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Music Genres

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Nicole Chlipala

on 4 May 2016

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Transcript of Music Genres

Styles of Music
Classical & Opera
1150-1400 Medieval
1400-1600 Renaissance
1600-1750 Baroque
1750-1830 Classical
1830-1860 Romantic
1860-1900 Modern
1900-2000 Post-Modern
Jazz & The Blues
Folk & Country
The term Folk music came from England, where they took the German word “volk”, meaning people, and applied it to mean the common people of England, the illiterate peasants who passed on stories and legends through song as they were unable to publish books. It is generally considered to be an expression of life in the communities in which the music was developed and is a great help to historians in discovering the way of life of a people.
Disco, Funk & Electronic
Latin & Reggae
Hip Hop, Rap & Rhythm and Blues
Classical Music is defined as serious or conventional music following long-established principles
Opera is defined as a dramatic work in one or more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Russian born French and then American composer, conductor and pianist is one of the most outstanding and influential 20th century composers. He was and still is admired worldwide for the novelty of his works which, however, also caused a great deal of controversy in his time. Stravinsky’s greatest works include The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, A Soldier’s Tale, The Song of the Nightingale, Mavra, Oedipus Rex, the Symphony in C and the Symphony in Three Movements.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

German organist, composer, violist and is widely regarded as one of the best classical composers of all times. He wrote over 1100 compositions which include cantatas, songs and arias, chorales, passions and oratorios, organ works, works for harpsichord, concertos,…and they were by HAND! (No computers bach then). Best known works by Bach include the Brandenburg Concertos, Air on the G String, Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Arioso, to mention only a few.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Austrian composer impressed his contemporaries already as a child. At the age of 5, he mastered keyboard and violin, and entertained the social elites including royalty throughout Europe. Mozart composed more than 600 works in all music genres known in his time. Some of most famous and most widely performed Mozart’s works include Requiem, Symphony No. 40, operas The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro, Piano Sonata No 16 in C Major, Symphony No. 25, Piano Concerto No. 21 and Piano Sonata No. 11 (Mov. 3 - Turkish March).
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

German composer and pianist was the most outstanding figure in the transition between Classical and Romantic periods, and one of the most famous classical music composers of all times. Some of his best works including the 9th symphony were created after he became almost completely deaf. Other notable works by Beethoven include Sonata No. 14 (Moonlight Sonata), 5th Symphony, 6th Symphony, Bagatelle No. 25 (Für Elise) and Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op.73.
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

The celebrated Italian composer is best known for his operas that remain popular to this day. His musical career, however, didn’t start smoothly. After his wife’s death and failure of his second opera (Un giorno di regno), he fell into despair and nearly give up composing. Fortunately, La Scala’s impressario convinced him to write Nabucco which was a huge success. Soon, more followed and Verdi established himself as the dominant figure of the 19th century Italian classical music. Verdi’s most famous operas besides Nabucco include La traviata, Rigoletto, Aida, Don Carlos, Otello and Falstaff.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893

Most famous Russian classical music composer wrote in a variety of genres. He composed symphonies, operas, concertos, chamber music, sacred choral music, overtures, suites and ballets. Some of his best known works include his three ballets The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and the Sleeping Beauty, Marche Slave, First Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Overture 1812, Symphony No. 6, Fantasy Overture (Romeo and Juliet), Serenade for Strings and opera Eugene Onegin.
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

Just like Mozart, Chopin was a very gifted child and established himself as one of the foremost Polish composers at a very young age. One of the best piano composers and virtuoso pianists in history wrote almost exclusively for solo piano. But he also wrote two piano concertos and three sonatas. Chopin is also credited with the invention of the instrumental ballade and several musical innovations. Some of his best known works include Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9 No. 2, Funeral March (Prelude in C minor), Minute Waltz (Waltz in D-flat major), Revolutionary Etude (Op.10, No.12) and Fantasie-Impromptu (Op. Posth. 66).

