Pop music

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This article is about a specific music genre. Pop music_sentence_0

For popular music in general, see Popular music. Pop music_sentence_1

For other uses, see Pop music (disambiguation). Pop music_sentence_2

"Pop song" redirects here. Pop music_sentence_3

For other uses, see Pop Song. Pop music_sentence_4

Pop music_table_infobox_0

PopPop music_header_cell_0_0_0
Stylistic originsPop music_header_cell_0_1_0 Pop music_cell_0_1_1
Cultural originsPop music_header_cell_0_2_0 Mid-1950s, United States and United KingdomPop music_cell_0_2_1
Derivative formsPop music_header_cell_0_3_0 Pop music_cell_0_3_1
SubgenresPop music_header_cell_0_4_0
Fusion genresPop music_header_cell_0_5_0
Regional scenesPop music_header_cell_0_6_0
Other topicsPop music_header_cell_0_7_0

Pop is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form during the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom. Pop music_sentence_5

The terms popular music and pop music are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many disparate styles. Pop music_sentence_6

During the 1950s and 1960s, pop encompassed rock and roll and the youth-oriented styles it influenced. Pop music_sentence_7

Rock and pop remained roughly synonymous until the late 1960s, after which pop became associated with music that was more commercial, ephemeral, and accessible. Pop music_sentence_8

Although much of the music that appears on record charts is seen as pop music, the genre is distinguished from chart music. Pop music_sentence_9

Identifying factors usually include repeated choruses and hooks, short to medium-length songs written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), and rhythms or tempos that can be easily danced to. Pop music_sentence_10

Much pop music also borrows elements from other styles such as rock, urban, dance, Latin, and country. Pop music_sentence_11

Definitions and etymology Pop music_section_0

David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop music as "a body of music which is distinguishable from popular, jazz, and folk musics". Pop music_sentence_12

According to Pete Seeger, pop music is "professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music". Pop music_sentence_13

Although pop music is seen as just the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music. Pop music_sentence_14

The music charts contain songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz, rock, and novelty songs. Pop music_sentence_15

As a genre, pop music is seen to exist and develop separately. Pop music_sentence_16

Therefore, the term "pop music" may be used to describe a distinct genre, designed to appeal to all, often characterized as "instant singles-based music aimed at teenagers" in contrast to rock music as "album-based music for adults". Pop music_sentence_17

Pop music continuously evolves along with the term's definition. Pop music_sentence_18

According to music writer Bill Lamb, popular music is defined as "the music since industrialization in the 1800s that is most in line with the tastes and interests of the urban middle class." Pop music_sentence_19

The term "pop song" was first used in 1926, in the sense of a piece of music "having popular appeal". Pop music_sentence_20

Hatch and Millward indicate that many events in the history of recording in the 1920s can be seen as the birth of the modern pop music industry, including in country, blues, and hillbilly music. Pop music_sentence_21

According to the website of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the term "pop music" "originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new youth music styles that it influenced". Pop music_sentence_22

The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that while pop's "earlier meaning meant concerts appealing to a wide audience [...] since the late 1950s, however, pop has had the special meaning of non-classical mus[ic], usually in the form of songs, performed by such artists as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc." Grove Music Online also states that "[...] in the early 1960s, [the term] 'pop music' competed terminologically with beat music [in England], while in the US its coverage overlapped (as it still does) with that of 'rock and roll'". Pop music_sentence_23

From about 1967, the term “pop music” was increasingly used in opposition to the term rock music, a division that gave generic significance to both terms. Pop music_sentence_24

While rock aspired to authenticity and an expansion of the possibilities of popular music, pop was more commercial, ephemeral, and accessible. Pop music_sentence_25

According to British musicologist Simon Frith, pop music is produced "as a matter of enterprise not art", and is "designed to appeal to everyone" but "doesn't come from any particular place or mark off any particular taste". Pop music_sentence_26

Frith adds that it is "not driven by any significant ambition except profit and commercial reward [...] and, in musical terms, it is essentially conservative". Pop music_sentence_27

It is, "provided from on high (by record companies, radio programmers, and concert promoters) rather than being made from below ... Pop music_sentence_28

