Classical music today often has the image of music for the elite, but the impression couldn’t be farther from the truth. Classical singing was initially nothing more than light music. At the time of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, people sang what they had heard in the opera in the streets or whistled it at home. The singers use a technique developed in Europe that is unique to this art form. With the advent of operas in the 17th century, classical music became mainstream. The preferred language was and still is Italian, but in the meantime German, Russian, French, and English have also found their way into the opera scene.
Popular music, on the other hand, encompasses numerous genres. These ranges from pop to rock, blues to soul, metal, rap, folk, and musicals. The Beatles undoubtedly had a fair share of shaping the style of popular music. The British band developed numerous stylistic devices that have become standard in pop music today. Pop is the informal way of making music as people created many of songs of the genre out of everyday life; and everyone sang as best they could. A pop song often tells more in three minutes than an opera in two hours.
Pop Music Needs Individuality
The commercialization of this kind of music started as early as the 1920s. The casual way of singing quickly made pop music famous and singing itself covers a wide variety of styles. These can range from professionally trained to natural singers and neither has significant impact on the success not failure of the singer.
Depending on the genre, training may or may not be helpful. In folk, an untrained voice is an advantage because the audience loves the hoarseness of the voice. The same logic also applies to rock music. In soul, R&B as well as jazz, however, the singer should be professionally trained. Therefore, the requirements are quite different, while in classical music, not only talent but also extensive voice ranges count.
You can find the differences between classical and pop in the role the singers play as well. An opera singer is only a mediator of the music while a pop singer, on the other hand, is a communicator. The pop singer is irreplaceable because their art is directly related to their life. However, it’s completely different in classical music. Here the musical piece and technique is in the foreground, while the personality of the performer is not as important. So, you could say that pop music is more artist-centered.
You can also see that in the strategy of a live concert. Pop musicians aim to fill a concert hall with an audience with the help of electronic tools. Classical singers, on the other hand, aim to fill the room with sound. They train their voice to give all listeners the same experience at the same volume. In the course of training, their voice loses its peculiarities and becomes more rounded. Therefore, most of the time, they can sing pretty evenly throughout their career.