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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s.[4] The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many different styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Although much of the music that appears on record charts is seen as pop music, the genre is distinguished from chart music. Pop music is eclectic, and often borrows elements from other styles such as urban, dance, rock, Latin, and country; nonetheless, there are core elements that define pop music. Identifying factors include generally short to medium-length songs written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), as well as common use of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks.

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Transcription

- [Narrator] In this current musical climate pop music has been the long-standing music industry invented genre that has continuously been taking a free falling plunge from it's once-coveted 1980s Thriller album era of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop to faded glory at the hands and microphones of hip-hop. Also, hip-hop with this triumphant rags to riches journey from its birthplace in the streets of south Bronx, and a once the king New York City of the 1970s to being the most influential form of music on the planet has expanded to the point of having several sub genres of its own: Christian Trap, Lyrical Mumble, Hardcore Drill, and Emo. There's surely a flood of watered down verses with catchy hooks and beats like Lil Pump, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yadi, and Lil Xan, but there's fortunately still success happening in hip-hop artists that still value the importance of the lyrical craft and content. Such as Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Joyner Lucas. But as the war for the attention span of the general public wages forward, are we experiencing the depth of pop music in the complete takeover of rap instead of letting personal preferences creep into the discussion of whether pop music is kneeling over with the designer sneakers of rap music on its throat? Let's get right to the available numbers on the 2018 Billboard Hot 100 Number One singles chart to compare the success of the two genres. The first four weeks of January were dominated by 'Perfect', the duet that English pop singer Ed Sheeran launched with R&B pop queen Beyonce, with January 27th getting topped by the Latin pop 'Haven' from Cuban American singer Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug. Rap relentlessly took over the party from February 2018 through September 2018. Drake's 'God's Plan', the lead off single from his 2018 album Scorpion may have had a fair amount of that pop music sugar glazed over it, but it still falls into the trap rap vein, going nine times platinum in the United States and seven times platinum in Drake's native country of Canada. After spending 11 weeks at number one, Drake interrupted his own Billboard Hot 100 single by dropping another one, Nice For What, sampling Lauren Hill's song from 20 years earlier called 'Ex Factor', and hitting triple platinum status with that one. Nice For What claimed the number one spot straight from April 21st to May 18th, and also returned on June 2nd, June 9th, June 23rd and July 14th. Rappers like Childish Gambino, This Is America, Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign Psycho, XXX Tentacion with Sad, and Cardi B with Bad Bunny and J. Balvin with I Like It, all had their number one rankings throughout May, June, and July, but Drake came back making everyone ask, "KiKi do you love me"? with his third consecutive hit from Scorpion called 'In my feelings'. That did a super impressive ten straight weeks at number one from July 21st til September 28th. Our craving for authenticity in a world full of fake news could be the most lethal injection killing pop music's allure, especially with so many pop singers being so wishy washy with their image, catering to trends and forcing cringey cliches into their songs and videos. Beyonce was criticized for one minute repping feminism, and the next minute, twerking and dressing extremely provocative. Taylor Swift's country girl image has been lathered in sex symbol outfits, and suddenly switched around to edgy plaid shirts for her Reputation album run. Mental health issues have also affected many pop stars over the years, leading to strange decisions and public appearances. Demi Lovato dealt with eating disorders, self-harm and bipolar disorder. Lady Gaga with depression and anxiety. Sia struggled with drug and alcohol addictions as well as considering suicide. Justin Bieber has been overwhelmed by the pressures of fame along with many others like Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Selena Gomez. Having to appear picture perfect makes it extremely hard to appear real and be honest in front of the flickering cameras. Rappers give themselves permission to take that song writing into dark places and address difficult relatable subject matter that pop stars have to steer clear from. It's a lot easier for people struggling with political, social and economic stresses of the modern era to relate to outspoken rap artists than Holly idol icons of pop culture. To see the riff between pop's decline and rap's ascension, look at the rise of Cardi B who knocked Taylor Swift's come back single 'Look What You Make Me Do' out of the number chart position with the rowdy rap anthem 'Bodak Yellow'. In fact, Cardi B remaining a loud open book about her past, which includes working as a stripper and being a polarizing reality TV star and Instagram personality isn't afraid to speak out about racial injustice while Taylor seems to be quiet about anything remotely political, afraid of losing fans, silence definitely issues a death sentence to being authentic in this day and age. Pop music still has a few underrated artists that could get popping again, with Nick Jonas, Lorde, Zedd, Ants, Little Mix, and Zara Larsson. But even the rap legends that are over 35 like Lil Wayne, Eminem, and Pusha T are keeping listeners interested by sticking to being themselves instead of force feeding a pretty image down the throats of teens that can taste fakeness immediately, and have the social media platforms to trash it instantly. Pop will have to do way more than feature rappers on their songs to sound relevant again. This has been a Hip-Hop Madness original. Make sure you stay tuned and stay up to date with everything we got going on by subscribing and making sure you hit that notification bell, and don't forget to follow us on Instagram @hiphopmadness and join the movement.

