POP MUSIC DEFINED

 

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Depending on context, pop music is either an abbreviation of popular music or, more recently, a term for a sub-genre of it.

The subgenre of pop is perhaps the most widely crowd-pleasing form of all popular music. The defining musical characteristics of the sub-genre we call pop are, firstly, the presence of what is called the "hook", and secondly, production techniques entirely reliant on the musical fashions of the time.

The "hook" can be any part of the song, musical, rhythmic, vocal, or as is most often the case, a mixture of all of them. The principles of good music production (in its broadest sense), are universal, and therefore when the person behind the music is a talented writer/arranger/producer the end result is almost guaranteed to be based around several musical ideas repeated to "hook" a listener's interest.

The production techniques of pop music follow closely the prevailing musical fashions. It is perhaps slightly ironic that it is generally underground, non-mainstream music sub-genres that have the biggest influence on mainstream pop. The most sought-after producers of today are quite often those at the forefront of very leftfield "scenes". Listen to Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera--in fact any pop from the last few years, and hear very strong hip hop and r & b influences. (Whilst hip-hop is now the dominant form, only ten years ago things were very different. It is the accessible pop face of hip-hop that has brought it to so much mainstream attention.) The slightly more underground influence at the present time is the re-emergence of synthesisers.

 

Pop Music
Stylistic origins: Varies
Cultural origins: Varies
Mainstream popularity: 1960s-2000s in the United States, Europe, and Asia
Subgenres

Boy band - Girl band - Traditional pop music - J-POP - Bubblegum Pop - Teen pop - Europop - Nederpop

Fusion
Synth Pop - Pop punk
Other topics
Cantopop - Pop Culture

 

It is instantly accessible to anyone who is culturally inclined to take part, even often the musical novice. Successful pop music--which is usually measured in terms of its commercial success, without any regard for broader artistic merit--is usually performed by charismatic performers who may or may not be musically talented but who look attractive, are fashionable, and usually are able to dance well. Songwriting and arranging may be performed by anonymous, but well-paid, producers.

 

Producer Frank Farian briefly experimented with the notion of having one party sing a song, and another, more photogenic group, lip-sync to it. The result was called Milli Vanilli and was hugely successful, until people discovered what was going on. Though this was scandalous in the late '80's, today many of the most popular pop singers employ lip-synching to pre-recorded tracks during their presumably "live" performances. Though it is still widely criticized, the performers often argue that it is not an issue of them lacking singing talent. Rather, they claim, it is difficult to dance, peform, and get all the words out at the same time, so they play recorded music in the background in order to ensure that the performance sounds good. However, critics maintain that in a live musical performance, the live music creation (be it sung, instrumental, or both) should be the issue that receives precedence over other less important things, such as dancing or theatrics.

 

Due to its increasing commercialization and the lip-synching issue, pop music is often criticized for being entertaining while lacking serious musical value and artistic significance. This is believed to be primarily due to record companies' financial considerations being placed above any artistic considerations, whereby the record companies hand-pick the artists and songs that they think will make them the most money. In a sense, young and fashionable teens who might have no prior knowledge of the music industry are marketed into something that can sell fun and danceable music to a preteen audience. Companies often figure that their profits will be maximized by selling music that has the broadest possible appeal. This is often the case, as some works of popular music have sold tens of millions of copies. Such music is often unsatisfying to more discerning listeners. This is also at least partially why genres that manage to attain a certain level of credibility as styles in their own right are often no longer considered "pop"; as several of the more legitimate and serious musicians, as well as their fans, strive to separate themselves from the commercialiasm-over-creativity aspect of the record-company-manufacted pop of the day.

In most of pop music, the record producer is a major contributor--sometimes more important than the artist--who chooses the songs and shapes the sound of the music.

The image of pop performers is often regarded as being as important as their actual music. Consequently, pop performers and their managers make elaborate efforts to project the desired image through their clothing, music video clips, manipulation of the popular press, and similar tactics. Indeed, many pop acts are formulated around achieving the desired image, with music considered later. Boy bands and girl bands are particularly carefully organised in this manner, with members often chosen and groomed to fulfill certain roles and to appeal to different fan personalities.

A particular style of song particularly associated with the pop genre is the love ballad, a slow song in which the performers sing usually highly sentimental songs about various aspects of romantic love.

Well-known pop musicians include Janet Jackson, Madonna and Michael Jackson (the self-styled "King of Pop") and from earlier days Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand, Paul Whiteman, and Rudy Vallee. Though most of today's manufactured pop stars have been shaped to fit the image and style of these more famous and successful stars, these older stars were all from a period before Milli Vanilli and all have legitimate musical talent of their own, as writers, producers, and/or instrument-players. However, because of their commercial appeal, modern pop stars are often crafted after them, which is why many consider them to be "pop" singers in the subgenre of popular music.

Though much of this article has described "pop" as used in its more recent sense, as a subgenre of popular music, what follows is a list of all popular music performers. Pop music, in its more general and older, but also now rarer, sense is a very broad umbrella term. It was created as a synonym of "rock-n-roll", during the birth of the rock era in the 1950's, in order to separate the then-new, then-controversial and extremely progressive and innovative form of music from the more typical styles of jazz, gospel, big band, and classical music that had come before it. Eventually "pop" or "rock-n-roll" music would branch out into many subgenres, subcultures, and submovements, including progressive rock, punk, disco, hip-hop, funk, metal, alternative, new wave, techno, new age, and soul, to name a few; and it has become so popular to the point that the pre-1950's music styles are now the overwhelming minority of all new music available in record stores.

