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Pop music

Surf music | Synth pop | Baroque pop | Bubblegum pop | Pop punk | Pop rock | Pop-rap | Traditional pop music | Boy band

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Pop music
Stylistic origins: A variety of influences, especially Rock and Roll and Rhythm and Blues
Cultural origins: 1950s United States
Typical instruments: Electric guitar, Bass guitar, Drums, Keyboard, Synthesizers
Mainstream popularity: Continuous from 1960s
Bubblegum pop - Traditional pop music
Fusion genres
Pop punk - Pop rap - Power pop
Regional scenes
Asia: Cantopop, Mandarin pop, Indian pop, J-pop, K-pop, String (Thai pop) - Europe: Europop, Britpop, Nederpop - Americas: United States, Música Popular Brasileira
Other topics
Boy band - Girl group

Pop music is an important genre of popular music distinguished from classical or art music and from folk music [1]. The term indicates specific stylistic traits but the genre also includes artists working in many styles (rock, hip hop, rhythm and blues (R&B), and country), and it is reasonable to say that "pop music" is a flexible category. It may also be referred to as soft rock or pop/rock.


Characteristics as a subgenre

Pop music is often defined as music produced commercially, for profit, or "as a matter of enterprise not art" though it may more usefully be defined by market, ideology, production, and aesthetics. Pop "is designed to appeal to everyone" and "doesn't come from any particular place or mark off any particular taste." It is "not driven by any significant ambition except profit and commercial reward...and, in musical terms, it is essentially conservative." It is "provided from on high (by record companies, radio programmers and concert promoters) rather than being made from below...Pop is not a do-it-yourself music but is professionally produced and packaged." Frith 2001, p.95-96)

While Pop and Rock music each appeal to mass culture, often aim for (and achieve) commercial success, feature catchy tunes and melodies, and emphasize rhythm, Rock music has a much more direct connection to the blues and folk from which it originated, while Pop can be thought of as the current incarnation of Popular music, which has existed for centuries.

History of pop music

1930s and 1940s

Styles influencing the later development of pop include the Blues (Chicago), and Country (Tennessee).


Early Pop music artists include Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, and Peggy Lee.


Michael Jackson on his 27x Platinum (diamond) certified Thriller album. Michael Jackson on his 27x Platinum (diamond) certified Thriller album.

Pop explodes with The Beatles, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Burt Bacharach, Aretha Franklin, Isley Brothers, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds.


A proliferation of new sounds from the disco of the BeeGees, the piano sounds of Billy Joel and Elton John, the country of the Eagles, the rock-influenced pop of artists like Rod Stewart, Steely Dan, and Fleetwood Mac.


One of the biggest highlights for pop music in the 1980's was Michael Jackson's second solo album, Thriller, which went on to become the best-selling album of all time. Thriller earned Mr. Jackson the nickname "King Of Pop". Other artists included Madonna, Duran Duran, the Police, Abba, Phil Collins, and Culture Club.


Britney Spears on the cover of her 14x platinum debut album ...Baby One More Time Britney Spears on the cover of her 14x platinum debut album ...Baby One More Time

Resurgence of boy band and girl band trends. From the UK came the likes of Take That, Blue, the Spice Girls, a highly successful formula. Irish boy bands of the time include Boyzone and Westlife. The US had New Kids On The Block followed by the Backstreet Boys, Hanson and then 'N Sync and Britney Spears.

Sound and themes

Pop music, in whatever musical influence form that it derives from, may be produced by a more basic songwriting approach and arrangement. The emphasis is often on a simpler melody, which makes the songs more memorable, and may use stripped-down rhythms. The combination of the melody and the rhythm allows for harmony to be a driving force of the song, which can make it more pleasing to the listener's ear. Themes range from personal songs, to vivacious party jams. However, the most common theme deals with the wide range of emotions which stems from physical or emotional love.

Music videos and live performances are often used for exposure in the media, and artists may have extravagant stage shows and use choreographed dancing. Many pop tunes are used in both Dance clubs and Sport clubs

Effects beyond music

The friendliness and the appeal of pop music makes the subgenre prized by record companies, radio stations, and music television stations thanks to sales and ratings. The relative ease of the draw generates billions and billions of dollars into the entertainment industry. The wide canvas of artists benefit from sales, airplay, shows, and endorsements.

See also

External links


  1. ^ *Frith, Simon (2001). The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock, p.94. ISBN 0521556600.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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