From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"As old as the tension between art music and vulgar music is, it became radical only in high capitalism. In earlier epochs, art music was able to regenerate its material from time to time and enlarge its sphere by recourse to vulgar music. This is seen in medieval polyphony, which drew upon folk songs for its cantus firmi, and also in Mozart, when he combined peep-show cosmology with opera seria and Singspiel."--"On the Social Situation of Music" (1932) by Theodor Adorno
Vernacular music is ordinary, everyday music such as popular and folk music. It is defined partly in terms of its accessibility, standing in contrast to art music. Vernacular music may overlap with non-vernacular, particular in the context of musical commerce, and is often informed by the developments of non-vernacular traditions.
The sales of phonograph records played a dominant role in spreading a cultural taste for popular and vernacular music styles.