Tuesday, 8 November 2011

EF- Defining Pop Genre

Pop is the abbreviation for popular music. Pop music is normally known as commercially recorded music, which is often made for a youth  audience which consists of people between the ages of 14 - 18. 
In the pop genre songs are usually made to be relatively short and simple songs, which have elements of certain themes. Through out the development of the Pop Genre, many different genre's have been used as a basis for the form,vocal harmonies, instrumentals,tempo, backing and the rhythmic elements. The Genres used for the as influences for early Pop music include genres such as : 

  • Sentimental Ballads 
  • Gospel/Soul Music
  • Jazz
  • Country 
  • Classical 
  • Dance 
  • Hip Hop/Rap 

Hatch and Millward define pop music as "a body of music which is distinguishable from popular, jazz and folk musics".[1] Although pop music is often seen as oriented towards the singles charts it is not the sum of all chart music, which has always contained songs from a variety of sources, including classicaljazzrock, and novelty songs, while pop music as a genre is usually seen as existing and developing separately.[2] Thus "pop music" may be used to describe a distinct genre, aimed at a youth market, often characterized as a softer alternative to rock and roll.[3] - Source Wikipedia  

Characteristics of Pop Genre : 

  • Aim to appeal to a general audience, rather than to sub-culture audiences. 
  • Emphasis on the craftsmanship of the song and band rather than just the artistic quality.
  • Emphasis on recording, production, and technology rather than the live performances. 
  • Could tend to write and reflect on existing trends rather than developments. 
  • Intended to encourage dancing when listening to the song, or could use dance beats, and rhythms. 
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.[15] 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 andharmonically with the verse.[16] The beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment.[17] The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes – often love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions.[3] - Source Wikipedia  

History of Pop Music 

In contrast to genres with clear origins and a traceable evolution, pop developed, and continues to expand, as a haphazard merging of styles. Pop is an amalgam of successive fashions, of elements of many differing styles that have been successful over the years and have ended up incorporated into the genre. This section introduces the most significant tunes of each decade, and shows the progression of pop to its current form.


The first songs to belong to the new category were crossover styles from the standard formats of the day. In country music, instrumental soloing was de-emphasised and more prominent vocals added, commonly backed by a string section and vocal chorus.
This was also the decade of the advent of rock and roll, a massively influential genre that spawned innumerable changes in the social and cultural fabric of the US, and subsequently the World. The convulsion began when "Rock Around the Clock" (Bill Haley, 1955) crowned the charts in the spring and summer of 1955.


The decade kicked off a style that is still recorded today, the novelty song, combining humorous or parodic lyrics and simple, catchy melodies. In 1961 a new format arose around close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting the Californian relationship with surfing, girls and cars: Surf pop. This very successful style is epitomised by tunes like "Surfin' USA" (Beach Boys, 1963) or "Good Vibrations" (Beach Boys, 1966).
Producers' involvement in the business reached new levels in 1965 when Raybert Productions set out to create a pop band from scratch, selecting the members by their looks, dancing ability and appeal to different personalities of fan, rather than musical prowess. The company controlled every aspect of the group, from choice of music to individual behaviours, and guided them to extraordinary success in music, television and cinema. This type of prefabricated band was termed manufactured pop and is the precursor of boy bands and girl groups.


The main influence in the second half of the decade came from disco, a dance-oriented style with soaring, reverberated vocals, a steady beat and prominent, syncopated electric bass lines.
Country music re-entered pop in 1973, whilst the African American rhythms that had so affected the genre in the previous decade were still producing hits and expanding limits in this one.


The mutual benefits the film and music industries could afford each other were evidenced in this decade by the songs from movie soundtracks that became chart-toppers: "Eye of the Tiger", from 1982's Rocky III; "Flashdance... What a Feeling", from Flashdance (1983); or "Say You, Say Me", out of the 1985 blockbuster White Nights.
The return influences of pop were having a greater impact in this decade than ever before. Hits in the US charts came from the UK, "Careless Whisper" (George Michael, 1984) or "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" (Wham!, 1984).
The rock genre delivered a good number of pop hits this decade, with bands otherwise protective of their roots delving briefly into commercialism. See "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (The Arrows, 1982) or "Every Breath You Take" (The Police, 1983).
A new kind of release debuted in this decade, the charity record, aimed at raising funds for a particular cause held dear by the performer(s). The first of these came from the British Isles in 1984, "Do They Know It's Christmas?", followed in 1985 by "We Are the World", and by "That's What Friends Are For" in 1986.


The nineties were clearly the decade of the female pop artist, their successful singles greatly outnumbering those of male performers. A few of the most significant are "Nothing Compares 2 U" (Sinead O´Connor, 1990), "Vogue" (Madonna, 1990), "Hero" (Mariah Carey, 1993), "Wannabe" (The SpiceGirls, 1996) and "...Baby One More Time" (Britney Spears, 1999).
Pop became truly international in the nineties, with hits coming from diverse and distant locations:
  • Germany: "The Power" (1990), "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (1992) and "Mr Vain" (1993)
  • UK: "The One and Only" (1991), Love Is All Around" (both 1994), “Candle in the Wind 1997"
  • Spain: "Macarena" (1996)
  • Italy: "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (1998)
  • Netherlands: "Boom Boom Boom Boom" (1998)
  • Australia: "Truly Madly Deeply" (1998)

2000 to the Present Day

In a similar vein to the previous decade, female singers had a big influence on the pop genre in the noughties, with soulful ballads, hip hop pieces and dance tracks: "Fallin'" (Alicia Keys, 2001), "Whenever, Wherever" (Shakira, 2001), "White Flag" (Dido, 2003), "Since U Been Gone" (Avril Lavigne, 2005) and "Umbrella" (Rihanna, 2007).
Once more, African Americans contributed heartily to pop with diverse styles. Some hits were hip hop-based, such as "Yeah!" (Usher, 2004), other chart-toppers were variations on reggae beats ("It Wasn't Me" (Shaggy, 2000).
The international appeal of pop was evident in the new millennium, with artists from around the World influencing the genre and local variants merging with the mainstream. Latin pop was successful with songs from Spain, "Hero" (Enrique Iglesias, 2002), "Whenever, Wherever" (Shakira, 2002). Canada entered the charts with "That's the Way It Is" (Celine Dion, 2000) and British artists did the same with "Feel" (Robbie Williams, 2003) or "You're Beautiful" (James Blunt, 2005).
As of 2008, pop music is now currently the most popular style of music of youth culture, making competition with hip-hop, dance, and country. - Source Audials .com

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