By Rocco Golden
In our day and age, everyone listens to music. Whether it was the upper class nobles who attended symphonies, the Chickasaw tribe performing a stomp dance, or your grandfather putting a cassette into the old F150, everyone likes music. Music has always been, and will continue to be, a staple in all cultures and countries around the world. When it comes to our campus, what are people listening to? Is there a favorite amongst the students of Plattsburgh?
To gauge the music genres generally favored by the students here on campus, a survey was conducted of 100 students walking on campus during the week of Sept. 12. The survey focused on one specific question: What is your favorite music genre?
The most favored response was hip hop/rap with 29% of respondents. It’s really no surprise, as the rap genre has been gaining in popularity over the past few decades.
According to an article by Icon Collective, an online news outlet, Hip Hop is a subculture that emerged from the Bronx in New York City during the early 1970s. Many of the reasons for hip hop’s origin is due to the economy of the area at the time. With a declining manufacturing industry, many middle class workers decided to move out, leaving the Bronx with even worsening economic conditions. Hip hop was originally fueled by the hardships of those living in terrible conditions. It became a way to deal with anger and violence whilst also expressing creatively.
Since its inception, the hip hop genre has evolved extensively into many other sub genres, such as rap, trap music, and funk. Hip hop has become popular among younger people in recent years, with the emergence of music software such as SoundCloud and Spotify making music more accessible than ever before.
The second most popular genre according to the data is pop with 21%, almost one in four people.
Pop music found its roots in the U.S. and U.K. in the mid-20th century. The genre itself is a sort of melting pot with regards to actual music. Many different genres like jazz, country, Latin and rock played different roles in contributing to what we call pop music today. Back during the mid-20th century, with advancing technology, it became easier to develop music. According to an article by Cecilia the Band, an online news outlet, the pop genre at first united the set of popular music, but the peculiarity of this musical style remains that of the absorption of other genres.
Over time, pop music has evolved to include a wide range of instruments, themes, and interpretations all over the world. It is still prominent across the world, and here on campus. Pop has always, personally speaking, struck as a type of music that is just always there, no matter what. It’s the type of music that reflects its origin pretty nicely, a melting pot of genres you can listen to for your melting pot of activities for the day. Pop music can fit into pretty much anything nowadays, which is one of the many reasons why people like it so much.
One such genre is metal, which is said to have originated in the late 1960s, founded by the band Black Sabbath. From metal came a plethora of other genres, all tracing their origins back to rock.
The fourth most popular genre according to the data is country with 11%, which isn’t too surprising given the culture of the local area and its influence on our campus. Country music is very popular amongst people in the North Country, suffice to say that it has certainly made its way into the playlists of Plattsburgh’s students.
Country music is said to have solely originated in the United States. According to an article by Play The Tunes, country music originated in rural areas of the South and West in the 20th century. Country music came to rise by its use in films, particularly in “Westerns.” After the Great Depression, as many optimistic Americans were looking for new music to better their moods, country music was a good fit. Even in the modern day, country music is still a favorite to many in the U.S., on the global scale as well.
The fifth most popular singular genre is alternative with 8%. Alternative is an umbrella term for the many sub genres, which include alternative rock and alternative pop. Alternative came about in the late-20th century as an alternative to popular music at the time. At its inception, alternative was said to be the opposite of what people wanted to hear, which turned out to be wrong, as many people loved to listen to alternative. Notable alternative rock bands include Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day.
The results of the poll were not surprising given the trends of music in the past few decades. The vast majority of college students are those of the younger generation, young people tend to like new music, like modern rap, country and pop, more than older generations. With that being said though, there is certainly still much prominence of older music within the campus community. Personally, it didn’t seem too far-fetched that genres now considered “older” may have been the favorite of people polled. But, trends in the music world will persist. People are going to continue to like and listen to newer music as time goes on.