Pop music

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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 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.[citation needed]



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 classical, jazz, rock, 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]

Origin of the term

The term "pop song," is first recorded as being used in 1926 in the sense of a piece of music "having popular appeal".[4] 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.[5]

According to 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 ...".[6] 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."[7] 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’."[6] Chambers' Dictionary mentions the contemporary usage of the term "pop art";[8] Grove Music Online states that the "term pop music ... seems to have been a spin-off from the terms pop art and pop culture, coined slightly earlier, and referring to a whole range of new, often American, media-culture products".[6]

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