Pop music is a genre of popular music which originated in its modern form in the 1950s, deriving from rock and roll. The terms popular music and pop music are often used interchangeably, even though the former is a description of music which is popular while the latter is a specific genre containing qualities of mass appeal.
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.
Pop music is, in common with jazz, primarily an aural and improvised music. Pop and jazz represent parallel, yet only indirectly related, developments, despite their sharing a common folk music ancestry. Pop music initially drew its repertoire from the folk traditions of the US, and thus indirectly from previous African and European traditions.
From the moment that it became big business, pop music came largely from Tin Pan Alley's publishing houses. Tin Pan Alley thrived on the opera, ragtime, cakewalk, foxtrot and show tunes. As the latter came to represent more and more of the songwriter's business, in the 1930s Tin Pan Alley moved north, near the Broadway theaters. Finally, by the end of World War II, the American landscape had been dramatically altered by the radio, the jukeboxes, a broader availability of records and turntables, and a proliferation of dance halls.
The reversion to musical segregation on ethnic line recalled the way that the pop music industry was conceived and marketed during the 1920s so as to conform to the prevailing social segregationist mores. In the early days, the distinctions 'race' and 'hillbilly' were necessary guides to the nature of the music produced.
Elvis Presley was such a pivotal figure in the history of popular music that, in retrospect, he seems to have been almost destined to emerge when he did. Sun Records honcho Sam Phillips anticipated his coming anyway. In one of the most oft-repeated stories in American musical history, Phillips is reported to have said that he could make a fortune if he could find a white singer who could master the black vocal style, and Elvis was that singer.
In general and important ways, although music would come to constitute a larger share of postwar radio programming, the war and postwar periods are continuous in their appeal to a popular music audience; for example, music – always a staple of wartime radio – became even more so from 1946 to 1949. During the wartime period, listeners could hear pop music on radio in their cars, homes, or public places and on phonographs or jukeboxes. On the home front, the two world wars shared many common themes in pop music; conserving of necessities, so more fuel and other goods were available for national defense, served as the subject matter of songs in both wars.
Pop music has been a profitable industry in America since the 19th century, but Early Pop/Rock is a style that took shape in the post-rock & roll era, once the more conservative elements of the record industry had come to terms with the new musical landscape. Early Pop/Rock emerged in the late '50s, as the initial rock & roll craze began to die down, and a lighter, smoother (but still similar) alternative to rock was needed. Mostly a singles medium, Early Pop/Rock 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.
Madonna started 1984 a disco chick with a reasonably well-received debut album to her name, and then she released Like a Virgin. Although it also combined nightclub-friendly beats with catchy melodies, its tone was dramatically different. A woman in control of her sex life and career was such a new idea that Madonna became the biggest thing to hit pop, and popular culture, in years. And she's stayed that way: her influence on the way women came to view sex, love and themselves was so great that some universities offered courses in Madonna studies.
The Beatles are probably, one of the first bands people think of when it comes to pop music; they have influenced numerous musicians, even now, with their many popular music styles. No matter what happened in Michael Jackson’s private life, there is no doubt that he will always be remembered in the history of pop; his songs are the epitome of popular, mainstream music. Britney Spears, also, is an integral part of mainstream music; she took the audience by surprise with her amazing popular music and reigned as “queen of pop," and there is not a performer, in the history of pop music, that so quickly achieved the level of popularity and success that she did.
Perhaps an expanded view of pop, which has numerous meanings, but, as the catch-all music fan's term for sticky sounds, inauthentic identity, and commercial crazes of every sort, remains the best word for all that is heard, loved, and yet rarely ennobled. Pop history becomes the one thing that pop itself can never afford to be: defamiliarized. Several pieces intersect at a complicated angle with hip-hop – a music that has called rock assumptions into constant question with its pop vitality, continued coherence as a genre, and non-baby boomer relationship to the musical and sociocultural past.