A simple definition of pop (ular) culture can be ‘prevailing beliefs that can be attributed to exposure to certain objects.’ Mass media is regarded as the biggest influencer of pop culture as it is the platform on which most people view new things. What airs on mass media is what trends and what becomes accepted.
Culture-setting items of the mass media(also encompasses social media in modern times) include music, movies, sporting activities and advertising among others. But which of these facets takes the front position in influencing beliefs?
A case can be made for music as the most dominant pop culture shaper. There are many facts to support this argument.
- Passive engagement of music
Unlike movies or live sports, people do not have to pay extreme attention to music when listening. Songs are available in audio formats that can be listened to even as one goes about other business. A person may, for example, play Spider Solitaire on their device while listening to music in the background. This ensures that music gets more hours of engagement with users than any other kind of entertainment.
- The universality and diversity of music
There is music for everyone. Music genres range from pop to reggae, blues, rap, and rock. This affords listeners a wide range of choice. While there are loads of movie genres and sporting disciplines, none can match the versatility of music.
Despite the diversity of genres, a close look will reveal that music drives a universal agenda at a specific time. Female independence will be sung across RnB, rap and rock genres at the same time.
- Brevity of music
Songs are short (3-5 minutes) in contrast to movies that go on for over an hour. This means that music is able to retain viewers/listeners attention more easily. Music consumers listen to the same song over and over in a short span of time, hence they are continuously bombarded with the idea it fronts.