Pop is a generic term for a genre of music which originated in the late 1950s in the United Kingdom and the United States. The term pop music is frequently used to describe any music that is popular, but does not fall within the strict boundaries of traditional music. Popular music is defined by the audience response to a song. Pop music differs from other forms of music in that there is often a wide usage of popular instruments and rhythms. In most instances, a pop song will incorporate three to five distinct instruments.
One of the pioneers of pop music was Beatles, who were popular because of their diverse and innovative approach to song writing and playing. Other early pop artists included artists such as Rod Stewart, spearheaded by his band, The Yardbirds, and the group Ozzy Osbourne. Throughout the 1960s, chart-topping hits by these groups helped to fuel the rise of pop music in the US and UK. Many critics have described this as “the generation gap”, as the audience for pop music was younger than traditional music. Another early artist who made a name for himself through his pop songs was John Lennon, who began a short lived cult following in the late 1940s.
Pop styles in the 1960s focused on conscious imitation of popular styles of the time such as jazz and folk. As well as these conscious imitations, pop music also took the influence of popular TV shows and movies that were critical of the status quo of the times. Many artists chose to buck the trend, creating unique and individual styles that would not be reflected back to them by their contemporaries. A notable example of this was the emergence of the Beatles, who broke away from the Beatles, which helped to revitalise the music industry. Their unique styles would become a staple of pop music throughout the rest of the decade.
During this era, the charts saw many ups and downs in terms of musical tastes. The Beatles topped the charts once but lost their popularity in the late 1960s. The next big hit was by the Beach Boys, who performed songs about surfing, and their unique style helped to change the way that people listened to music. The single “That’s All Right,” by the Beach Boys, achieved the top spot in the UK. Three other British acts also reached the top ten at the same time. This led to a continuation in the upward trend, with artists such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Exotics, and others all climbing the charts and making their mark on the charts.
By the end of the decade, rock had also developed its own signature sound and style. This would prove to be particularly popular with teenage boys, who became known for their guitar skills. Lead guitarists often adopted the lead vocal techniques that were being used in pop music of the 1950s and ’60s. In addition, rock and roll influenced other genres of music including country music. Many country stars were influenced by the rock and roll style, especially on their recordings.
Rockabilly is the term commonly used to describe an American version of pop music. It is characterized by an early use of blues-based instruments, along with a classic refrain and a fast, upbeat rhythm. The most popular songs of the period often had the refrain of a song with a slow, rhythmic part and a more jagged melody. In the early parts of the song, the lyrics are alternate between a slower and faster tempo, which are then blended into the refrain.
Another type of music that has become related to pop music, especially in the latter decades, is pop-rock. Unlike its predecessor, pop-rock does not incorporate a chorus. Instead, the song’s verses usually consist of only one stanza, while the chorus is longer. Rockabilly, another related style, was heavily influenced by the records that were common during the early sixties. For example, many popular songs had an acoustic guitar section.
In the late 1970s, a number of acts began to perform using new styles that broke from the traditional pop music of the previous years. One of these was the band Queen Latifah. Their hit song “We Are the Champions” featured the line, “We the champions / we the real lovers.” Other acts from this era included groups such as the Yardbirds, who had several hits including the song “Sympathy for the Devil”. In addition, other acts such as the Rolling Stones, brought a unique rock and roll style to their music. Other bands that have been closely associated with pop music include The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, U2, and many others.