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Transcript of Pop Music
Pop music derives from many different genres of music.
It is very eclectic, and borrows so heavily from other genres that it could be said that it cannot or does not stand alone as a genre unto itself.
The main characteristics are: it uses a basic verse/chorus form, has basic instrumentation, is commercially recorded, and desires mass audience appeal.
So-called "pure pop" music, such as power pop, features all these elements, using electric guitars, drums and bass for instrumentation; in the case of such music, the main goal is usually that of being pleasurable to listen to, rather than having much artistic depth. Pop music is generally thought of as a genre which is commercially recorded and desires to have a mass audience appeal.
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.
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
INFLUENCES AND DEVELOPMENT
Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from most other genres of popular music. Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazz, country, and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, and has recently appropriated spoken passages from rap.
It has also made use of technological innovation. In the 1940s improved microphone design allowed a more intimate singing style and ten or twenty years later inexpensive and more durable 45 r.p.m. records for singles "revolutionized the manner in which pop has been disseminated" and helped to move pop music to ‘a record/radio/film star system’.
Another technological change was the widespread availability of television in the 1950s; with televised performances, "pop stars had to have a visual presence". In the 1960s, the introduction of inexpensive, portable transistor radios meant that teenagers could listen to music outside of the home. Multi-track recording (from the 1960s); and digital sampling (from the 1980s) have also been utilized as methods for the creation and elaboration of pop music.
By the early 1980s, the promotion of pop music had been greatly affected by the rise of Music Television channels like MTV, which "favoured those artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna who had a strong visual appeal".
According to Grove Music Online, "Western-derived pop styles, whether coexisting with or marginalizing distinctively local genres, have spread throughout the world and have come to constitute stylistic common denominators in global commercial music cultures". Some non-Western countries, such as Japan, have developed a thriving pop music industry. The spread of Western-style pop music has been interpreted variously as representing processes of Americanization, homogenization, modernization, creative appropriation, cultural imperialism, and/or a more general process of globalization.
Pop music has been dominated by the American and (from the mid-1960s) British music industries, whose influence has made pop music something of an international monoculture, but most regions and countries have their own form of pop music,
sometimes producing local versions of wider trends, and lending them local characteristics. Some of these trends (for example Europop) have had a significant impact of the development of the genre.
Musicologists often identify the following characteristics as typical of the pop music genre:
an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideologY
an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities
an emphasis on recording, production, and technology, over live performance
a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments
much pop music is intended to encourage dancing, or it uses dance-oriented beats or 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. 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 and harmonically with the verse. The beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment. The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes – often love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions.
Harmony in pop music is often "that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded." Clichés include the barbershop harmony and blues scale-influenced harmony There was a lessening of the influence of traditional views of the circle of fifths between the mid-1950s and the late 70's, including less predominance for the dominant function.[
Some music critics, social commentators, and music industry insiders give indication that modern pop music is declining in quality. This decline can be seen in the waning music sales, public opinion polls, time studies and declining concert attendance. Furthermore, research shows that pop songs are becoming more homogeneous—that is they are tending to sound the same—and "that the number of chords and different melodies has gone down", as musicians have become less adventuresome in their songwriting.