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

Italian Baroque composer and violin virtuoso continues to be admired throughout the globe for his works, especially for his instrumental concertos for violin. His greatest masterpiece is a series of violin concertos called Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons). In total, Vivaldi composed more that 500 concertos of which more than half are for solo instruments and strings, mainly for violin. Other works include operas, sacred choral music, symphonies, sonatas and chamber music. Of these is probably best known choral composition Gloria.
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

He is widely referred to as “the greatest Italian opera composer after Verdi” and “the last of Italy’s great opera composers”. His works – La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Il trittico and Turandot are indeed masterpieces and are among the most widely performed operas in the standard repertoire. The mentioned operas also contain a number of outstanding stand-alone arias including Mi chiamano Mimi, O soave fanciulla, Che gelida manina, E lucevan le stelle, Un bel di vedremo, O mio babbino caro and Nessun Dorma.
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

German-born British composer is widely considered one of the greatest masters of the Baroque era and one of Britain’s foremost classical composers. He wrote over 40 operas, 29 oratories, more than 100 cantatas, duets and trios, 16 organ concertos and a number of arias, ecumenical pieces, chamber music, odes and serenatas. His greatest works include the Messiah, Sarabande, Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, to mention only a few.
1892-Pianist Tommy Turpin writes Harlem Rag, the first known ragtime composition
1902-Scott Jopin publishes The Entertainer
Lincoln Park is opened in New Orleans as a center for ragtime and early jazz performances.
Pianist Jelly Roll Morton claims to have invented jazz in this year.
The popularity of ragtime continues to grow among Blacks and white resulting in increased public interaction between the races.
1911- Irving Berlin records Alexander's Ragtime Band.
1913- The word "jazz" first appears in print.
1917-Scott Joplin dies.
The classic era of ragtime ends.
Jazz musicians begin to leave New Orleans for the North.
The town of Zion, Illinois bans jazz performances, labeling them "sinful.
1922- Pianist William "Count" Basie makes his first recordings.
1924-George Gershwin debuts Rhapsody in Blue along with Paul Whiteman's band
1925 - Electrical recordings are introduced.
1929- Pianist Fats Waller participates in a mixed-race recording session in which he is forced to play behind a screen to separate him from the white musicians.
1932- Duke Ellington records It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't' Got That Swing), the first jazz composition to use swing in the title
1935- Benny Goodman begins recording with a racially integrated trio that includes pianist Teddy Wilson and drummer Gene Krupa.
1937- Billie Holiday makes her debut with Count Basie's band.
1927- Louis Armstrong makes his first recordings with his Hot Seven, which was the Hot Five plus drums and tuba
Benny Goodman records Sing, Sing, Sing & Plays at Carnegie Hall.
1939-A new band led by trombonist Glenn Miller gains notoriety through regular radio broadcasts.
1944- Trumpeter Miles Davis arrives in New York to study at Juilliard School of Music but promptly withdraws. He complains of the classical / European focus of the school and decides he can learn more from Parker, Gillespie and the NY jazz scene.
1947- Louis Armstrong appears at Carnegie Hall with Billie Holiday
1948-Billie Holiday performs twice at Carnegie Hall, both times breaking box-office records.
1945- Dizzy Gillespie records Be-Bop
1960-John Coltrane records My Favorite Things, as well as Giant Steps.
1962-Saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd record Desafinado, which sparks renewed interest in bossa nova
1971-Free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman's Skies of America is performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
1983-Pianist Scott Joplin appears on a U.S. postage stamp
1995-Thelonious Monk Institute produces "A Celebration of America's Music" on ABC TV, the first network television special devoted to jazz in over 25 years.
Jazz at Lincoln Center becomes
1997-A $27 million jazz museum opens in Kansas City.
American Folk music, which is also known as Americana, consists of a very wide range of musical styles, including Bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, and Cajun.
Country music is a genre of American popular music that originated in the Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from the southeastern genre of American folk music and Western music
Fiddlin' John Carson was the first to record a "country" song.
