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What Do You Consider "Real Music?"



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  #1  
Old April 24th, 2009, 5:21 pm
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What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

I've seen several comments throughout the music threads and around the web that pop music isn't "real music." So I'm wondering what constitutes real music.

Here are some questions for discussion:
1. What is real music in your opinion?
2. If music isn't considered "real" what is it then?
3. Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?
4. Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be "real music?'


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  #2  
Old April 24th, 2009, 9:11 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

I listen to pop music because a lot of my friends listen to it and it's just fun to listen to. I don't really consider it to be real music, though, because it's mainly sound effects and stuff being used to create the beat and all that. I will tell you one thing, though. Today's pop music is mostly garbage, but the older pop stuff is awesome. That's why I love pop music. Classic rocks!

IMO, real music is when you're using musical instruments, not sound effects and stuff.

Hip-Hop and Rap are not real music at all. No one is singing and it's filled with the sound effects as music and all that.

People consider pop music to be real music because it's the kind of music that's popular nowadays.


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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:39 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

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Originally Posted by gipro2003 View Post
I've seen several comments throughout the music threads and around the web that pop music isn't "real music." So I'm wondering what constitutes real music.
Ooh, good topic. I always feel like an intruder in the Music section, because I'm over 25, but I hope you don't mind me giving my opinion.

1. What is real music in your opinion?

For me, all music is "real" music - if it's a genre I don't happen to like, that doesn't make it "not real".

There is something honest, natural and appealing about bare, stripped down guitar-based music, played by a band formed of old schoolfriends or people who met through an ad in a local music shop, who fought their way to a record contract after years of plying their wares on the small-time live circuit, but that doesn't make it any more "real" or "better" than other types.

2. If music isn't considered "real" what is it then?

Notwithstanding my answer to Q1, like most people who were teenagers in the 80s, I do have a real prejudice against (a) people who don't write their own songs (b) "groups" who don't play their own instruments and (c) "manufactured" bands, who've been put together by a record company, manager or TV talent contest svengali, who also retains a lot of artistic control over their material, with reference to focus groups and what sells, rather than artistic, musical criteria.

Logically, I know that some of these positions are ridiculous - do classical orchestras not play "real music", then, because they play stuff by Beethoven, rather than "writing their own songs"? And why are cover versions OK, but having your songs written for you by a professional songwriter not?

And many of the old "real" bands of the 70s and 80s were every bit as "manufactured" as modern pop bands, they just went to great lengths to hide the fact. Much as I loathe the Simon Cowellisation of chart music and the way that many teenagers nowadays seem to be quite happy to be treated as "consumers" being offered a "product" by a global corporation, in some ways it's a lot less hypocritical and more honest.

3. Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?

Not much to very recent stuff, because at my age I tend to know what I like and stick to artists and genres I know, but it's not because I'm anti-pop on principle.

4. Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be "real music?'

(a) Some of the reasons I've given under 2.

(b) There's also the real instrument v. electronic programming debate, but personally I think that's a non-issue.

Many of the artists who produce programmed music are highly accomplished "real" musicians, too (Lady Gaga being a good example - whether you like her music or not, her talent as a classically-trained pianist is beyond question).

There's considerable fluidity between "real" music and programmed music. Quite a few people from 80s indie rock guitar bands moved into DJing and programmed dance music in the early 90s, because that was where the cutting edge was at that time.

I don't think many of the artists recognise the rigid, exclusive genre boundaries that their fans set up - many rock artists experiment with programmed music or listen to it themselves.

And computer-based music is arguably fulfilling a function today that rock and punk were initially invented to fulfil - making music-making accessible to everybody, not just those who can afford a classical musical training and an expensive instrument. It makes me laugh when people argue that rock is the honest music of the common man, when so many rock bands are full of expensively educated boys from upper-middle class families.

(c) I think there is an element of snobbery and possibly an element of sexism, too, to some of the anti-pop attitudes. I've met a few musos who will stop listening to a band the minute they hit the big time, because there's a sense that if lots of people like it (and in some cases, if girls listen to it), it can't be any good.



