Exactly how popular was John Dowland's music in his day? He may have been played and appreciated by an elite amongst middle and upper class people (and I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with the word 'elite'), at a time when it was usual for such people to be able to read, sing and play instruments, but would you have expected to hear the majority of the population whistling Flow my tears? In the C20 and C21, we choose to call Dowland's songs art, again, because of the quality of the music, much as we call Schumann Lieder art. After all, Im wunderschoenen Monat Mai is hardly a complicated song. The fact that the two songs mentioned are simple neither invalidates nor validates them as artworks.
Poor example, surely. There are self-evidently great art-songs by Lennon and McCartney of which I would have thought Walrus was not one. (Beckett's enthusiasm, whilst touching, is hardly evidence of quality in itself. And could it have been he was taken with the words, anyway?) For example, Eleanor Rigby, Here, there and everywhere and And your bird can sing, to name just three form Revolver alone. And I must make a case for Brian Wilson (God only knows for a start).I want to emphasize that any music in any genre can transcend its ostensibly utilitarian context, such as pop music.
Today, The Beatles song "I Am the Walrus" can be considered to be art, and in fact was admired by Samuel Beckett, who wanted to meet Lennon.
I'm not really disagreeing with you, I just think some pop songs always were art works, they didn't transcend anything, they always were. The fact they fitted some people's agendas of making money was a useful byproduct.In this instance, a "pop" song has transcended its original function of profit (selling records) and entertainment (music for teenagers?) to be considered as "fine art" by many.
Not with Ligeti’s prior permission and against his express wishes. Far from being isolated, the abuse of art music in the media is prevalent and wideranging and is actually encouraged by the publishers.There are isolated instances of "art" music becoming "functional" when placed in a different context. Ligeti's music was used by Stanley Kubrick in "2001," for example.