*Fun Fact: Henry Ford, the auto maker, put more money into promoting country music in the 1920s than anyone else.
Crazy Water Crystals -a medicine company- sponsered acts that grew in popularity throughout the 1930's and on. At this point, country music was told to flip it's act around because the lyrics were too dirty and inappropriate.
Known as Country Western, the genre dropped the Western when artist finally started calling themselves country singers around the 1960s/1970s. Some of the more popular artists of this time include Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, June Carter and George Jones.
Today Country music is regarded as much more popular, especially among the southern and midwestern states. Many of the artists today include Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan and many MANY others.
Both genres include guitar & fiddle as their most popular instrument.
The musical has some of its roots in the French and Viennese Operettas of the 1800s. These were popular songs of the time period, put into an Opera like style.
In the early 1800s, comedy has slipped its way into the theatre performances and created what is most similar to our musicals we see today.
The 1920s and 1930s were the start of the biggest musicals that are still performed such as
Anything Goes
Of thee I sing
, and
On Your Toes
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma (1943) was the first fully integrated musical play, using every song and dance to develop the characters or the plot.
During the 1950s, the music of Broadway was the popular music of the western world. Every season brought a fresh crop of classic hit musicals that were eagerly awaited and celebrated by the general public. Great stories, told with memorable songs and dances were the order of the day, resulting in such unforgettable hits as
The King and I
My Fair Lady
and dozens more. These musicals were shaped by three key elements:
Rodgers & Hammerstein, Loesser, Bernstein
George Abbott, Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse
Female stars:
Gwen Verdon, Mary Martin, Ethel Merman
At first, the 1960s were more of the same, with Broadway turning out record setting hits such as
Hello, Dolly!
Fiddler on the Roof
. But after musical tastes had changed, so did the musicals. No longer were they the big show-stopping numbers, they became more in-tune with rock songs.
By the 1980s, the public ruled heavily in favor of the mega-musicals, so brought a succession of long-running "Brit hits" to Broadway –
Les Miserables
Phantom of the Opera
Miss Saigon
were light on intellectual content and heavy on special effects and marketing.
Starting in the year 2000, a new era of American musical comedies took Broadway by surprise.
The Producers
Thoroughly Modern Millie
-- funny, melodic and inventively staged, these hit shows offered new hope for the genre.
Jazz is a genre of music that originated in African American communities in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century
Musicals are a play or movie in which singing and dancing play an essential part. Musicals developed from light opera in the early 20th century.
Disco is pop music intended mainly for dancing to at parties, typically soul-influenced and melodic with a regular bass beat and popular particularly in the late 1970s.
Funk is a rhythm-driven musical genre popular in the 1970s and early 1980s that linked soul to later African-American musical styles
Electronic music is performed using synthesizers and other electronic instruments.
Latin music is a catch-all term used by the music industry to described any music in Spanish mainly from Latin America and Spain regardless of genre.
A form of pop music that originated in Jamaica, combining elements of calypso and rhythm and blues with a strongly accentuated offbeat. Bob Marley was the first internationally known reggae musician.
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted.
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or RnB, is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s.
Pop is commercial popular music, in particular accessible, tuneful music of a kind popular since the 1950s and sometimes contrasted with rock, soul, or other forms of popular music.
rock and roll: a type of pop music originating in the 1950s as a blend of rhythm and blues and country and western. It is generally based upon the twelve-bar blues, the first and third beats in each bar being heavily accented.
Disco was a style. It became popular from underground clubs. People would listen to the jukebox or the live music of jazz. During prohibition, there became a surge of undergound musicians and lifestyles, one of which became disco.
1942 – La Discotheque, a basement nightclub with only one turntable opens in Paris. The term ‘discotheque’ is used in Europe to describe clubs where there is no live music played.
