Finding Emo: A Comprehensive explanation and look at the evolution and existence of Emo as a music genre as well as cultural influence.

Essay by craterUniversity, Bachelor's December 2003

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Sean Power

Modern music is continuously undergoing change, a viscous conglomeration of the past with what musicians hope will become the future. Never has music been so influential and present in the economy, movies, television, and everyday life as it is today. To focus on perhaps a less general aspect of music than its development and presence in the world, one can break down music into genres, target groups, geographical popularity, and so on. One such genre is a new type of music which has been labeled as Emo, which can be analyzed particularly easily because it is consistent in its effect on fans and the influence it has on a surprisingly limited age group. Unlike some other music styles ever popular with adolescents, it is more than just a music genre; it has spawned a very particular look, determining hairstyles, fashion, even tattoo placement and content; the lyrical content similarly is very particular and rarely strays from one topic; hardly minor variations exist in the performance and arrangement of songs by different bands.

In short, Emo is both a lifestyle and slow-changing, narrowly scoped stylistic impediment.

Because of its relatively young age as a music genre, reputable information such as literature or a universally accepted definition of Emo are difficult to find, as they are subjective to the author's opinion on the matter, or at the very least a reflection of the general consensus of those who declare themselves to be Emo. One website devoted to explaining this natural phenomenon states: "Emo is a broad title that covers a lot of different styles of emotionally-charged punk rock" (Radin). Others claim that Emo stands for emotional, an understandable but impossible conclusion because all music is emotional on some level. While the exact meaning and origin of the word is impossible...