Contents

Definitions and etymology

David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop music as "a body of music which is distinguishable from popular, jazz, and folk musics".[5] According to Pete Seeger, pop music is "professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music".[3] Although pop music is seen as just the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music. The music charts contain songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz, rock, and novelty songs. As a genre, Pop music is seen to exist and develop separately.[6] 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".[4][8]

Pop music continuously evolves along with the term's definition. According to The New Grove Dictionary Of Music and Musicians, 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."[9] The term "pop song" was first used in 1926, in the sense of a piece of music "having popular appeal".[10] 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.[11]

The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that the term "pop" refers to music performed by such artists as  the Rolling Stones (pictured here in a 2006 performance)
The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that the term "pop" refers to music performed by such artists as the Rolling Stones (pictured here in a 2006 performance)

According to the website of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, called Grove Music Online, 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".[2] 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."[12] Grove Music Online also states that "[...] in the early 1960s, [the term] 'pop music' competed terminologically with beat music [in England], while in the USA its coverage overlapped (as it still does) with that of 'rock and roll'".[2]

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.[13] While rock aspired to authenticity and an expansion of the possibilities of popular music,[13] pop was more commercial, ephemeral, and accessible.[14] 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". Frith adds that 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".[4]

Characteristics

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.[4] 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.[14]

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.[17] 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.[18] The beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment.[19] The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes – often love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions.[4]

Harmony and chord progressions in pop music are often "that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded."[20] Clichés include the barbershop quartet-style harmony (i.e. ii – V – I) and blues scale-influenced harmony.[21] 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.[22]

Development and influence

Stylistic evolution

Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from other genres of popular music. 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.[4][verification needed]

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.[23] 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. 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.[24] 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.[25]

During the mid-1960s, pop music made repeated forays into new sounds, styles, and techniques that inspired public discourse among its listeners. The word "progressive" was frequently used, and it was thought that every song and single was to be a "progression" from the last.[26] 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."[27] Before the progressive pop of the late 1960s, performers were typically unable to decide on the artistic content of their music.[28] 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.[29] This situation fell in disuse after the late 1970s and would not reemerge until the rise of Internet stars.[29] 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.[30] In 2014, pop music worldwide was permeated by electronic dance music.[31]

A Scientific Reports study that examined over 464,000 recordings of popular music recorded between 1955 and 2010 found less variety in pitch progressions, growing average loudness levels,[32] less diverse instrumentation and recording techniques, and less timbral variety, which declined after reaching a peak in the 1960s.[33] 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."[33]

In May 2018, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, concluded that pop music has become 'sadder' over the last 30 years. The elements of happiness and brightness have eventually been replaced with the electronic beats making the pop music more 'sad yet danceable'.[34][35]

Technology and media

Left, Michael Jackson; right, Madonna known respectively as the "King and Queen of Pop".[36]

In the 1940s improved microphone design allowed a more intimate singing style[37] and ten or twenty years later, inexpensive and more durable 45 r.p.m. records for singles "revolutionized the manner in which pop has been disseminated". This helped to move pop music to 'a record/radio/film star system'.[37] Another technological change was the widespread availability of television in the 1950s; with televised performances, "pop stars had to have a visual presence".[37] In the 1960s, the introduction of inexpensive, portable transistor radios meant that First World teenagers could listen to music outside of the home.[37] 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.[4] 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".[37]

Legitimacy in music criticism

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.[38] Between 1950 and 1970, there was a debate of pop versus art.[39] Since then, certain music publications have embraced its legitimacy. According to Popmatters' Robert Loss: "There’s a strong argument for the 'rockist' mode in music criticism—that it exists, and that it’s harmful—and poptimism has positioned itself as a corrective, an antidote. ... In general, the Old Guard of rock critics and journalists is depicted as a bunch of bricklayers for the foundations of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. True in part, which is to say, false. Like film studies, rock criticism of the late ‘60s and the ‘70s was an attempt to make popular music worthy of study; it was poptimism before its day."[39]

International spread

The story of pop music is largely the story of the intertwining pop culture of the United States and the United Kingdom in the postwar era.

