A History of Pop Music
Pop is a style of music which originally originated in the early 1950s in the UK and the US. It can loosely be described as a popular genre of music which has been characterized by an unusually high degree of differentiation from preceding styles, whilst retaining a considerable degree of musical similarity. In the broader context of music, pop is generally understood to refer to music with a large degree of guitar and dance influences. The term pop music has often been used to describe any music which features a wide variety of instruments, particularly rockabilly and especially early 60’s pop. The terms pop music and popular music are often used interchangeable, but the former typically refers to music that is enormously popular and contains a number of diverse musical influences. The pop music generation bridged the gap between the traditional genres and new, popular styles, and their influence continues to be felt to this day on popular radio stations, and via online services such as YouTube and iTunes.
Before the 1960s, popular music tended to be produced with a number of discrete elements. These elements often represented a period or era in time and therefore helped to define the sounds and styles associated with it. Popular music which had been popular for a long time tended to have a consistent and recognizable ‘pop’ sound to it, as opposed to music that had only recently become popular. It was also common for one particular decade to produce a great deal of popular music, and then end up being forgotten or pushed aside for a decade or two. By contrast, new popular music tends to come about very quickly, with new recordings and new trends appearing on the radio every day.
Since the 1960s, there has been a trend for new albums to chart in the UK’s leading pop music charts. Chart positions can indicate the amount of support a song or music group has gained over the years and therefore allow listeners to get a gauge of their popularity. This popularity is measured by how many times songs appear in the charts and is also based on listeners’ opinions and general opinion of a band or artist. A song may receive a high number of votes, but if many listeners are against the track, this will have little effect. The main driving force behind a song’s chart success, however, is its popularity with listeners.
Since the early days of rock and pop music in the US, chart success has often depended on the success of one single song. There are some bands that have become known for the success of one single song, but because their music has many hits, this single doesn’t usually lose its popularity over time. As well as single songs, there are several genres of music, such as country, classical, rap, dance, and pop music, that have all won top places on the pop charts, with some of them retaining their popularity throughout the decades. Most of the successful pop artists of the modern era began to gain popularity during the late sixties and early seventies. Some bands formed to represent an actual musical style, such as the Beach Boys. Others became popular through their image as members of a popular, identifiable group.
Since the early days of pop music, various sub-genres have also become popular, and some have become extinct since then. Folk music, for example, only had three major records before the twentieth century, but it is still thriving today. Country music is another example of a sub-genre that has been around for a very long time. It originally started out to be popular with farmers during the late nineteenth century, but it has always had a huge hit in the mainstream. Jazz is also a sub-genre that have changed very little in its history, but it did gain popularity with jazz music.
Pop music charts are constantly changing. As new artists to break in and establish themselves as popular, the older favorites keep their spots. Older songs can even find new life when new artists come along who popularize them. As long as people enjoy the fun and entertainment provided by pop music, it will continue to change and become more popular than ever.