In this episode of Pop the Music Bubble, we are going to create a working definition for American traditional music, and look at its relationship to African Americans. Then, we will dig into songs of these enslaved people and how this music has laid a foundation for more music traditions to emerge. We will do this by listening to recordings of slave songs and deciphering their meaning.
On this episode, we will answer a few important questions. First, what exactly does the term "popular" even mean? Then, we'll look at Globalization. How do cultures from one nation impact and affect other nations across the world? We'll consider differences and similarities in how pop culture works in Asian and Western countries, and how economic conditions contribute to its international spreads. How do the music industries differ and connect in a global arena? How does music contribute to nationalistic ideals or convey resistance?
To answer these questions, we'll visit several different places in Asia and hear their music. The first discussion will compare the music industry and government regulations between the West and Asia taking a visit Thailand to learn about the Grammy music company. Next, we'll visit China and take a look at nationalism in music and its relation to global influence. Looking at resistance, we'll visit Singapore's school system. Next, Japan's animation, interaction with the West, and integration into television programs opened doors to spreading one culture to another. Finally, we'll look at Korean popular music in the West as an economic boost for the Asian country.
Recently, Asian culture and popular music have experienced a surge of global attention. Western culture developed a craze for K-pop and Japanese anime. The virtual J-pop star Hatsune Miku, K-pop idol group SHINee, and other Asian artists have toured the United States and gained a large fan base. YouTube and other social media venues now provide Americans with unprecedented access to music from outside their country. This public musicology project seeks to provide an accessible recourse for students and researchers addressing this globalization of Asian popular music. Using a podcast format, the project will communicate aspects and effects of globalization, drawing on music scholarship and sound recording collections discoverable in BGSU’s Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives.
This episode began to contextualize K-Pop in a global culture movement. First, we determined that culture shows through the everyday ways of life as seen in a specific group of people. In oder to contextualize K-Pop thrugh a cultural mindset, we took a short overview of the main neighborhoods of Seoul, South Korea following the rebuilding after the Korean War in 1950-1953. We looked at the different ways these neighborhoods created a unique space for different social groups within the city. Through the lens of the land, we began to see how the "big three" music labels, yG, SM, and JYP Entertainment, developed and jump-started the K-Pop business. From there, we determined the specific aspects of K-Pop that make it so unique such as the sound of the language, the dubstep or hip-hop beat, the pop melodies, and the dance choreography.
After discussing the land and music, we begin to truly examine the culture surrounding the gloabl aspect of the K-Pop genre. We start looking at the culture in Korea including the formation of K-Pop idols, the kinds of idol fans, and the behavior of concert audiences. We will look a furthr still to see some of the issues that have come up in the politics between artists and music corporations such as the slave contracts and discrimination of Chinese artists and restricting HyunA's music video content. Lastly, we will zoom out to see K-Pop as it moves into the U.S. and quickly gains fans as recorded by Billboard successes of Wonder Girls, PSY, and BlackPink.