Art Music is Superior to Folk or Popular Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Art music is a form of music that is typically considered to be more sophisticated or complex than folk or popular music. It is often created by professional musicians who have studied music theory and composition.


It is commonly thought that art music is superior to folk or popular music. While there are many different definitions of art music, it is generally considered to be classical music, or any music that has been composed by trained musicians. On the other hand, folk music is typically made by untrained musicians, and popular music is usually created by professional songwriters and performers. So, why is art music thought to be better than the other two genres? Let’s take a closer look.

Theoretical Framework

The musical traditions of the West can be divided into two main categories: art music and folk or popular music. Art music is that which is written by composers for performance by professional musicians in concert halls or operas, or for use in the church. It is usually notated and therefore tends to be more complex and formal than folk or popular music. Folk or popular music is the music of the people, usually passed down orally, and often involving simple tunes and lyrics. It is often less complex than art music, and is typically not notated.

There are many arguments for why art music is superior to folk or popular music. One is that art music is more complex, and therefore more intellectually stimulating. It requires a higher level of understanding to appreciate fully, and so develops the mind more than folk or popular music. Another argument is that art music has greater emotional depth; it can express a wider range of emotions than folk or popular music, which tends to be more simplistic in both its form and its expression. Finally, art music tends to be more timeless than folk or popular music; while folk and popular styles may go in and out of fashion, art music generally retains its appeal over longer periods of time.


Studies show that people who listen to Art music tend to have higher IQs than those who don’t. Art music is also shown to improve memory, critical thinking, and focus. In one study, children who were exposed to Art music had increased reading comprehension scores.


A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that listening to art music may have benefits for mental health. The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California, found that people who listened to classical, jazz, and other forms of art music had lower levels of stress and anxiety than those who listened to folk or popular music.

The findings of this study add to a growing body of evidence indicating that art music has beneficial effects on mental health. For example, a recent study published in The Lancet found that people who listen to classical music have lower levels of stress and anxiety than those who do not listen to any music at all. Another study, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that people who listen to classical music are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than those who do not listen to any music.

These findings suggest that art music has significant benefits for mental health. If you are struggling with stress or anxiety, consider adding some art music to your life. It may help you feel better.


In conclusion, art music is certainly superior to folk or popular music. It is more expressive, more emotional, and more powerful. It speaks to the soul in a way that other music simply cannot. It is the music of the ages, and will continue to be so for many years to come.

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