We all belong to this global city called the world. Change and progress are taking place in all domains and music is one of those. The music entertainment industry is playing a major role in this revolution. The youth of today should be exposed to all genres of music instead of being forced to listen to only one genre. We are desperately in need of a democratic culture whereby each and every individual has freedom of opinion. Pop music is one of those genres that has positively affected the youth of today in terms of entertainment, bonding of young people, emergence of a new culture and progress through the use of technology.
Defenders of classical songs like Nassar say that classical singers used to stir the emotions of their listeners. He adds that: “the classical song is born out of the people’s feelings, heart and mind” (Linthicum 276), whereas the new pop song is, according to him, a commercial one and is born out of the demands of the public and is devoid of emotion and beauty (Linthicum 276). Marcel Khalifeh too criticizes this new pop music. He states that Arab satellite video clips are responsible for the decadence of pop music. According to him, women singers are using their bodies with a sexual suggestiveness that is low and vulgar. Moreover Khalifeh sees that video clips cause schizophrenia among viewers who are showered with music videos that feature beautiful women with sexy outfits and expensive cars whereas they (the viewers) actually live in a society of deprivation and frustration (Linthicum 278) . In my opinion, pop music videos are beneficial for the young generation. It allows the youth of today to day dream that they are in a fantasy world of their own. Video clips offer them an escape to a wonder world. They reduce stress, relieve boredom and give space for relaxation. As for being decadent and low because they use body language, didn’t belly dancers in old times wear a costume made out of a bra and a skirt? Nadia Jammal was known for her belly dancing barefoot and half naked and she did belong to this “high culture” era that critics are mourning. Besides, times have changed; for a long time music belonged to the elite. Oum Koulsoum, for example is definitely better than Haifa Wehbe who describes herself as an entertainer rather than a singer ( Usher 1), but wasn’t Beethoven better than Oum Kolsoum? There is a saying: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, so art is relative. Each individual should be free to listen to any kind of music that he wants and then decide if he likes it or not. Moreover, some video clips are good and others are bad and one should not generalize a whole genre of music by calling it a low genre. Stereotyping blurs our vision. Jack Shaheen states that even Micheal Debakey , the well known heart surgeon, was a victim of stereotyping because he was an Arab and Arabs used to be America’s whipping boys(Shaheen 315). Similarly a good looking pop singer is not necessarily a bad one just because critics have generalized pop music as low. He or she might be talented and therefore labeling pop singers can hinder a star.
Critics of this new pop music hold the media responsible for the decadence of traditional pop because it commercialized art. We are living in a society of consumption and this is apparent in all domains ranging from food, clothing to entertainment. Music dominates the entertainment industry. The number of music channels broadcasting around the world is ever increasing. This capitalist industry is in constant search of singers who have good looks for the sake of making money. The physical appearance of the singer hinders the content and lyrics of the song and highlights the looks of the artist. But this does not mean that as Nassar said the media is “responsible for removing choices from the masses” (Linthicum 276); people are free to decide what to watch and the number of sold pop music CDs demonstrates that millions of listeners like this