Find one group or artist that subleases Adorno’s ideas of Standardisation (this could be in terms of musical content, lyrics etc)

  • Standardisation in popular music is the idea the popular music is formulated and calculated to appeal to masses, incorporating things like similar lyrics themes, song structures, arrangements and more as opposed to things being created for the sake of art. This sells music easily as these formulas are tried and tested and require little effort for the listener to discover, communicate and enjoy.
  • One direction are a band who have demonstrated this idea. With similar themes to previous boy bands (Westlife, Boyzone, N-Sync) that have came before them, One Direction encompass the same ideals in terms of aesthetics however they are now updates to meet a 21st century audience.

Suggest one reason (with evidence) why standardisation does not apply t0 all popular music

  • Some popular music incorporates non standard concepts, such as Cough Cough by Everything Everything not being in a standard 4/4 but in 3/4. Songs like Every Breath You Take by The Police use non conventional these that aren’t relatable a mass of listeners with the subject of stalking someone. Some music simply follows standards set by masses of pop music without the purpose of it being to create a clone in order to sell more music, but simply it bing how the artist’ expressions came into being.

Find one group or artist that symbolises Adorno’s ideas of pseudo-individulisation 

  • Pseudo-individulisation is the concept that artists use various types of styling and branding in order to create the appearance of being individual or different, despite providing a similar or the same generic product to various other artists.
  • An example of this is an artist like Lady Gaga, who’s first album was mostly generic pop music however she was often seen sporting unusual outfits and stage shows, combined with activism for bullying to give listeners the idea of belonging to a group of followers, which was emphasised by the naming of the fans as ‘Little Monsters’ to add to the idea of belonging to a unique group.

Suggest one reason why pseudo-individualisation may not apply to all popular music

  • Some artists choose to conform to expected ideals of branding for their products, such as boy bands like The Vamps conform to the expected clean-cut, aesthetically pleasing image. Other artists, whilst they would come under the brackets of popular music are still genuine creatives who are using their image and music as a means of expression, so rather than playing up their brand name they genuinely wish to dress or style themselves in a certain way as pare of their art. An example of this is someone like David Bowie, who assumed various identities within songwriting and chose to dress up these characters when performing pieces.


Accessed Wednesday 19th October 2016,

Accessed Wednesday 19th October 2016

Accessed Wednesday 19th October 2016,

Accessed Wednesday 19th October 2016,

A Journey Through the 12 Ages of David Bowie