A thunderous orotund resounds, its tense intensity almost equals his firm clasp on the mike and the twirls only embellish the discontinuous poetry.

Imbibed in the symphony, one almost becomes oblivious to the depth of the words, the echoes of which die down in the ears but seep deep within the heart; the strenuous vocals and the sour whiskey makes the most exuberant congruence.

Having its precepts borrowed heavily from Rhythm and Blues, Gospel and Jazz, Soul began as an umbrella term for the African-American popular music of the 60’s and was becoming of the strive against white imposition, a voice for the civil rights movement and also the insignia of African American heritage.

The soul music heralded in a new era, one that was politically conscious, well within the purview of violence and also offered a ready bulwark against the imposition that divided the world between haves and have-nots. The “push” towards such an era came with songs like  “Keep on Pushing” (1964), “We’re Rolling On” (1967), and countless others. Much like the deep vocals, it seems that soul music production has taken a marked dip and the listeners are dwindling just the same. It seems the death of more than 50 soul singers in 2016 has been a fitting metaphor and while pop happens to be the most consumed genre today, the heavy focus on primary melody has consumed the signature variations beyond recovery.

Also Read – Conscious rap

 

The Rise of Pop

The king of pop
The Rise of Pop

The rise of the internet has buttressed a massive fillip in the availability of information and as it is with everything today, the average person is far less focused. We want our insides to be brim with luxury and instant satisfaction at this very moment! And herein comes Pop music and IT delivers.

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Pop music comes with the easiest of song structures, mostly an ABABCB format that builds up momentum and then goes on to introduce the bridge. The incredible focus on primary melody without its counterpart serves the listener with instant satisfaction. A good example of how a more complex music can be simplified is Pentatonix – Bohemian Rhapsody.

The twirls in the notes are rarely noticed and the notes follow harmoniously with the previous notes, making it easier to build up to a riff. Tonality too largely remains flat:

 

 

Tonality in Pop music
Tonality in Pop music

Also Read:

The Downfall

Musics trends
Music Trends

This timeline summarises the trends very well and with the exception of juggernauts like Adele, Amy Winehouse, and John Legend, the soul industry is as good as nonexistent. Many connoisseurs argue that Adele’s music is as much pop as it is soul music. The production of songs has also taken a hit as have the number of artists, something that reflects in the sales as well, as it does with the number of youtube views. Soul music exploded in the 60’s and in the 70’s and the flames have been smoldering even today in the farthest of the corners, and that includes surprising countries like Germany and even Ireland, great artists the likes of Foy Vance.

Even though there have been and still are popular artists since the 90’s, they are too little and far too in between, the likes of Leon Bridges.

Leon Bridges
Leon Bridges

There have been many promising works as well like Kamasi Washington’s three-set CD, The Epic from 2015, but from where we are at, soul music is just a mere shadow of its former self. It goes on to show how the past has been a treasure repository of politically conscious music.

How the past has been a treasure repository of politically conscious music and MAYBE it is still alive.

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Neelanchal is a staunch logophile. A little bit of devotion to the written word catapulted him to the beatific world of writing and he hasn't found his way out, and as it so happens he found a creative outlet in stufflistings.com. His writings mirror his interests as much as his interests do his writings; with literary creative writing being his forte, he doesn't just restrict himself and rather goes on to venture into politics and beyond and further beyond to anime! I know, what a weird guy!