Paul Pacine opens the Whiskey A-Go-Go club one of the first ever nightclubs. At Whiskey A-Go-Go in 1953 DJ Regine uses two turntables with no breaks between the music. There is a dance-floor, coloured lights and no juke-box.
DJ Terry Noel (the first DJ to mix records)
In a decade of growing social fragmentation and lifestyle choices, the reaction against the dominant white rock music and culture in America champions the dance music scene of the jazz heyday. Disco also appeals to women, newly liberated by the pill and feminism now a topic of the modern workplace. Women seek to go out unchaperoned, get dressed up, spend their hard-earned wages and dance the night away to funk, latin and soul music.
Many disco sounds and sights also take inspiration from hippy culture elements such as psychedelia, free love, colourful clothing and drug-taking. It is the era of the counter-culture, the dawning of the age of Aquarius and emancipation and freedom.
1971: Disco reaches television with the Soul Train music and dancing show.
In late 1977 disco fever peaks with the release of the movie Saturday Night Fever. Seen as a marketing tool to broaden disco’s popularity beyond the counter-culture, it is a huge success and the BeeGees soundtrack becomes one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Disco Attire
Hot Pants:
Platform Shoes:
Flared Jeans:
3 Piece Suit
Wrap Dress:
The whole disco look was gradually replaced by Punk Rock anti-fashion in the late 1970s. The disco style was considered too escapist and flamboyant and out of touch with the politics of the day. In the USA anti-disco resentment grew amongst rock fans who began wearing anti-disco slogans on t-shirts.
Soul music took off in the early to mid 60's, with the "Motown Sound": artists like The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and others, along with Wilson Pickett. 1965-1970 was the changing of times, not only in American culture, but in music as well. James Brown, however, was the man with the groove. James had the most outspoken voice in soul music and had a groove that would be proven to be the future of funk music. Many of his band members would go on to funk with many other bands.
George Clinton had created two new funk bands, one called Parliament (formerly The Parliaments) and the other called Funkadelic. Parliament had emphasis on horns and Funkadelic had emphasis on guitars, but both had a deep, rhythm filled groove. Clinton's funk had elements of all the following genres of music, all rolled into one: rock and roll, jazz, urban, rhythm and blues, soul, blues, black gospel, and symphonic/classical. Clinton had successfully fused together all of these types of music to create funk, or as he called it, P-Funk.
In the mid to late 70's, Rick James began to funk the world with his party music. James was known for his discofunk song "You And I" in the late 70's and the major hit "Superfreak" in the early 80's.
But by far, the most influential artist to all people in regards to funk and dance music, was Prince.
Electronic music started to get popular in the 70's. It was somewhat of a spin off of disco music. People still wanted the dance aspect, but were facinated by new developments in technology.
Today there are all different types of Electronic music. Some refer to it as techno, some as EDM (electronic dance music), and it expands from there. Although it has never been considered popular music, it is a genre that is under-rated and under apprciated.
The history of Latin music starts with the influence from indigenous music such as from the Mayas who had a great interest in music and produced all kind of wind and percussion instruments. Many of the Pre-Columbine cultures used wind instruments, with all types of flutes made throughout the continent. Much of this original musical expression can be seen today in some of the more traditional Latin music such as the Andean music of South America.
while Latin music is usually associated with countries like Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Argentina, the rhythms have come and been passed down through the ages. Its history starts not only with the Caribbean culture, but even before that, from the slaves that came from Africa bringing with them the beats that were a major source of inspiration for the music that followed in the Americas.
Salsa: This is a word that brings instant reaction and inspires Latin music lovers worldwide. There is much debate as to where Salsa originated. Some claim it to be a newer version of older forms of Afro-Cuban rhythms coming from Cuba. Others point out that between the years of 1930 and 1960 musicians from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and South America flocked to New York, each bringing their native rhythms and as they played the influences came together to become the Salsa of today.

