Personally, I think the masses like good music
Problem with this hypothesis is that no one can really authoritatively define what "good" music is. One man's rubbish is another man's gold. If you say, the masses generally like the music I consider to be good, then you've got a slightly more meaningful statement. But someone else may have a much stricter definition of what qualifies as good in music, in which case it might be a stretch to assume the masses would like it.
I agree that there should be no concern whether music is "popular" or not. You either like it or you don't, and all of us have different tastes in music. There's any number of hipster bands and acts that I could (or actually could not, now that I think of it) name that feel painful for me to listen to, and basically strike me as just as musically derivative as some of the simple pop acts, except with a side of preening, smug pretension. But I have good friends that think they are the bee's knees, the wasp's nipples, so to speak. So slagging them off is pointless...I don't have better taste than my friends, just different taste. There will always be pop music. There are enough people that like it and listen to it, that I don't feel I need to! Also, remember that when we reminisce about music of earlier years we're remembering only the best stuff that endured for decades. All the one-hit wonders and pop bilge from the 60s and 70s that we've forgotten is a better comparison to the pop of today. Still, I'll be the first to concede my favorite decade of rock music was from say about '66-'76. A guitarist golden age, that.
This is somewhat random, but if you want to confuse the hell out of your brain:http://oriental-traditional-music.blogspot.com/2011/10/musik-aus-bali-double-lp-emi-electrola.html
Side three has a 25min kecak performance, male chorus chanting/singing a drama involving strange monkey like vocalizations. First LP has gamelan stuff. This stuff is beyond me to actually enjoy, but it is very interesting and/or freaky.