Whats Pop?

aydee

Platinum Member
...


This thread is triggerd by something Bermuda said on another thread-

What is Pop music?
Music that sells the most, music
thats most listened to?

Music that excels or sells the most within its genre? For example is Metallica's Enter Sandman, a pop tune? Is Dave Brubeck's Take 5 a pop tune?

Music with the highest listenership, pop music?

The Beatles, Elvis etc ..... was the brave new music back in their day.... but today they are played in elevators..

Is pop music organic? Or is it an artificially created marketing product? Like Haagen Daz?


How has pop music evolved?
When did it begin? How has it changed?

If its a genre, how would you define it?


PS- Hello everyone!



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Wave Deckel

Gold Member
There are lots of publications, dealing with just this question. I suggest you buy/read a good scientific book on the history of contemporary music. It will probably answer all your questions.

But anyway, here is a short abstract of what it's all about.


What we call Pop music today is a genre of "popular music" which originated in the form that we know today in the 1950s, deriving from rock and roll and also somehow a replacement for the Big-Band era, that were incredibly popular (!) back then which had its roots in jazz and not in blues.

The terms popular(!) music and pop music are often used synonymous, but the former is a description of music which is popular at a certain moment in a culture. THe the latter describes a specific musical genre containing qualities of mass appeal that is specifically constructed to please the masses by a music industry.

Popular music = Audience defines what is "in" or not , Pop = Industry defines what is "in" and will sell.

In Pop, much of the "defining" what's "in" is accomplished with clever marketing and adopting elements from other musical styles into Pop in order to react to the audiences constant "movement" to other musical styles, to "hip stuff" like e.g. Grunge in the early 1990s. Some other examples are Hip Hop being adopted into Pop, Metal guitar riffs being included into Pop, Jazztunes being included into Pop or Latin sounds being adopted, melted and commercialised.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
...

What is Pop music?
Music that sells the most, music
thats most listened to?

Is pop music organic? Or is it an artificially created marketing product? Like Haagen Daz?

.....
Pretty much all of the above. But it's mainly money motivated these days and come to think of it has been since the 50s.

Watch Muscle Shoals/The Wrecking Crew/Standing In The Shadow of Mowtown/20 Feet From Stardom and you realise that these guys n gals were money saving tools for record companies.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
Although I am by no means a big fan of pop-music, your statement makes me shudder.

Of course there has been good Pop-music over the past decades (Simon & Garfunkel, Adele, U2 (Joshua Tree Album), Jackson 5, Eurythmics, Plan B...). Along with lots of music of questionable value (Rihanna, Nena, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Billy Idol, Lady Gaga, ...). The same thing can be said of classical music, of jazz (Peter Brötzmann. Ugh!), blues et all. There are only two types of music: Good music and bad music. It's not genre-specific. And of course, everyone has different tastes. JMHO.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
There are only two types of music: Good music and bad music. It's not genre-specific. And of course, everyone has different tastes. JMHO.
Bang on, if only everyone could agree on that :)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Problem is when you're a musician you stop listening for enjoyment and start analyzing it.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Although I am by no means a big fan of pop-music, your statement makes me shudder.

Of course there has been good Pop-music over the past decades (Simon & Garfunkel, Adele, U2 (Joshua Tree Album), Jackson 5, Eurythmics, Plan B...). Along with lots of music of questionable value (Rihanna, Nena, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Billy Idol, Lady Gaga, ...). The same thing can be said of classical music, of jazz (Peter Brötzmann. Ugh!), blues et all. There are only two types of music: Good music and bad music. It's not genre-specific. And of course, everyone has different tastes. JMHO.
Wrong. There are only two types of music.....Music you like, and music you don't like. Its personal taste, good or bad is subjective
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
*facepalm* Mikel, thats what I was saying. Good music = Music you like, bad music = music you don't like. Use your brain.... please.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Problem is when you're a musician you stop listening for enjoyment and start analyzing it.
That's unfortunately very true for the vast majority of musicians. They think it's their artistic duty to enjoy music only if it meets some sort of (self-imposed) criteria, and they miss out on a ton of genuinely likeable material.

I've always liked what I've liked, simply because I like it. I don't necessarily avoid certain music or artists, nor do I automatically gravitate towards so called real music. I like something, or I don't, period. My CD collection literally starts with ABBA, and goes to Zappa (well actually, A Flock Of Seagulls to ZZ Top...) and in-between you'd find Glenn Miller, Lady Gaga, Cat Stevens, Faith No More, Monkees, Patsy Cline, Tull, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Gentle Giant, Puff Daddy, Backstreet Boys, Santana, Gene Krupa, Percy Faith, Sublime, Rush, Burt Bacharach, Depeche Mode, Neil Diamond, Green Day... it's a fairly odd mix by any standard.