Samba: The most typical music of Brazil, and gets its original rhythm from “candomble” or the prayer music of Afro-Brazilian religious practices. The word “samba” means “to pray”.

Bossa Nova: This is probably the most well known of all Brazilian music. Bossa Nova derived from the samba and actually means the “new way”.

And then of course there is Merengue, Reggeaton, Tango, Cueca, Bolero, Danzon, Rumba, Cumbia and Mambo among the long list of types and variations of Latin music.
Internationally though, one of the most well known today would be Latin Pop which represents a large part of the Latin music enjoyed worldwide. Some of the most popular and well known Latin Pop artists are those such as Alejandro Sanz, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Juanes, Selena, Ricky Martin and Luis Miguel.
Towards the end of the 1950s, amateurs began to form bands that played Caribbean music and New Orleans' rhythm'n'blues. This led to the "bluebeat" groups, which basically were Jamaica's version of the New Orleans sound. They usually featured saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, drums and bass. The word "reggae" was coined around 1960 in Jamaica to identify a "ragged" style of dance music, that still had its roots in New Orleans rhythm'n'blues. The basic message of reggae music was 'peace and love' - quite the opposite of rock n roll.
Reggae is now widely known as island music and is played mostly using the steel drums or offbeat bass drum. One famous song you might know is played below on the steel drums:
An artist that is famous from fusing genres together is Pitbull. He comes from an Hispanic background but puts pop, reggage and latin into one.
Hip hop holds its roots in the 1970's in New York City. Specifically, largely African-American parts of the Bronx and Brooklyn. DJs were using turntables to create music that was fused from separate records. They would create a rhythm using these "beats" and create lyrical poetry over the spliced sounds to make what is the essential foundation of all hip hop and rap music today.
Since these early days, hip hop has expanded quite a bit. While it was originally a form of musical poetry (so to speak), it has developed several subgenres such as "crunk", "gangsta rap", and more. Crunk music, or crunk rap, is a style of hip hop that developed in the southern United States. It's loud anthems and crowd-oriented singalongs are developed specifically to get the dancefloor moving. Gangsta Rap developed in the late eighties in Los Angeles and New York City, and was centralized o­n hard beats which narrated life in the ghetto.
More than a century before rap exploded o­nto the American music scene, West African musicians were telling stories rhythmically, with just the beat of a drum for accompaniment. Meanwhile, folk artists from the Caribbean Islands were also telling stories in rhyme. Indeed, these singing poets from Africa and the Caribbean lay the foundation for modern-day American rap music.
it wasn’t until 1979, when the Sugarhill Gang released their breakaway hit, ‘Rapper’s Delight, that record producers took notice of this emerging musical genre. o­nce they did, numerous rap acts, including Run-DMC and N.W.A., surfaced, and rap’s audience began to swell. It wasn’t just African American male rappers getting in o­n the act, either: By the 1980s, white rap bands such as the Beastie Boys and female rap bands such as Salt-n-Pepa were reaching the top of the charts.
By the 1990s, rap matured from an old-school-style – which was based o­n relatively simple lyrics to a new-school-style, which was louder and included more complex lyrics. Artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg and Tupac ruled the charts during this time, as did Eminem o­ne of the most popular white rappers of all time.
Rap has stood the test of time and its popularity rages o­n with today’s artists such as 50 Cent, Ludacris and Jay-Z churning out hit after thought-provoking hit.
The Difference Between Rap and Hip Hop
For years, the debate has ensued about what exactly the difference is between rap music and hip hop music, and the main crux of the argument centers around the type of culture that each type of music personifies. Other factors, though, are also included, such as: how the music is produced, the elements associated with the sound of the music, and what each genre tries to get across in its central message
Hip hop culture is defined by the late '70s, early '80s beat-box style of music where groups like Sugarhill Gang, Fab 5 Freddy, and Kurtis Blow. These artists, and many more just like them, sang in upbeat tones that told people to get off their seats and dance to the music. Their message was more of a positive, brighter future type of ballad. Rap, o­n the other hand, is more concerned with what is going o­n in popular culture. Current rap stars like Eminem, 50 Cent, and Lil' Wayne frequently rap about the prevalence of drug dealing where they are from, political issues that they disagree with, or general elements of impropriety amongst the perceived leaders of this nation.
Famous Artists:
P Diddy
MC Hammer
Snoop Dogg
50 Cent
Missy Elliot
There were three technological developments that took place, namely the invention of electric guitars, the discovery of the German-invented tape recorder which simplified the recording process and the rise of television broadcasting in the late 1940s.

These led to radio owners to sell off their radio stations presuming that it would become obsolete because of the popularity of television. These new radio station owners sought black American musicians and this allowed the sounds of Rhythm and Blues to be aired to the ubran black audience.
In the 1960's the three most important styles of Rhythm and Blues were:

Chicago Soul was influenced by Gospel Music songs.
Motown sound is a combination of proficient song writing with a straight forward vocal expression.
Southern Soul is the most influenced style of Rhythm and Blues.
Distinguishing characteristics of Rhythm and Blues are:

The specific approach to the expression of musical time and often used interchangeably with Hip-Hop.(the so-called groove)
Timbre refers to the quality or color of a sound - for example, a listener may be able to identify the difference between a saxophone and a guitar , or distinguish one vocalist from another. R&B singers and instrumentalists often alternate between gentle, smooth, sharp and deafening timbres, giving the music a wide range of emotional expression.
Twelve-bar form and a three-lyric line format.
Call and response style where a singer or instrumentalist calls a phrase and another would respond with another phrase.
Repetition of verses, rhythms and musical notes.
The tight blending of instruments making it difficult to differentiate the sounds or instruments used at a given moment.
Bridging of the musical connection between the minor and major modes.
The instrumentation is divided into two sections namely, the rhythm section which comprises of a drum set, bass, piano, sometimes organ and piano together and the guitar. The horn section consists of trumpets, saxaphones, sometimes trombones and the emphasis on horns is one of the way it stands out from White Rock Music.
Today, R&B is a very large genre that has crossed lines into popular music. There are many famous artists which include:
Whitney Houston
Mariah Carey
Al Green
Diana Ross
Ray Charles
Chaka Kahn
Patti LaBelle
Marvin Gaye
Stevie Wonder
Mary J. Blige
James Brown
Aretha Franklin
In the early 1950's the American Pop Charts are dominated by the remnants of the big band era including vocalists such as Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and Nat King Cole. The Rhythm & Blues Charts feature African-American artists playing to a predominately African-American audience in urban centers and the south. Cleveland, Ohio radio Disc Jockey Alan Freed is an exception with his "Moondog Show" where he spins up-tempo rhythm & blues hits, but aims his show beyond thetraditional African-American audience for R&B and gains a wide audience of both white and black teenagers. Freed eventually names this cross-current of musical styles and influences - electric blues, boogie, jazz, gospel, R&B vocal groups and country - "Rock and Roll".

