, the performer must follow the provided tempo as well as accents to ensure that his performance is precise and accurate. In contrast, the notation of pop music is such that only the melody and the chords are written down. This gives the performer great flexibility.

These distinctions notwithstanding, both musical styles have some common features. An important point to consider is that both styles fall into the broad category of music, implying that they are both developed on the same foundation, which is the typical chromatic scale.

Tips on compare and contrast essay writing:

Assignments on comparing and contrasting music offer a very wide scope for writing. Although this sample essay focuses on the comparison of two popular music styles, it is not a rule that every comparison essay has to follow the same format. Instead of a comparison/contrast essay, one might discuss how one music style has borrowed from another, or how a particular music combines elements from multiple music styles. The main point is to ensure that what you are writing is based on facts; otherwise, the essay may misinform or mislead the reader.

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