Pop Music Has Lost Its Meaning Over Time

You were driving and you turn your radio on. One station plays Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings, another radio station plays NSYNC’s This I Promise You. While you enjoy 7 Rings, you find yourself more attracted to This I Promise You because you personally believe that the song is more meaningful. You begin to question yourself whether you are the one who is growing older or pop songs has indeed lost its meaning over time.

Collins Dictionary defines ‘pop music’ as a music of general appeal, especially among young people. That is one of the reasons why hook songs are popular, since it is catchy, and it grabs our attention. This article will discuss 3 reasons why pop music has lost its meaning over time.

1. Pop music appeal to the masses

Nowadays, the artist is more about their hype rather than their talent. The definition of a musical artist has changed and evolved in which talent and music comes second, while their appearance and entertainment value are what matters the most.

Rasheed (2013) mentioned in his article about how for music to make it onto the radio, they need to be profitable rather than the music being good itself or someone requested it to.

To put it simply, pop music nowadays does not necessarily need to be meaningful since they must appeal to the masses.

2. Pop music has become louder

Matson (2012) mentioned about how the music’s loudness is an intrinsic characteristic of the recording, and not to be confused with the listener-controlled volume. Pop music has become louder as to grab the listener’s attention, which is not completely wrong since music is there for us to hear.

Serrà and his colleagues at Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona’s study found that the loudness of recorded music is increasing by about one decibel every eight years.

The pop music being louder might not have a direct correlation to the pop music lost its meaning over time, however, when you focus more on your beats, without realizing it, we forgot to focus on the song’s meaning as well.

3. Pop music is getting more repetitive

The songs that has reached the Top 10 in Billboard Hot 100 from 1958 to 2014 were more repetitive than their competition and pop music has become more repetitive over time.

This explains why despite we find ourselves humming to the songs, we often think to ourselves that with pop music being repetitive, it has started to lose its meaning.

4. However, with the increasing number of singer-songwriter, pop music has become more meaningful

With the singer being more involved in the songwriting, they could write more relatable songs for their audience. If we look at it from this perspective, the audience is listening to a more meaningful song now if we were to compare it to the past.

After discussing about the pros and cons of pop music in terms of whether the song has lost its meaning over time or not, it is best to conclude that pop music has indeed lost its meaning over time.


  • Batrisyia Nursabrina Mustaffa Kamal adalah pelajar Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.
  • Dr. Mohd Syuhaidi Abu Bakar adalah Pensyarah Kanan, Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.

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