In 1953, Bill Haley and His Comets are the first to hit the pop charts with a true rock and roll song, taking their single "Crazy Man Crazy" to #12. Black R&B artists such as Doo Wop group the Orioles achieve crossover success on the Pop Charts in 1953 with their R&B hit "Crying In The Chapel".
Independent record labels such as Sun (Memphis), Ace (Jackson, MS), Vee-Jay (Gary, IN), Chess (Chicago), Specialty Records (Los Angeles) and many other labels are quick to pick up on the opportunity and begin to release Rock and Roll records from newly signed artists.
In 1955 rock and roll has it's first nationwide #1 hit when Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" tops the Pop Charts. Although considered a novelty or fad by most, rock proves it's staying power. In 1955 black R&B artists Little Richard and Chuck Berry score significant Pop hits. Scouts from RCA records, looking to sign their own rock and roll performer, buy out the contract of Memphis singer Elvis Presley from regional label Sun Records.
In April 1956 Elvis Presley tops the Pop Charts with his first RCA single release "Heartbreak Hotel". By the end of the year he would be the first artist ever to have nine singles in the Hot 100 at one time. By 1957 rock and roll artists appear regularly on the popular music charts and by 1959 rock and roll records account for 43% of all records sold.
The end of the decade is marked by tragedy as a February 1959 plane crash takes the lives of rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.
In the sixties rock music comes of age and dominates the popular music charts. Elvis Presley continues to score hits in the early part of the decade, but the music continues to diversify with the folk revival, the Brill Building sound, Phil Spector's wall of sound, girl groups and surf music, all impacting the early part of the decade. The Motown, Stax and Atlantic labels bring more african-american artists back to the forefront of the pop charts. By 1964 American artists are sharing the top of the charts with U.K. bands led by the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In the U.S. garage bands emerge, inspired by the British Invasion sound.
Television becomes a major force in rock music as networks try to attract a younger audience. American Bandstand continues with it's afternoon, clean-cut, teen idol format, while the Ed Sullivan Show and other TV variety shows begin showcasing rock bands in prime time. The networks also add the weekly prime time shows Shindig and Hullabaloo featuring dancers and new music for teenage fans.
In the late sixties outdoor rock music festivals begin. First with 1967's Monterey Pop Festival which attracts 55,000 fans per day to a three day concert. In the summer of 1969 the Woodstock Music and Art Fair draws 500,000 people to a three day concert in Bethel, New York.

The Beatles dominate the sixties record charts with 6 of the top 10 albums of the decade and 21 of the decades' top 100 singles. Their nearest competitor is Elvis Presley with 9 of the decades' top 100 singles and 4 of the decades' top 100 albums.
The Beatles break up in 1970, but all four members continue to impact the decade with successful solo careers. The early seventies are marked by the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison who all die at the age of 27. Pyschedelic music declines, but morphs into hard rock, progressive rock and heavy metal. Touring bands move from playing clubs and theaters, to playing sports arenas. Big time bands, many of them formed in the '60's, such as the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Grand Funk and Led Zeppelin travel in private jets and play to thousands in arenas and outdoor stadiums.
This diversity of music distribution channels, along with an expanding market allows for a wide variety of new rock styles to emerge. The early seventies are dominated by singer songwriters and soft rock. Glam or Glitter Rock shines briefly in the first half of the seventies. Live albums are popular, with huge hits for Rare Earth, Peter Frampton, and Kiss. Reggae moves out of Jamaica to become a world wide genre. Disco dominates the radio and dance floors in the late seventies. Punk rock, a throwback to sixties garage rock, emerges in the late seventies as a reaction to arena rock, progressive rock and disco. Punk becomes New Wave as bands move beyond guitars and drums, and begin incorporating synthesizers.