Most recently, popular music has even merged with older, pre-pop forms of music such as jazz (for example Norah Jones), swing (Brian Setzer Orchestra, Cherry Poppin' Daddies), gospel (Whitney Houston, CeCe Winans), and has even incorporate elements of classical music, for example in rap samples, metal, and progressive rock. As a general rule of thumb, in the original and broad sense of the word, any song which might potentially be heard on a top 40 radio station is a pop song and any musician, band, or group which might potentially produce music videos creates music in some sub-genre of pop music.

 

 

MUSIC INDEX A - Z

 

 

Abba

AC-DC

Aerosmith

A H Rahman

A-ha

Alabama

Alanis Morisette

Alison Kraus

All Saints

American Idol

American Music Awards

Amy Macdonald

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Annie Lennox

Aqua

Arctic Monkeys

Atomic Kitten

Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend Wedding

Bananarama

Band Aid

Backstreet Boys

Babra Streisand

Barry Manilow

Barry White

Bay City Rollers

Beach Boys

Beyonce

Billy Joel

Bing Crosby

Black Sabbath - Ozzy Osbourne

Blondie

Bob Dylan

Bob Geldof

Bob Marley & Wailers

Bon Jovi

Boney M

Boyz II Men

Brenda Lee

Britney Spears - Shaved

Bruce Springsteen

Bryan Adams

Bucks Fizz

Buddy Holly

B'z

Cascada

Celine Dion

Charles Aznavour

Charlotte Church

Chacago

Cheeky Girls

Chemical Brothers

Childrens Songs

Christina Aguilera - Basics

Christina Milian

Chuck Berry

Cindy Lauper

Cliff Richard

Coldplay

Comic Relief

David Bowie

Def Leoppard

Depeche Mode

Destiny's Child

Dire Straits

Dixie Chicks

Dolly Parton

Donna Summer

Duran Duran

Earth Wind and Fire

East Magazine - Eastbounre

Eddie Arnold

Elena Paparizou - Eurovision

Elkie Brooks

Elton John

Elvis Presley

Eminem

Enrique Iglesias

Enya

Eurovision Song Contest

Evanescence

Events - Tents - Moroccan

Fergie

Fleetwood Mac

Flipp's - Pop Funk collection

Foreigner

Frank Sinatra

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Frankie Laine

Garth Brooks

Gary Numan

Genesis

George Michael

Geri Halliwell

Girl Bands

Girl Groups

Girls Aloud

Glade alternative music festival

Glastonbury

Gloria Estefan

Grace Jones

Grammy Awards

Grant Navy Fireman

Groove Armada

Guns and Roses

Gunther + Sunshine Girls

Gwen Stefani

Haircut 100

Hank Thompson

Hellogoodbye

Her Name in Blood

Hoosiers

Intraverse

Iron Maiden

James Blunt

James Morrison

Janet Jackson

Jean Michel Jarre

Jennifer Lopez

Jessica Simpson

Jethro Tull

Jimi Hendrix

Joel White

John Denver

Johnny Cash

Johnny Mathis

Joni James

Joss Stone

Journey

Juan Thyme

Julia Figueroa

Julio Iglesias

Justin Timberlake

Karaoke    A - Z of UK venues

Kate Bush

Kate Nash

Katie Melua

Kenny Rogers

Kristina Bradford

Kylie Minogue - cancer

Led Zeppelin

Lily Allen

Linda Ronstadt

Lionel Richie

Live Aid

Live Earth Concerts

Live 8

Louis Walsh

Luciano Pavarotti

KISS

Madonna - Films and Video

Mama Hoochie Bang

Mando - Manto

Mariah Carey

Marillion

Max Jasper - Mezzowave

McFly

Meatloaf

Metallica

Michael Bolton

Michael Jackson

Mireille Mathieu

Modern Talking

MTV

My Chemical Romance

Myspace.com - Networking

Nat King Cole

Natasha Bedingfield

National Anthems

Neil Diamond

Nelly Furtado

Nirvana

 

Oasis

Olivia Newton-John

Paris Hilton

Patti Page

Pearl Jam

Perry Como

Peter Waterman

Petition the Prime Minister

Petula Clarke

Phil Collins

Photography

Pink - Pink Orchid Ltd

Pink Floyd

Pop Idol

Pop Music

Prince

Queen

Reading Music Festival

Record Companies

Record Producers

Ricky Nelson

Rihanna

Robbie Williams

Rod Stewart

Roxette

Roxy Music

Rule Britannia

Santana

Shakira

Shania Twain

Sharon Osbourne

Simon Cowell

Simply Red

Snoop Dog

Songwriting

Spice Girls

Stars in Their Eyes

Steps

Stevie Wonder

Sting - The Police

Stock Aitken Waterman SAW

Sugababes

Terry Wogan

The Bangles

The Beatles

The Bee Gees

The Brit Awards

The Carpenters

The Clash

The Doobie Brothers

The Doors

The Eagles

The Jacksons

The Pussycat Dolls

The Ramones

The Rolling Stones

The Royal Canadians

The Seekers

The Sunshine Girls

The Ventures

The Who

The X Factor

The X Factor 2005

The X Factor 2006

Three Dog Night

Timbaland

Tina Turner

TOP TEN - FORTY CHARTS

Tupac

U2

UB40

USA For Africa

Van Halen

Vibes From the Vine - Concert 06

Vicky Leandros

Victoria Beckham

VW tour bus - Sunshine Girls

Wei Wei

Whitney Houston

Wicked New Year Party - Alps 07

Woodstock

World Idol

X Factor Battle of Stars

YouTube.com

ZZ Top

 

 

 

 

 

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