I like what I like, because I do, not because I'm supposed to.

Bermuda
 

crispycritters

Senior Member
The phrase Pop music is just a label, because for some obscure reason we all seem to have a need to categorise everything. Whether you like the music or not is irrelevant - ignore labels, just concentrate on if you like it or not, everything else is irrelevant.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
Pop is short for popular no ?

music of any genre that is easily digested by the masses and packages for the majority .... originally in the 3 to 3:30 min range so the it could fit on a 45 as a single

really nothing more than that

it is not a music genre ...

certain artists can dictate what "pop" is and change what it may have been in the years before them ... as we have seen happen many times
I think this is a critical point. Pop is NOT a genre, it's a qualifier. It's identifying the most popular strains of a genre.

The Beatles were undeniably pop, but if you wanted to assign them a genre, it would probably be 60's Rock and Roll. Pop doesn't describe the type of music being played, it just indicates that something has mass appeal.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I would disagree with some, and say it is a genre today. Some of the traits would be frequently dance oriented, and rather shallow musically. Beiber, Katy Perry, that whole cadre of divas, and the tween bands of good looking young people playing rather thoughtless, lowest common denominator music inhabit the pop space. If when you see them perform on tv, it's a girl singer surrounded by seven dancers but no band in sight, it's pop music. If the lyrics insult your intelligence, that's a clue. If the chorus is derived by singing the word "whoa" up and down the scale with a severe look on the singer's face as if they're actually saying something, or the intro is a lifeless guitar ostinato written by someone with no imagination, there you are.

There is a very recognizable factory odor to it, very easy to spot.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
It's very personal. "If it sounds good, it is good" and I forgot who said it, but I think it was Jaco on a bass instructional video.

But, by historical definition, it is what is popular. Probably attributed to Downbeat or other up and coming rags during the early years of radio. Lists were made which were driven by record sales. And IMHO has gotten completely out of hand as the "star maker machinery" grinds out not only hits, but contrived acts, venues, vids... etcetera, ad nauseum...

What's that bumper stick quote flying around these days... "music was better when ugly people were makin' it" or something to that effect.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
The phrase Pop music is just a label, because for some obscure reason we all seem to have a need to categorise everything.
The reason isn't that obscure, it's so we can describe music in a way that someone can understand what we're talking about.

If you are promoting your band and they ask what type of music you play, you say jazz. If they ask you what kind of jazz, you say Be Bop. Now they should have a pretty good idea what you're going to sound like.

Without the categories you'd have to spend 5 minutes explaining the type of music you are playing, and most people still wouldn't understand what you were describing.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Growing up, Pop was what the radio stations played on their Top 40 lists, Popular music. Pop has now taken on a genre of its own but is very fluid. Todays Pop is not the same as Pop 5 years ago. Always evolving.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
There are only two types of music: Good music and bad music. And of course, everyone has different tastes.

The second statement negates the first. Since everyone has a different view, there is only one kind of music.

But, the JMHO disclaimer makes everything correct :)


The pop "line" is not stationary.

If the scale is 1-10 with pop being 10, Enter Sandman comes in at a 2, not for it's musical content but because it was played 20 time a day on every rock station in the US for about a year.


The phrase Pop music is just a label, because for some obscure reason we all seem to have a need to categorise everything.
It's not really obscure. Labels are necessary to communicate.


*facepalm* Mikel, thats what I was saying. Good music = Music you like, bad music = music you don't like. Use your brain.... please.
Use your words *rollseyes*
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Pop is short for popular no ?

music of any genre that is easily digested by the masses and packages for the majority .... originally in the 3 to 3:30 min range so the it could fit on a 45 as a single

really nothing more than that

it is not a music genre ...

certain artists can dictate what "pop" is and change what it may have been in the years before them ... as we have seen happen many times
Fully agreed, Tony.

Only thing I might add is that something only becomes pop after it's penetrated the mainstream. For example, Nirvana wasn't a pop band when they wrote and recorded Nevermind, but then suddenly were when it broke big. Nobody saw that coming; not the label nor the band itself, so it's not like it was deliberately engineered with that new factory odor (great line, Spreggy!).

Not everyone sets out to be pop, but if they have a knack for catchy hooks and a pleasing aesthetic, they might end up that way. I love a good success story for these types.

Others shamelessly target a previously defined sub sector of the known pop landscape in an effort to cash in. It's not for love of the art, but for the love of money. It's product, or just another widget. And it shows.

PS - Howdy Abe! Always a treat to see your thought provoking posts!
 
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