Pop Music

Pop music is a liberal and vague category of modern music not marked by artistic considerations but by its promising audience or future market. Pop is music composed with calculated objective to influence the majority of its contemporaries.

In contrast to music that calls for education or arrangement to appreciate, a significant characteristic of pop music is that anyone is able to enjoy it. Artistic concepts such as complex musical form and aesthetics are not a matter in the writing of pop songs, the key aim being audience satisfaction and commercial triumph. Although the aim of pop music is to sell records and do really well in the charts, it does not require wide acclaim or commercial success. There are bad or unsuccessful pop songs.

Originally the term was an abbreviation of, and synonymous to, popular music, but developed around 1954 to express a particular musical category. The stylistic origins of pop music is folk, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, traditional pop music. The typical instruments are electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and keyboard. The cultural origins date back to 1950’s in the United States.It is popular worldwide since 1960s.

The standard format of pop music is the song, usually less than five minutes in length. The instrumentation can range from an orchestra to a lone singer. In spite of this wide choice, a standard lineup in a pop band includes a lead guitarist, a bassist, a drummer (or an electronic drum machine), a keyboardist and one or more singers, generally not themselves instrumentalists.
Pop songs are generally conspicuous by a heavy rhythmic element, a mainstream style and traditional structure. The most common modification is strophic in form and focuses on memorable melodies, catchy hooks and the appeal of the verse-chorus-verse arrangement, with the chorus sharply contrasting the verse melodically, rhythmically and harmonically.

Lyrics in pop compositions are usually simple and speak of universal experiences and feelings, moving away from incomprehensible or debatable issues.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. 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.

How Pop Music Originated

Pop music or mainstream music is a genre that has always been close to the heart of music loving audience. The type of music that is considered pop today is not the same type that was considered popular a few decades ago.

Popular music started from the type that we now consider as classical music. Sometime later after that, there was a considerable development in the field of pop music. At one point the music that was under the genre “pop” are sentimental ballads. This included gospel and praise songs. Jazz and country songs also became popular and were considered mainstream. Another type was hip hop and was seen as music for the masses as well as for teens and young adults. Dance and electronic music also had their share of fame.

As music can be viewed as an item that can help fuel their own industry, they needed to connect closer to the masses and the most people of the world. This is how pop music came into being. From the poor masses, the middle class individuals and to the elites, this type of music became interesting to them. As there is great interest that is given to it, pop music was able to create more jobs for recording artists, composers, publishers and a lot more.

The invention of the microphone, the improvement in its design and the capability of 45 rpm changed the way music has been transmitted through radios and records. And a few decades after, the television became the most popular technological advancement in terms of media. Not only are the pop artists heard, they are also seen on TV. Their talents were taken to another level. After the television’s invention, multi track records and digital versions of music took the scene. This even upped the way people listen to music and the degree by which they can access it.

In the mid 20th century, popular music was mostly the field of American recording artists. The two most famous artists at that time were Michael Jackson and Madonna and were dubbed as the King of Pop and the Queen of Pop, respectively. There were also British artists or artists with British influences who made it in the mainstream music scene.

Later on, different artists from different regions in the world emerged and were known internationally. This is where pop music started to create a monoculture of sorts for all of us. Also, for each of these regions, there are certain influences that are considered pop. They might be different from one region to another but the worldwide trends converge into the same definition.

Another situation was seen that the most parts of the world’s music were influenced by Western pop. From America and Europe, the trend spread to other parts of the world. It can also be that the specific regions gave their own music their own flavor and cultivated it. Today, pop music has grown and is still the most loved music style by a lot of people.

Pop Music Can Be Creative

Pop music may include elements of rock, hip hop, reggae, dance, R&B, jazz, electronic, and sometimes folk music and various other styles. Pop music performers typically make use of state-of-the-art technology and recording studios to achieve the sound they want, and record producers may have a heavy influence. Pop music generally uses a simple, memorable melody and emphasizes the rhythm, often with syncopation, and stripped down to a basic riff or loop which repeats throughout much of the song. Pop music is often criticized for being overly simple and repetitive.


Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. Popular music is music that is not something else (usually ‘folk’ or ‘art’ music). Popular music is associated with (produced for or by) a particular social group. Popular music is disseminated by mass media and/or in a mass market. Popular music is also rarely entirely instrumental. Popular music is not really about ‘being heard’, but rather about ‘being heard again’; and ‘being heard again and again and again’ is what really popular music is really about. Pop is contemporary music and a common type of popular music (distinguished from classical or art music and from folk music).

The term popular music does not refer specifically to a single genre or sound, and its meaning is different depending on the time and place. Within popular music, “pop music” is often distinguished from other subgenres by stylistic traits such as a danceable rhythm or beat, simple melodies and a repeating structure. The broad appeal of pop music is seen to distinguish it from more specific types of popular music, and pop music performers and recordings are among the best-selling and most widely known in many regions of the world. The development of recording methods is seen as a major influence on the sound of pop, distinguishing it from classical music and jazz, as well as from some types of popular music which may seek a more “natural” sound.


In the recorded music era, the single (a single song) and the album (a collection of songs) are the usual methods of distributing pop music. Notable highlights for pop music in the 1980s are Michael Jackson’s second Epic label release, Thriller, which went on to become the best-selling album of all time. Jackson was the most successful artist of the 80s, spanning nine #1 singles in the United States alone during that decade, and selling over 133 million copies with only two albums — Thriller, and its follow-up Bad.

Pop music in the 1980s was heavily influenced by an electronic sound with synthesizers and drum machines, and dance type music. Pop music, on the other hand, has primarily come into usage to describe music that evolved out of the rock ‘n roll revolution of the mid-1950’s and continues in a definable path to today. Pop music can range from the highly creative, iconoclastic or virtuosic to simple and downright dumb.