 — Bob Stanley[31]

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.[40] Some of these trends (for example Europop) have had a significant impact of the development of the genre.[41]

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".[42] Some non-Western countries, such as Japan, have developed a thriving pop music industry, most of which is devoted to Western-style pop. Japan has for several years produced a greater quantity of music than everywhere except the USA.[clarification needed][42] 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.[42]

In Korea, pop music's influence has led to the birth of boy bands and girl groups which have gained overseas renown through both their music and aesthetics.[43] Korean co-ed groups (mixed gender groups) have not been as successful.[44]

See also

References

  1. ^ Traditional Pop, Allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 August 2016
  2. ^ a b c R. Middleton, et al., "Pop", Grove music online, retrieved 14 March 2010. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 1 - Play A Simple Melody: Pete Seeger on the origins of pop music" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g S. Frith, W. Straw, and J. Street, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), ISBN 0-521-55660-0, pp. 95–105.
  5. ^ D. Hatch and S. Millward, From Blues to Rock: an Analytical History of Pop Music (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987), ISBN 0-7190-1489-1, p. 1.
  6. ^ R. Serge Denisoff and William L. Schurk, Tarnished Gold: the Record Industry Revisited (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 3rd edn., 1986), ISBN 0-88738-618-0, pp. 2–3.
  7. ^ Moore, Allan F. (2016). Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-05265-4.
  8. ^ Musicologist Allan Moore surmises that the term "pop music" itself may have been popularized by Pop art.[7]
  9. ^ "What Is Pop Music?". Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  10. ^ J. Simpson and E. Weiner, Oxford English Dictionary(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). ISBN 0-19-861186-2, cf pop.
  11. ^ D. Hatch and S. Millward, From Blues to Rock: an Analytical History of Pop Music, ISBN 0-7190-1489-1, p. 49.
  12. ^ "Pop", The Oxford Dictionary of Music, retrieved 9 March 2010.(subscription required)
  13. ^ a b Kenneth Gloag in The Oxford Companion to Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), ISBN 0-19-866212-2, p. 983.
  14. ^ a b T. Warner, Pop Music: Technology and Creativity: Trevor Horn and the Digital Revolution (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), ISBN 0-7546-3132-X, pp. 3–4.
  15. ^ "Van's Brown Eyed Girl hits the 10 million mark in US". BBC. 5 October 2011.
  16. ^ Steve Sullivan (October 4, 2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volume 2. Scarecrow Press. pp. 101–103. ISBN 978-0810882959.
  17. ^ W. Everett, Expression in Pop-rock Music: A Collection of Critical and Analytical Essays (London: Taylor & Francis, 2000), p. 272.
  18. ^ J. Shepherd, Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World: Performance and production (Continuum, 2003), p. 508.
  19. ^ V. Kramarz, The Pop Formulas: Harmonic Tools of the Hit Makers (Mel Bay Publications, 2007), p. 61.
  20. ^ Winkler, Peter (1978). "Toward a theory of pop harmony", In Theory Only, 4, pp. 3–26.
  21. ^ Sargeant, p. 198. cited in Winkler (1978), p. 4.
  22. ^ Winkler (1978), p. 22.
  23. ^ "Making Arrangements—A Rough Guide To Song Construction & Arrangement, Part 1". Sound on Sound. October 1997. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  24. ^ Blake, Andrew (2009). "Recording practices and the role of the producer". In Cook, Nicholas; Clarke, Eric; Leech-Wilkinson, Daniel. The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music. Cambridge University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-139-82796-6.
  25. ^ Pareles, Jon (October 31, 2008). "Orchestral Pop, the Way It Was (More or Less)". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  26. ^ Hewitt, Paolo; Hellier, John (2015). Steve Marriott: All Too Beautiful. Dean Street Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-1-910570-69-2.
  27. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2006). "New Pop and its Aftermath". On Record: Rock, Pop and the Written Word. Routledge. p. 398. ISBN 978-1-134-93951-0.
  28. ^ Willis, Paul E. (2014). Profane Culture. Princeton University Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-4008-6514-7.
  29. ^ a b Moore 2016, p. 202.
  30. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh (24 October 2005), "Twee as Fuck: The Story of Indie Pop", Pitchfork Media, archived from the original on 24 February 2011
  31. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (2014). "Anti-Rockism's Hall of Fame". The Barnes & Noble Review. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  32. ^ Joan Serrà, Álvaro Corral, Marián Boguñá, Martín Haro & Josep Ll. Arcos, "Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music", Nature.com, 26 July 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2016
  33. ^ a b John Matson, "Is Pop Music Evolving, or Is It Just Getting Louder?", Scientific American, 26 July 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2016
  34. ^ "New study finds pop music has gotten extremely depressing but also more fun to dance to". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  35. ^ "Today's pop music really IS more depressing than 30 years ago". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  36. ^ McGee, Alan (August 20, 2008). "Madonna Pop Art". The Guardian. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  37. ^ a b c d e D. Buckley, "Pop" "II. Implications of technology", Grove Music Online, retrieved 15 March 2010.
  38. ^ Edmondson, Jacqueline, ed. (2013). Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped our Culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 317, 1233. ISBN 978-0-313-39348-8.
  39. ^ a b Loss, Robert (August 10, 2015). "No Apologies: A Critique of the Rockist v. Poptimist Paradigm". PopMatters.
  40. ^ J. Kun, Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005), ISBN 0-520-24424-9, p. 201.
  41. ^ "Star profiles" in S. Frith, W. Stray and J. Street, The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (Cambridge University Press, 2001), ISBN 0-521-55660-0, pp. 199–200.
  42. ^ a b c P. Manuel, "Pop. Non-Western cultures 1. Global dissemination", Grove Music Online, retrieved 14 March 2010.
  43. ^ "K-Pop, la música y la moda 'rarita' coreana que arrasa la red".
  44. ^ "Why aren't there many mixed gender K-pop groups?". SBS PopAsia.

