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Pop music

Examples: Abba - Beatles - Madonna - Michael Jackson

Related: bastard pop - hit - music - pop - popular - popular culture - popular music - repetition

Pre-1975 photo of ABBA, credit unidentified


Mostly a singles medium, pop music was influenced by the beat, arrangements, and style of rock & roll (and sometimes doo wop), and it didn't sound bad on the radio next to rock & roll. But pop didn't really rock. --allmusic.com, accessed Apr 2004

The Allmusic.com definiton above is a typical example of rockism, i.e. claiming that rock music is more authentic than other musical forms.


Pop music is a common part of popular music, sometimes regarded as a subgenre of its own, generally featuring memorable melodies with strong recognizable rhythms and catchy refrains. Often regarded as the most mainstream form of popular music now, it has been around at least since the 1950s and is especially popular in the last three decades, owing to its commercial viability and successes of its many recording artists.

Pop songs' popularity can be explained by its 'hook': they often have one or more musical ideas intended to gain a listener's interest. A hook can be any part of the song: the music, the vocals, the lyrics, or, as is often the case, a combination of all of these. Pop is usually written directly and explicitly for the sole sake of selling an album; sometimes it is composed from the most mainstream-friendly, or "poppy", form of another popular music genre (such as rock or hip hop) toned down for accessibility, just as many other popular genres often incorporate elements of the pop mainsteam into their music. --http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_music [Oct 2005]


In music, any song that makes the top 40 of the charts. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hit [Apr 2005]

In marketing, a success involving (sudden) popularity of and demand for a particular item, such as a song that reaches the hit parade. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hit [Apr 2005]

Hit parade
The hit parade is the list of songs most popular at any given time. The term originated in the late 1930s and has also been used for broadcast programs featuring hit tunes, such as Your Hit Parade, which was broadcast on radio and television in the United States for many years.

Through the late 1940s, the term was definitely a list of songs, not a list of records. Typically, in those times, when a song became a hit, it was recorded by several different artists. In later years, such rerecording was called covering a song, and often rejected by fans of particular artists.

As rock and roll became popular, it was more difficult for generic singers to cover the tunes. It is said that Your Hit Parade was nearly cancelled after many weeks of unsuccessful attempts by big band singer Snooky Lanson to perform Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog". The program finally ended in 1959. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hit_parade [Apr 2005]


In popular music, a chart-topper is an extremely popular recording, identified by its inclusion in a ranked list—a chart—of top selling or otherwise judged most popular releases. Chart-topper and related terms like No. 1 hit, top of the charts, chart hit, and so forth, are widely used in common conversation and in marketing, and loosely defined. In North America, the weekly charts from trade publication Billboard magazine are most often referenced (quite often internationally, as well), particularly the Billboard Hot 100 singles and Billboard 200 album charts, although there are many other charts and sources. Because of its value in promoting artists and releases, both directly to the consumer, and by encouraging exposure on radio, TV and through other media, chart positioning has long been a subject of scrutiny and controversy. Chart compilation methodology and data sources vary, ranging from buzz charts based on opinions of various experts and tastemakers, to charts that reflect empirical data, like retail sales. Therefore, a chart-topper may be anything from an insiders' pick to a runaway seller. The term is also used similarly to some extent in video games. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chart-topper [Apr 2005]

Disco [...]

Disco Gold Although disco was the most prominent form of popular music in the 1970s, it never got the credit it deserves as a serious musical genre. These pages aim to set that straight.
Scorned and ridiculed as feather-lite, escapist pap when it emerged in the mid-seventies, and now reduced to a kitsch scenario of Afro wigs, polyester suits and drunken singalongs at office Christmas parties and bachelor weekends, disco is just about the last place anyone would look for avant garde practice. [...] --Peter Shapiro, The Wire Magazine, Feb 2003.

The brief 10 years of disco history have provided popular music with one of its most creative periods - one too often passed over by critics. Even the faddish embrace of things danceable has failed to encourage critics to muster the same seriousness for the synth-anthems of Brooklyn duo D Train, as they do for Soft Cell or Yazoo. While much of this can be ascribed to racism, disco has never cultivated the same personality cult inherent in rock. The concern has been more with good records than concepts. --Steven Harvey, Collision Magazine, 1983

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