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Old May 8th, 2009, 7:14 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

I'm with PureBloodGirl. Sound effects and rhythm alone do not constitute "real" music.
Music is a desired intentional combination of rhythm and melody. IMO, rap and hiphop have so much emphasis on rhythm, and so very little on melody, that they don't fit the definition of music, in most cases. They are poetry set to a beat, and culturally that's valid and all that, but that's doesn't make it "music", per se - they're in their own category of media.
Everything else to me - country, metal, rock, swing, jazz, classical, etc.. all fit the classic description of music, it's just a matter of taste.


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Old May 9th, 2009, 1:55 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by gipro2003 View Post
I've seen several comments throughout the music threads and around the web that pop music isn't "real music." So I'm wondering what constitutes real music.

Here are some questions for discussion:
1. What is real music in your opinion?
2. If music isn't considered "real" what is it then?
3. Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?
4. Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be "real music?'
1. Real music, in my opinion, is something magical. a group of people writing their own songs, playing their own instruments, and actually singing their songs. For example: Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd.

2. Generally rap is not real music. the lyrics (if one can call them that) are from their own mind (atleast, some) but the actual 'music' is generated, stolen or used from a fart machine (sorry, i dislike rap, and it sounds like a fart machine to me). look at an earlier artist: Run DMC. they are a n exception since they actually had words that meant something, without swearing and violence and sex. not the newer stuff (ok, 99.9% of it) where there is violence, sex, and a lot of swearing.

3. I don't do pop often, if you consider Elton John or My Chemical Romance pop, or Genesis, then i do not know what to say.

4. Look at the backstreet boys. nsyc, 98 degrees...... i guess it would depned on the person you are speaking to, and their opinions. i dont consdier pop real music for the boy band explosion, which, to me, tainted the genre completely. oh, and look at britney spears. 'nuff said.


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Old May 11th, 2009, 4:16 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

I think pop is real music, it's just lazy music. With little thought put into the lyrics and music. Take Britney for example. She is a singer, not a musician. She doesn't write music, she just sings songs. That to me isn't a real musician, but technically I guess it's still music whether you enjoy it or not.


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Old May 11th, 2009, 10:11 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
I think pop is real music, it's just lazy music. With little thought put into the lyrics and music.
I don't think that's true of all pop, though. ABBA's pop songs are so well musically crafted that they've been the subject of academic theses by PhD students at Oxford. The Pet Shop Boys' lyrics are, I would contend, some of the most cerebral and thoughtful in 20th century music.

And there are "lazy" rock bands, too, who put little thought into what they're writing, or just depend on cliches.

I would agree, however, that it's probably easier to get away with relying on your looks/image/hype in pop than in rock. Few of these "lazy" bands stand the test of time, though.

Quote:
Take Britney for example. She is a singer, not a musician. She doesn't write music
But e.g. the bassist, drummer and keyboardist in a band where the guitarist writes most of the songs don't write music, either - does that make them "not real musicians"?

Quote:
, she just sings songs.That to me isn't a real musician.
I have no real wish to defend Britney but, in general, singing takes musical talent, too.

There are plenty of genres which are pretty much entirely based on the artists singing/playing somebody else's material (e.g. folk, classical, opera). Luciano Pavarotti and Maria Callas didn't write music, they "just" sang songs - were they "not real musicians"?

Quote:
but technically I guess it's still music whether you enjoy it or not.
I agree


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Old May 11th, 2009, 11:23 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

Melaszka I agree, I was generalising. Of course there are many lazy rock bands too (Blink 182 spring to mind) but I think I tend to put most (not all) pop bands into one basket.

Quote:
But e.g. the bassist, drummer and keyboardist in a band where the guitarist writes most of the songs don't write music, either - does that make them "not real musicians"?
IMO to be a real musician you have to be able to read and write music. Otherwise you're just an "*insert instrument here* player".

Quote:
I have no real wish to defend Britney but, in general, singing takes musical talent, too.
Oh I know! I know it takes a great deal of talent but my definition of musician is someone who reads, writes and performs music. IMO singers are singers and not musicians. They do not play music, they sing.