Pop is not a do-it-yourself music but is professionally produced and packaged". Pop music_sentence_29

Characteristics Pop music_section_1

According to Frith, characteristics of pop music include an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology, and an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities. Pop music_sentence_30

Music scholar Timothy Warner said it typically has an emphasis on recording, production, and technology, rather than live performance; a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments; and aims to encourage dancing or uses dance-oriented rhythms. Pop music_sentence_31

The main medium of pop music is the song, often between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length, generally marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure. Pop music_sentence_32

The structure of many popular songs is that of a verse and a chorus, the chorus serving as the portion of the track that is designed to stick in the ear through simple repetition both musically and lyrically. Pop music_sentence_33

The chorus is often where the music builds towards and is often preceded by "the drop" where the base and drum parts "drop out". Pop music_sentence_34

Common variants include the verse-chorus form and the thirty-two-bar form, with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks, and a chorus that contrasts melodically, rhythmically and harmonically with the verse. Pop music_sentence_35

The beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment. Pop music_sentence_36

The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes – often love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions. Pop music_sentence_37

Harmony and chord progressions in pop music are often "that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded." Pop music_sentence_38

Clichés include the barbershop quartet-style harmony (i.e. ii – V – I) and blues scale-influenced harmony. Pop music_sentence_39

There was a lessening of the influence of traditional views of the circle of fifths between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, including less predominance for the dominant function. Pop music_sentence_40

Development and influence Pop music_section_2

Technology and media Pop music_section_3

In the 1940s, improved microphone design allowed a more intimate singing style and, ten or twenty years later, inexpensive and more durable 45 rpm records for singles "revolutionized the manner in which pop has been disseminated", which helped to move pop music to "a record/radio/film star system". Pop music_sentence_41

Another technological change was the widespread availability of television in the 1950s with televised performances, forcing "pop stars had to have a visual presence". Pop music_sentence_42

In the 1960s, the introduction of inexpensive, portable transistor radios meant that teenagers in the developed world could listen to music outside of the home. Pop music_sentence_43

By the early 1980s, the promotion of pop music had been greatly affected by the rise of music television channels like MTV, which "favoured those artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna who had a strong visual appeal". Pop music_sentence_44

Multi-track recording (from the 1960s) and digital sampling (from the 1980s) have also been utilized as methods for the creation and elaboration of pop music. Pop music_sentence_45

During the mid-1960s, pop music made repeated forays into new sounds, styles, and techniques that inspired public discourse among its listeners. Pop music_sentence_46

The word "progressive" was frequently used, and it was thought that every song and single was to be a "progression" from the last. Pop music_sentence_47

Music critic Simon Reynolds writes that beginning with 1967, a divide would exist between "progressive" pop and "mass/chart" pop, a separation which was "also, broadly, one between boys and girls, middle-class and working-class." Pop music_sentence_48

The latter half of the 20th-century included a large-scale trend in American culture in which the boundaries between art and pop music were increasingly blurred. Pop music_sentence_49

Between 1950 and 1970, there was a debate of pop versus art. Pop music_sentence_50

Since then, certain music publications have embraced the music's legitimacy, a trend referred to as "poptimism". Pop music_sentence_51

Stylistic evolution Pop music_section_4

Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from other genres of popular music. Pop music_sentence_52

Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazz and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, and spoken passages from rap. Pop music_sentence_53

In 2016, a Scientific Reports study that examined over 464,000 recordings of popular music recorded between 1955 and 2010 found that since the 1960s, pop music had found less variety in pitch progressions, grown average loudness levels, less diverse instrumentation and recording techniques, and less timbral variety. Pop music_sentence_54

Scientific American's John Matson reported that this "seems to support the popular anecdotal observation that pop music of yore was "better", or at least more varied, than today's top-40 stuff". Pop music_sentence_55

However, he also noted that the study may not have been entirely representative of pop in each generation. Pop music_sentence_56

In the 1960s, the majority of mainstream pop music fell in two categories: guitar, drum and bass groups or singers backed by a traditional orchestra. Pop music_sentence_57

