Occasionally -- okay, very occasionally, but it happens -- people will ask me if there are any resources out there for nonmusicians who want to learn a bit more about the mechanics of music, without getting bogged down in jargon or theory or having to learn notation. Ideally, it would draw examples from familiar pop and rock tunes to explain the basics of how music is constructed.
The best resource I've found for this -- by far -- is the Pandora podcast. If you've been reading this blog for a very long time, you may remember that I blogged about Pandora -- internet radio individually tailored to your specific taste(s) -- a few years back. I don't actually log into Pandora that much anymore, but the podcast is flippin' brilliant. So far, they have devoted episodes to demystifying vocal harmony, guitar effects, meters/time signatures, the various club music subgenres, and hiphop rhyme schemes -- all clearly explained and demonstrated in language anyone who actively listens to music can easily understand, even if you've never picked up an instrument in your life. This is what music education should look like.
New episodes appear about once every two weeks. The best way to get current and past episodes is to subscribe in iTunes.