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Old May 11th, 2009, 12:28 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
Melaszka I agree, I was generalising.
I know - I didn't mean to jump down your throat, I just enjoy debate. To an extent I'm playing devil's advocate, as I'm definitely not a fan of the big studio-generated, manufactured pop business myself.

Quote:
IMO to be a real musician you have to be able to read and write music. Otherwise you're just an "*insert instrument here* player".
Interesting. I know what you're saying - in most of my favourite bands, the one I really admire as a genius is the guy or girl that writes most of the songs. (Having said that, it sometimes seems unfair. I can think of bands where the singer, who is not an instrumentalist and has a technically worse grasp of music than any of the other band members, writes the songs..often brilliantly. I think song-writing and playing music are completely different skills, but equally important, and to me a "real" musician may have either or both. I can also think of bands where the other members would dearly like to get involved with song-writing, but the dominant member[s] won't let them!)

Not sure I agree about being able to "read" music, though - for me, the most exciting thing about rock and pop (in the loosest sense of the expression, encompassing many genres), as opposed to classical music, is the fact that (in theory, at least...I know it often doesn't work out this way in practice) they're open to anybody - you don't need to have had a classical Western musical training - and IMO there have been some very great rock and pop musicians who have written and played entirely by ear.

Quote:
Oh I know! I know it takes a great deal of talent but my definition of musician is someone who reads, writes and performs music. IMO singers are singers and not musicians. They do not play music, they sing.
For me, the voice is an instrument, so I would include them. The only people I might exclude from the definition "musician"are those who make records but for whom music is merely a means to an end, who put their fame, their looks, their image, their parallel acting/modelling career, whatever, ahead of their music. But it's so difficult to tell who these people are...sometimes artists who are passionate about music are put under pressure by record companies/management to sell their looks or image...plus people change. there are people who started out as throwaway pretty boy/girl teenybop pop stars who have gone onto develop serious musical careers. So, actually, I'm not sure I'd exclude anyone who's ever released a record. Apart from Paris Hilton, of course


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Old May 11th, 2009, 1:27 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

Well the actual definition of musician is: "One who composes, conducts, or performs music, especially instrumental music." See I wouldn't agree with that. I think it comes down to nit-picky definitions and your own beliefs. I can totally see why you'd count the voice as an instrument, it's just not how I'd catagorise music. I think music is too personal to just blatantly say what it is...

I totally admire many singers/song writers, however I still don't consider them musicians unless they write actual music. I'd call them singer/song writers. But that's just me


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Old September 6th, 2009, 1:53 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

What is real music in your opinion?

I honestly don't think there's such a thing as "real" music and "not real" music; what sounds like just loudness to one person, can be beautiful and poetic to someone else. I think it's degrading to any band or musician or any hardworking person in that industry to point to them and say, "what you're doing isn't even really music." IMO, anything that has a rhythm or beat is music, regardless of whether someone's singing along to it or just rapping or screaming/singing.

That being said, there are genres of music I don't like. But just because I don't prefer them, doesn't mean they're not considered music.. I just don't like that particular style. Which goes for them, as well. My mom always tells me what I'm listening to isn't music, because alot of the artists or bands I like have to deal with real hard and heavy instrumentals, and loud screaming. She always complains that "there's no possible way I can know what they're saying", but on the contrary, I know exactly what they're saying and that's why I like them.


If music isn't considered "real" what is it then?

Erm, I can't really pose an answer to this question, as my answer to Question 1 states that I consider any song containing an ongoing beat or rhythm as music.

Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?

I do listen to some. When I'm driving, mostly, because I don't have an iPOD jack, and I don't have any CDs I enjoy driving to, considering all my music is in MP3 format. So that results in listening to the radio. And, being a 90's child, I can't justify sitting here and flat-out saying, "pop music is terrible", because some of it isn't. Granted, most of it is, but I still love all the 90's pop, and I'm even guilty of bee-bopping to Lady Gaga. Pop music puts me in a good mood, and it's really fun to drive to and sing along with when I'm with my friends.


Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be "real music?"

The only reason I can think of is because it generally doesn't require any knowledge of the use of instruments. Alot of pop music is generated by computers and whatnot. Also because 9 times out of 10 the artist in question doesn't write his/her own material; they just sing what was given to them to the beat that's been written for them. However, I disagree with those who claim pop music isn't "real music". If you can sing along to it, hum it, or whatever, then clearly it is music.


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Old September 6th, 2009, 3:33 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

I'd say most (c)rap isn't "real music" Like rarely does it have any sort of message or is something you can relate to. No merit essentially.

Typically just a bunch of unintelligible vulgar talking, at a rapid pace that's often hard to discern But strangely I kinda like TECH N9NE

Oh, and some Eminem is ok. But really I hardly listen to the genre and I can't say I have a single rap song on my iPod, not my cup of tea

As for what I do listen to and/or what I consider "real music"...well pretty much everything else Country, Rock, Pop, etc

Quote:
3. Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?
I used to, back in 90's I'm not really sure what would be considered "pop" nowdays. Like what artists? I don't really listen to those stations on the radio anymore. I guess you could call some of Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, etc "pop" music, even though they are country artists. A lot of country music has more of a pop/rock influence nowdays actually...which I really enjoy but some older folks say isn't "true" country.

Quote:
4. Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be "real music?"
I don't know. Perhaps the heavy use of like synthesizers and such. And also that most "pop" artists seem to be like teeny bopper singers.


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Old September 6th, 2009, 11:29 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

1. What is real music in your opinion?

All music is real music. Anything that sounds pleasing to anybody's ears. Just because it doesn't appeal to me, or even to a whole bunch of people, or even to most people, doesn't mean it's not music. That's why the term 'music to my ears'

2. If music isn't considered "real" what is it then?

See above. All music is real music.

3. Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?

I'm not even sure how pop music is classified. Where do you draw the line between country, country pop and pop?
I don't listen to most of the music that's produced these days - Lady Gaga, Akon, Beyonce - I've never liked Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus and the ilk, no Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis etc. etc. I don't know how far apart you could put Taylor Swift or Shania Twain from all of them in terms of genre, but I like some songs of theirs. I adore Abba, and I used to like the various boybands and even the Spice Girls to an extent, yet I'm pretty sure they're all classified as pop.
I even like a few odd songs by the same or similar artistes (like say The Way I Are or Am I Dreaming)
So I find it difficult to say whether I listen to pop music or not, but I will say that I prefer rock in all its sub-forms to pop. I would take a Muse over a Lady Gaga anyday

4. Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be 'real music?'

Well maybe because it doesn't have the same amount of effort put into it? I don't really know. I would call it music


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Old September 6th, 2009, 8:42 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

I don't think there's such thing as "real" music or "fake" music. Music is still music. You may not like something, but that doesn't stop it from being music, IMO.

Usually it's a huge generalization, anyway. A lot of people may criticize pop, but what about Michael Jackson? He's one of the greatest singers of all time, but does the fact that he sings pop make his songs not "real"?

Anyway, if one considers something not to be real, then a person could think the opposite. There's nothing that I've seen that implies certain songs or a genre are not "real." It's all up for interpretation.

For me, I make the difference between good music and bad music. If I don't like the song, it's music, but just bad music.


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Old September 6th, 2009, 10:23 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

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Usually it's a huge generalization, anyway. A lot of people may criticize pop, but what about Michael Jackson? He's one of the greatest singers of all time, but does the fact that he sings pop make his songs not "real"?
I don't agree at all. I have no idea why he was so popular. He was quite a terrible singer, IMO. I don't have a single one of his songs on my iPod. Not to mention he was a gay child molester...despite the little act he put on having a couple wives and kids supposedly. And I'm sick of all the talk about him since his death. I don't understand why people idolize and glorifiy him. Never have liked him and never will.

My taste in music has fluctuated over the years though. Growing up as a kid in the 90's like most I listened to mainly pop and alternative rock. I even liked Britney Spears and some "boy bands" And my favorite rock bands back then were Smashmouth and Matchbox 20.