Since early in the decade, it was common for pop producers, songwriters, and engineers to freely experiment with musical form, orchestration, unnatural reverb, and other sound effects. Pop music_sentence_58

Some of the best known examples are Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and Joe Meek's use of homemade electronic sound effects for acts like the Tornados. Pop music_sentence_59

At the same time, pop music on radio and in both American and British film moved away from refined Tin Pan Alley to more eccentric songwriting and incorporated reverb-drenched rock guitar, symphonic strings, and horns played by groups of properly arranged and rehearsed studio musicians. Pop music_sentence_60

A 2019 study held by New York University in which 643 participants had to rank how familiar a pop song is to them, songs from the 1960s turned out to be the most memorable, significantly more than songs from recent years 2000 to 2015. Pop music_sentence_61

Before the progressive pop of the late 1960s, performers were typically unable to decide on the artistic content of their music. Pop music_sentence_62

Assisted by the mid-1960s economic boom, record labels began investing in artists, giving them the freedom to experiment, and offering them limited control over their content and marketing. Pop music_sentence_63

This situation declined after the late 1970s and would not reemerge until the rise of Internet stars. Pop music_sentence_64

Indie pop, which developed in the late 1970s, marked another departure from the glamour of contemporary pop music, with guitar bands formed on the then-novel premise that one could record and release their own music without having to procure a record contract from a major label. Pop music_sentence_65

The 1980s are commonly remembered for an increase in the use of digital recording, associated with the usage of synthesizers, with synth-pop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments increasing in popularity. Pop music_sentence_66

By 2014, pop music worldwide had been permeated by electronic dance music. Pop music_sentence_67

In 2018, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, concluded that pop music has become 'sadder' since the 1980s. Pop music_sentence_68

The elements of happiness and brightness have eventually been replaced with the electronic beats making the pop music more 'sad yet danceable'. Pop music_sentence_69

International spread and crosspollination Pop music_section_5

Pop music has been dominated by the American and (from the mid-1960s) British music industries, whose influence has made pop music something of an international monoculture, but most regions and countries have their own form of pop music, sometimes producing local versions of wider trends, and lending them local characteristics. Pop music_sentence_70

Some of these trends (for example Europop) have had a significant impact of the development of the genre. Pop music_sentence_71

According to Grove Music Online, "Western-derived pop styles, whether coexisting with or marginalizing distinctively local genres, have spread throughout the world and have come to constitute stylistic common denominators in global commercial music cultures". Pop music_sentence_72

Some non-Western countries, such as Japan, have developed a thriving pop music industry, most of which is devoted to Western-style pop. Pop music_sentence_73

Japan has for several years produced a greater quantity of music than everywhere except the US. Pop music_sentence_74

The spread of Western-style pop music has been interpreted variously as representing processes of Americanization, homogenization, modernization, creative appropriation, cultural imperialism, or a more general process of globalization. Pop music_sentence_75

One of the pop music styles that developed alongside other music styles is Latin pop, which rose in popularity in the US during the 1950s with early rock and roll success Ritchie Valens. Pop music_sentence_76

Later, as Los Lobos garnered major Chicano rock popularity during the 1970s and 1980s, musician Selena saw large-scale pop music presence as the 1980s and 1990s progressed, along with crossover appeal with fans of Tejano music pioneers Lydia Mendoza and Little Joe. Pop music_sentence_77

With later Hispanic and Latino Americans seeing success within pop music charts, 1990s pop successes stayed popular in both their original genres and in broader pop music. Pop music_sentence_78

Latin pop hit singles, such as "Macarena" by Los del Río and "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi, have seen record-breaking success on worldwide pop music charts. Pop music_sentence_79

As part of the Korean Wave, hit singles such as "Gangnam Style" by PSY have achieved global success. Pop music_sentence_80

More recently, Korean boy bands such as BTS and girl groups such as BLACKPINK are among the most successful music acts worldwide. Pop music_sentence_81

Korean co-ed groups (mixed gender groups) have not been as successful. Pop music_sentence_82

See also Pop music_section_6

Pop music_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop music.