Further reading

  • Adorno, Theodor W., (1942) "On Popular Music", Institute of Social Research.
  • Bell, John L., (2000) The Singing Thing: A Case for Congregational Song, GIA Publications, ISBN 1-57999-100-9
  • Bindas, Kenneth J., (1992) America's Musical Pulse: Popular Music in Twentieth-Century Society, Praeger.
  • Clarke, Donald, (1995) The Rise and Fall of Popular Music, St Martin's Press. https://web.archive.org/web/20071231045026/http://www.musicweb.uk.net/RiseandFall/index.htm
  • Dolfsma, Wilfred, (1999) Valuing Pop Music: Institutions, Values and Economics, Eburon.
  • Dolfsma, Wilfred, (2004) Institutional Economics and the Formation of Preferences: The Advent of Pop Music, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Frith, Simon, Straw, Will, Street, John, eds, (2001), The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock, Cambridge University Press,
  • Frith, Simon (2004) Popular Music: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, Routledge.
  • Gillett, Charlie, (1970) The Sound of the City. The Rise of Rock and Roll, Outerbridge & Dienstfrey.
  • Hatch, David and Stephen Millward, (1987), From Blues to Rock: an Analytical History of Pop Music, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-1489-1
  • Johnson, Julian, (2002) Who Needs Classical Music?: Cultural Choice and Musical Value, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-514681-6.
  • Kent, Jeff, (1983) The Rise and Fall of Rock, Witan Books, ISBN 0-9508981-0-4.
  • Lonergan, David F., (2004) Hit Records, 1950–1975, Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0-8108-5129-6.
  • Maultsby, Portia K., (7907) Intra- and International Identities in American Popular Music, Trading Culture.
  • Middleton, Richard, (1990) Studying Popular Music, Open University Press.
  • Negus, Bob, (1999) Music Genres and Corporate Cultures, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-17399-X.
  • Pleasants, Henry (1969) Serious Music and All That Jazz, Simon & Schuster.
  • Roxon, Lillian, (1969) Rock Encyclopedia, Grosset & Dunlap.
  • Shuker, Roy, (2002) Popular Music: The Key Concepts, Routledge, (2nd edn.) ISBN 0-415-28425-2.
  • Starr, Larry & Waterman, Christopher, (2002) American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MTV, Oxford University Press.
  • Watkins, S. Craig, (2005) Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement, Beacon Press, ISBN 0-8070-0982-2.

External links

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