According to Adorno Theodor (1988) social and political philosophy refers to a way of liberating human beings and freeing them from the circumstances that enslave them. This can be achieved through music ideologies and principles that hinder human freedom. Social transformation is regarded as traditional or positivistic rather than the critical theory. This is because it is meant to interpret and give an understanding to the human text through the use of symbolic expression. Socially music is referred to as food for the soul due to its normative dimension.

Pop music is referred to as popular music because it is appealed to have a large segment of the population. It is easy and singable have melodies and its structure have a chorus that is repeated throughout the song. By the use of these songs, there has been a transition of the perception of music in people mind (Rushkoff, 2014).  In this category of music, the majority of the listeners are the youths who control the popular music market. This is done by the identification and the transformation of own values that gives them own values. Merchants of cool are the creators and the sellers of this music (Rushkoff, 2014). The teenagers form the hottest consumer demographic in the American market. The world around pop music is sophisticated and there is a midriff of character that is highly sexualized in the feminine side and highly mook in the masculine side with boorish behavior though lucrative as well.

Even with its large following there is some resistance experienced. The music is full of profanity, misogyny, and violence that literally do exist throughout the markets. The merchant of cool feels like the culture of pop music is being stoked into infatuation and the glorification of violence and sex together with attitude and anti-social behaviors. There is some looming danger in this economy that is driven by the teens. There are conflicting marketing messages as kids are being frustrated rather than empowering them (Rushkoff, 2014).

The concepts of standardization and identification according to Adorno, focuses particularly in the field of musicology, philosophy and sociology to the modern society to provide critique. He tackled the concept of aesthetics that describes the observation, interpretation and experience of the culture that is both aural and visual. This gives an understanding and the popular music concept and its nature. The value of popular music in the culture and the society diminishes due to the increasingly standardized and heteronomous nature in the art form. The concept of standardization is derived from the idea of post-industrial of Fordism. Adorno's concept still maintains high validity and relevance in the production of current popular music (Theodor, 1988).

Pseudo-individualization concept is observed in the popular music production. This is an apparent way in which a song becomes popular without listening to the music. By using hypodermic syringe model the listeners consumes the music unknowingly and unwillingly. To keep listeners interested in the music due to its true nature of the standardized form the artist has to reinforce appealing image for the identification of music (Theodor, 1988). Post-modern aesthetic portrays the knowledge of historical convection through artistic innovation that brings a vocal technique in the swing jazz era. Popular music has affected post-modern nature of consciousness hence; the industry allows standardization in order to maintain an illusion of originality and innovation to enhance acceptance of the behavior and thoughts of the listeners (Theodor, 1988).



Rushkoff, D., (2014) the merchant of cool; Retrieved from;

Theodor, A. (1988). “Popular Music” from Introduction to the Sociology of Music, New York:   Continuum Press.

602 Words  2 Pages

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