Pop music (a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of "popular") is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often

oriented towards a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple love songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes. Pop music has absorbed influences from most other forms of popular music, but as a genre is particularly associated with the rock and roll and later rock style.

Pop is short for popular, and it's remained the defining term for the ever-changing music favoured by the public. Although not specifically applied until the middle of the 20th century, pop music as such can be traced by a few decades before that. The Early Days You could say that the songs of music hall were the first real pop songs, written by professionals and widely performed for audiences. That dates back to the Victorian era, when a performer needed a catchy, identifiable song. Things changed with the advent of recording, early in the 20th century. With that, music had the chance to be much more widely disseminated. Records, played at 78 rpm on wind-up gramophones, were relatively cheap. In America, that led to a breed of professional songwriters in New York who wrote pieces intended to be recorded and sell well - Tin Pan Alley. They were largely hacks, but did produce some beautiful material. London had its own equivalent as the music business became centred on Denmark Street in the West End. The Crooners The first major pop stars as such were the crooners of the 1930s and '40s. Bing Crosby sold millions of records, as did Frank Sinatra (arguably the first modern pop star, with screaming teenage female fans - the bobbysoxers), and in Britain, Al Bowly. They recorded and performed with full orchestras in the main style of the day. But there were other vocals groups, such as the Mills Brothers and the Inkspots, whose harmonies set the standards for those aspiring to fame. With the style known as swing, big bands also came into their own, with tunes like Glen Miller's "In The Mood" becoming standards. The Charts Curiously, pop music charts as such didn't exist until 1952, when the first Top Twenty was recorded. It came at an interesting time, as "teenagers" really came into being. Historically there'd been no transitional period between childhood and adulthood. Now, after World War II, that seemed to begin, imported from America, and in skiffle, an interpretation of American folk music (personified by Lonnie Donegan), teens found their music.

by Christina Aguilera. who revolutionised pop by writing their own material. . which owes little to its soulful predecessor. relying mostly on established talent. perhaps the ultimate in manufactured acts.with their melodies and harmonies. The 1980s proved a moribund decade for pop. Alvin Stardust and many others. given catchy songs and arrangements and pushed to fame. Several younger artists have come and gone. the biggest of the late 1950s and early 1960s. From the early days of rock there had been "manufactured" stars . selling millions of records. Only Wham! (and later George Michael) emerged as true pop stars. It happened to East 17 and. and made into stars by producers. But like any fashion. Notably. the only ones to come out of this and sustain a solo career was Robbie Williams from Take That and Justin Timberlake from 'N Sync. whose popularity has remained constant. most of whom only enjoyed short careers. it passed. It had happened to Adam Faith. and Elvis Presley became a global star. The Beatles set the standard for pop music. from the Glam Rock of T.people taken on board for a pretty face rather than any innate talent. and both Mariah Carey and Britney Spears became massive manufactured stars. From 1962 until their break up in 1970 they dominated the charts in Britain and America. The New Millennium Since the year 2000 there's been a dearth of major new stars.more than one. America tried a similar tactic with female pop stars. Post Beatles The Beatles influenced a generation . followed. the Spice Girls.Rock'n'roll brought much more of that. and it remains undiminished . although professional songwriters stayed in demand for those unable to pen a tune. Rex to the raw fire of punk.Beatlesque has become a standard descriptive adjective. Boy Bands The 1990s was the time of boy bands. America saw how it worked and gave the world the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. Elton John. most memorably. But the biggest pop star to emerge from the period was a singer and pianist. instigating a fashion that remains undiminished. and new styles have briefly emerged. Styles came and went. But he would find himself supplanted by the Beatles. The idea of artists writing their own material remained in the wake of the Fab Four. when pop careened through several styles. but nothing appears to have gained a major foothold besides modern R&B. really . A group of young male singers was assembled for their looks. Take That. and that was apparent in the 1970s. A female version. was briefly huge. but it was an era short on memorable music. and for a few years it worked very well. to a lesser degree.which itself has become a pop style. but a lot to hip-hop .

or it uses dance-oriented beats or rhythms The main medium of pop music is the song.[16] The beat and the melodies tend to be simple."[18] Clichés include the barbershop harmony (i.[19] "The influence of the circle-of-fifths paradigm has declined since the mid-1950s. moving from a secondary dominant harmony to a dominant harmony. with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks. a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure. rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology[3] an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities an emphasis on recording.Characteristics Musicologists often identify the following characteristics as typical of the pop music genre: y y y y y an aim of appealing to a general audience.e..[17] The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes ± often love and romantic relationships ± although there are notable exceptions. modal harmonic and melodic organization ± that point away from functional tonality and toward a tonal sense that is less directional. rhythmically and harmonically with the verse. production.. with limited harmonic accompaniment. The harmonic languages of rock and soul have moved away from the all-encompassing influence of the dominant function. only more simpleminded.[15] Common variants include the versechorus form and the thirty-two-bar form. more free-floating. . often between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length.[3] Harmony in pop music is often "that of classical European tonality. root motion by diatonic step.There are other tendencies (perhaps also traceable to the use of a guitar as a composing instrument) ± pedal-point harmonies. and then to the tonic) and blues scale-influenced harmony. over live performance a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments much pop music is intended to encourage dancing. and a chorus that contrasts melodically. generally marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element. and technology."[20] .

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