Feature Music

The musical genre divide

By Rachel Bacchus

With how exhausting this past year has been, and with 2021 quickly approaching, it feels as though it may be nice to look into a more light hearted topic. With that, the thought of music comes to mind, which brings to question: what has the general public’s favorite genre of music been this year? Why is that genre their favorite?

Favorite GenreAmt. Students

  To see what genre the public liked best, 29 people were surveyed on what their favorite style of music was. The most prevalent answers were Alt-rock and Rock, with 7 people answering alternative and 6 people answering rock. The rest of the answers were more spread out across the board, with 3 people answering with Lofi, 3 answering with EDM, 3 answering with Hip-hop/rap, 1 answering with J-pop, 1 answering with Punk Rock, and 1 answering with Contemporary. With such a big wide margin between Alt-Rock and nearly every other category, it leaves one to wonder why Alt-Rock is so well liked among this group? “Alternative genres like alt rock have this very constant feeling of motion and energy to them” said Jen Impey, a student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.

  In contrast to these survey results, the vast majority of web-sources, such as MTV, The Conversation, and Hyperbeast, name Hip-hop is the most popular music genre of 2020. “Hip hop is often a potent voice to these lived experiences”, said The Conversation. “One of its original, primary strengths was that it allowed young, creative Black and Latino youth to create art that reflected the reality of their lives, of the neighborhoods around them, and of the wider social circumstances in which they found themselves”. Judging from that, it would seem that the messages of most Hip-hop songs are what draw people to them. But what makes these surveyors so different?

  With the question of what’s the most popular music genre of this year out of the way, the question of why the surveyors preferred Alt-Rock over Hip-hop. A good way to find this out may be to see what some of the surveyors favorite songs of this year were. “I’d have to say ‘What They’ll Say About Us’ by FINNEAS.”, said Harper Reed, a Sophomore at Ponte Vedra High School. “It’s a song that talks about what’s gone on this year, about protests, about Covid-19, and although it seems very ballad like (I think a ballad is a great representation of this year) it has optimism to it. It acknowledges the hardships and troubles, but realizes there’s always hope”. Similarly to Harper, most of the people who answered the survey said they based their decision on what their favorite song of 2020 was off of the events of this year. “‘sweet hibiscus tea’, by the artist Penelope Scott, from her album The Junkyard 2. It addresses a lot about depression, anxiety, and my overall feeling about the current state of the world”, said Finley Pate, a Junior at PVHS.

  Based on the results, it would seem clear that the music that the general public listens to is a result of the current state of the world. By writing songs that people can easily relate to, Musicians create pieces that become more appealing to the average listener. With the way this year has been, having music and other activities help people cope with some of the issues that have arisen this in the last eleven months.


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