John Lennon is shot to death by a fan in 1980 just as he was coming back into the public eye with a new album. MTV (Music Television) is launched on 300 U.S. cable TV systems in 1981. By 1983 MTV is available on 2,000 cable systems. VH1 is launched in 1984 with a more classic rock format. The prevalance of music videos as a 24/7 marketing tool is influential in bringing numerous new bands and music styles into the mainstream, including a resurgence in heavy metal, the emergence of synthpop, new wave, rap and hip hop. The number of successful female artists, across many genres, is reflected in singles and album sales.
Alternative Rock and it's sub-genres Grunge and Pop Punk expand in popularity and ironically, explode into the mainstream during the 1990's. Major labels begin luring independent bands away from small record labels. These artists are resistant to the demands of big record companies and unwilling to change styles to reach a mass market audience. Nevertheless, many alternative bands, including REM, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Smiths and grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and others find success with mainstream audiences.
The phrase “pop music” was first coined around the middle of the 1920′s, it meant a piece of music had “popular” appeal. Numerous things that took place during the recordings of the 20′s could be seen as being the start of the modern day pop music industry, which includes rhythm and blues music, as well as, country, folk, and others
The Crooners
The first major pop stars as such were the crooners of the 1930s and '40s. Bing Crosby sold millions of records, as did Frank Sinatra (arguably the first modern pop star, with screaming teenage female fans - the bobbysoxers), and in Britain, Al Bowly.
They recorded and performed with full orchestras in the main style of the day. But there were other vocals groups, such as the Mills Brothers and the Inkspots, whose harmonies set the standards for those aspiring to fame.
With the style known as swing, big bands also came into their own, with tunes like Glen Miller's "In The Mood" becoming standards.
The Charts
Curiously, pop music charts as such didn't exist until 1952, when the first Top Twenty was recorded. It came at an interesting time, as "teenagers" really came into being. Historically there'd been no transitional period between childhood and adulthood. Now, after World War II, that seemed to begin, imported from America, and in skiffle, an interpretation of American folk music (personified by Lonnie Donegan), teens found their music.
Rock'n'roll brought much more of that, and Elvis Presley became a global star, the biggest of the late 1950s and early 1960s. But he would find himself supplanted by the Beatles, who revolutionised pop by writing their own material, instigating a fashion that remains undiminished.
The Beatles set the standard for pop music, and it remains undiminished - Beatlesque has become a standard descriptive adjective. From 1962 until their break up in 1970 they dominated the charts in Britain and America.
Post Beatles
The Beatles influenced a generation - more than one, really - with their melodies and harmonies, and that was apparent in the 1970s, when pop careened through several styles, from the Glam Rock of T. Rex to the raw fire of punk. But the biggest pop star to emerge from the period was a singer and pianist, Elton John, whose popularity has remained constant.
The idea of artists writing their own material remained in the wake of the Fab Four, although professional songwriters stayed in demand for those unable to pen a tune. From the early days of rock there had been "manufactured" stars - people taken on board for a pretty face rather than any innate talent, and made into stars by producers. It had happened to Adam Faith, Alvin Stardust and many others, most of whom only enjoyed short careers.
The 1980s proved a moribund decade for pop. Styles came and went, but it was an era short on memorable music. Only Wham! (and later George Michael) emerged as true pop stars.
Boy Bands
The 1990s was the time of boy bands, perhaps the ultimate in manufactured acts. A group of young male singers was assembled for their looks, given catchy songs and arrangements and pushed to fame. It happened to East 17 and, most memorably, Take That. America saw how it worked and gave the world the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, and for a few years it worked very well, selling millions of records. But like any fashion, it passed. A female version, the Spice Girls, was briefly huge. Notably, the only ones to come out of this and sustain a solo career was Robbie Williams from Take That and Justin Timberlake from 'N Sync.
America tried a similar tactic with female pop stars, and both Mariah Carey and Britney Spears became massive manufactured stars, followed, to a lesser degree, by Christina Aguilera.
Since the year 2000 there's been a dearth of major new stars, relying mostly on established talent. Several younger artists have come and gone, and new styles have briefly emerged, but nothing appears to have gained a major foothold besides modern R&B, which owes little to its soulful predecessor, but a lot to hip-hop - which itself has become a pop style.

Top Hit's by Decade
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