When I was in middle school and high school there was a bit of a "nostalgia" fad and I started liking classic rock...my dad's music. Actually not so much a fad, it's been a lasting trend I've noticed. Most the younger generations listen to their parents music. It's awesome music. Some favs are Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Boston, John Mellencamp, Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, AC/DC, Def Leppard, etc

Late high school and start of college I started transitioning to country music. Growing up my parents used to listen to country all the time and I got so sick of it...plus it was more the "twangy" stuff back then. But almost all my friends had "converted" to country so once again I couldn't really escape it. Although this time it grew on me and it now had more of a rock/pop influence to it's sound. And now I'm a huge country music fan...it's about all I listen to on the radio anymore and I'd say close to 50% of my iPod is consists of country, with the other 50% made up of like 25% classic rock and 25% pop/alternative.


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Old September 6th, 2009, 10:40 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

Quote:
1. What is real music in your opinion?
Anything. Everything.

Quote:
3. Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?
Yes, I listen to all sorts of music.

Quote:
4. Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be "real music?'
Because they think it makes them sound more high-brow and intelligent.

It, in fact, does not.


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Old September 6th, 2009, 11:53 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

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I don't agree at all. I have no idea why he was so popular. He was quite a terrible singer, IMO.
Well, to me, he is considered a great singer because of his vocal range. That's not too common and distinguishes him from most artists.

Regardless, I wasn't arguing that Michael Jackson is a great singer. I was just pointing out that in every genre there is at least one talented person so generalizing that one genre is not real is ridiculous.


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Old September 6th, 2009, 11:58 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

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Originally Posted by gipro2003 View Post
1. What is real music in your opinion?
2. If music isn't considered "real" what is it then?
3. Do you listen to pop music? Why or why not?
4. Why do you think many people do not consider pop music to be "real music?'
1. I'd say real music is anything from the heart and created for the sake of music or for the fans or for yourself or whatever isn't done for money.

2. Well, a lot of artists out there don't write their own music, have no real idea of what they're actually singing, can't actually sing without computers that change their voices and are only hired mostly because of their looks.

3. I usually don't, but not really whether or not it's bad or whatever, but it literally gives me bad headaches due to things like the type of voices typically hired, the computerization, and especially the beat.

4. Because a lot of pop artists have no real talent, don't write their own music, or even play other instruments and strive on looks

I do wonder why rap isn't mentioned here . Well, I want to say that rap isn't real but a few days ago i actually listened to rap that actually seemed to be "from the heart" and not random swearing and perverted meaningless lyrics.


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Old September 7th, 2009, 12:22 am
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post

2. Well, a lot of artists out there don't write their own music, have no real idea of what they're actually singing, can't actually sing without computers that change their voices and are only hired mostly because of their looks.
Yep, Taylor Swift (though I do like her) would be a prime example. She sounds great on album and radio when they've doctored her voice in the recording studio...but she sounds awful live. She can't truly sing. I presume she was mainly hired cause she's a cute blonde. At least she writes her own songs though In reality, very few artists sound as good live as they do in studio. But there are a select few who do, which is the mark of a truly great singer, IMO. Examples of such singers would be Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride...no doctoring needed.

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post

I do wonder why rap isn't mentioned here . Well, I want to say that rap isn't real but a few days ago i actually listened to rap that actually seemed to be "from the heart" and not random swearing and perverted meaningless lyrics.
Yeah, I'm puzzled why rap isn't mentioned in the original post either.

It has a lot less merit than pop, IMO. I agree though...occasionally there is a song or two "from the heart", but not too often


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Last edited by lcbaseball22; September 7th, 2009 at 12:26 am.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 11:04 pm
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Re: What Do You Consider "Real Music?"

Well, I guess real music is when there using real instruments and the lead singer can actually sing without lip-synching. I listen to pop music cause its got a fun beat and its great to dance to. To me its alot like light listening, the lyrics aren't about anything too bad (usually anyway). But I know that its not considered "real music" though, but old pop was pretty good.


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