Contemporary Commercial Music

The term Contemporary Commercial Music was created in 2000 to stop the use of the term “non-classical”. It was created to draw all the CCM styles together as a genre equal to but different from classical styles.

To clarify: Classical music includes opera, operetta, art song (recital), chamber music, oratorio, early music, and orchestral music solos.

CCM styles include: music theater, jazz, rock, pop, gospel, R&B, country, folk, rap and alternative (and maybe other styles).

It isn’t a perfect term and some people don’t like it. OK. But there was nothing better and it was time for something.

The differentiation was necessary because the two genres come from different roots, they have different requirements, they have different musical parameters, they are sung in different vocal qualities and they have different professional criteria.

The term has been VERY effective, worldwide, in getting people to think of CCM styles in this specific way. The term has allowed researchers to see these styles as being equal to classical styles for scientific study. It has allowed vocal pedagogues to study CCM styles to consider the differences in comparison to classical styles. It has allowed the CCM styles to garner the respect they deserve, ending the “second-class” status that has plagued them since their inception in the world of academia. It has done a great deal of good and caused no problems or issues whatsoever.

NEVERTHELESS, we now have people coming up with NEW terms to describe these styles. Someone in Australia is calling them “Popular Commercial Music” and someone in looking to create a degree in Popular Music Studies. My question is WHY? If I could I would put the word in 50 point bold in red. WHY? What good does this do? How does it serve the betterment of the profession? What would you want to do that except to say that your term is better? Is it? Really, can’t we agree to agree and just get on with why the term was created in the first place?

People are afraid that if they use the term Contemporary Commercial Music that they are somehow endorsing me and my work. Heaven forbid! The term does not belong to me, to my work or to any aspect of my work. The term belongs to the musical marketplace and to the world. It is there to serve singers, teachers, researchers and educators. It is not “LoVetri’s Contemporary Commercial Music”. Really, people, don’t you care more about the music and the fact that it is no longer a “non” something than who made up the term?

In the not so distant past when you went to an office you had to fill out forms which made you choose from the following two categories: white and non-white. Nice. Good luck for you if you were not in the preferred ethnic group. We also had classical and non-classical styles of music. It implied there was “the real music” (classical) and the other stuff that was NOTHING. NON. NOT. Guess what? Those of us who dealt with “non-classical” music didn’t exactly like that term. Now it is finally going away yet, there are people who are afraid to use it less they give it further credibility– because they don’t want to give me credibility. What nonsense!!!!!!

If you are someone who doesn’t want to use the term Contemporary Commercial Music, then don’t. But understand that not using the term keeps you stuck in the 19th century, it continues the mentality that classical music is still the real deal and it holds us all back from looking at the deeper issues that allow disrespect for our own American styles in the halls of academia to continue. I am not seeking your endorsement or approval. CCM and Jeanie LoVetri are separate and distinct entities and have always been so.

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