Pop music (as opposed to classical, art, or folk music) is contemporary music. The phrase does not refer to a single genre or sound, and its meaning changes with time and location. Styles like a danceable rhythm or beat, simple melodies, and a repetitive pattern reminiscent of Karen Carpenter and Roberta Flack’s songs separate “pop music” from other subgenres within popular music. The lyrics of pop songs are frequently emotive, with themes such as love or dance.
Rock, hip hop, reggae, dance, R&B, jazz, electronica, folk music, and other types can all be found in pop music. For Example, jazz-influenced pop music 1920s to the 1950s, rock, and rhythm and blues (R&B) 1950s to the 1980s, and hip hop 1980s to the present. Pop music is distinguished from other popular music genres by its broad popularity, and pop musicians and recordings are among the best-selling and most well-known in many countries.
Formats for composing, recording, and distributing
A pop song can be composed by a professional songwriter or composer and then delivered to a professional performer, or it can be written by the person performing it. Since the 1960s, pop music artists have increasingly written their songs. On the other hand, many pop songs are not composed by the artists themselves. Cover versions and pop standards (recognized songs performed by various vocalists) are also popular.
When a song’s singer and writer are not the same people, the singer is referred to as the “pop star,” while the writer works in the background. Fans of genres where this is common have chastised pop stars for not composing or singing their material (such as rock bands, rap MCs, or singer-songwriters). On the other hand, listeners of classical music have occasionally chastised pop vocalists for lack of aesthetic expertise and technique.
The evolution of recording technology is viewed as a major impact on pop’s sound, distinguishing it from classical music and jazz and those genres of popular music that seek a more “natural” sound. Pop music artists often use cutting-edge equipment and recording studios to obtain the sound they want, with record producers having a significant effect.
Singles and albums were the most prevalent ways to distribute pop music during the recorded music era. Vinyl records, cassette tapes, compact discs, and Internet downloads were among the mediums used to distribute it.
Themes and music
Pop music usually has a simple, memorable melody and focuses on the beat, frequently with syncopation, and is pared down to a basic riff or loop that repeats for the majority of the song. In most situations, pop songs feature a verse and a chorus, each with its musical material and a bridge that connects them.
African American R&B, soul, and gospel have inspired the vocal style of many popular songs. Swing jazz, rock & roll, reggae, funk, disco, and, more recently, hip hop have all had a major influence on the rhythms and sounds of pop music.
Songs about love or dance are common. Many pop songs are also self-referential, with references to the artist and the song’s performance.
Performances and video
Artists may have grandiose stage presentations and choreographed dancing, and music videos and live performances are frequently exploited for media publicity. Music videos are commonly released after the original single to entice people to buy both the video and the song. The public presentation of pop music musicians through films and interviews has been the source of both praise and criticism.