Other types of music such as jazz, blues, soul, and country are often performed in nightclubs, theatres, and bars, where the audience may be able to drink, dance, and express themselves by cheering. Until the later 20th century, the division between “high” and “low” musical forms was widely accepted as a valid distinction that separated out better quality, more advanced “art music” from the popular styles of music heard in bars and dance halls.
There can be a strong resistance from academic music experts and popular culture when composers introduce styles of music which break with convention. Late-period Beethoven string quartets, Stravinsky ballet scores, serialism, bebop-era jazz, hip hop, punk rock, and electronica have all been considered non-music by some critics when they were first introduced.
Rather, they argued that this distinction was based largely on the socioeconomic standing or social class of the performers or audience of the different types of music. Even though the performers, audience, or venue where non-“art” music is performed may have a lower socioeconomic status, the music that is performed, such as blues, rap, funk, punk, or ska may be sophisticated and very complex.
Such themes are examined in the sociology of music. The sociological study of music, sometimes called sociomusicology, is often pursued in departments of sociology, media studies, or music, and is closely related to the field of ethnomusicology.
Music is experienced by individuals in a range of social settings ranging from being alone to attending a large concert. “High culture” types of music typically include Western art music such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and modern-era symphonies, concertos, and solo works, and are typically heard in formal concerts in concert halls and churches, with the audience sitting quietly in seats.
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