One genre that appeals to most everyone is pop music owing to its light and catchy qualities. Pop music is so aptly called because it is a categorization that is largely based on the popularity of a song. There is no clear and distinct parameters to classify a song as pop music. For the most part, its popularity should translate to records sold and radio air times.
Pop music is a combination of various styles influenced by the evolving music forms. The development of pop music is one that is progressive, rolling over from generation to generation to snowball into its current form. As this is so, pop music has taken so many forms through each decade to reflect the musical preference of a particular generation.
During the 50s, popular tunes were those that were vocally rich with a string accompaniment and a vocal chorus back up. Country music and American folk music were great hits along with variations of standard formats. Great American songbook classics, crooners and big band singers adopted other musical techniques to give their music a modern twist. The listening public lapped these enhancements up and caused songs like Mack the Knife and Singing the Blues to top the charts. In contrast to these classics, rock and roll likewise rocked the American music industry with fast and infectious beats of Rock Around the Clock, Heartbreak Hotel, and Tutti Fruitti. These tunes not only rocked the airwaves, they also rocked the dance floors.
All in the Band
The next decade brought in what is called as the novelty song characterized by humorous lyric combined with melodies that are simple yet catchy (i.e. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, California Girls, and Good Vibrations). Worthy of note is the fact that the vocal harmonies and lyrics of these songs revolved around Californias surf, girls and cars. Thus the label Surf pop. Other popular music during the sixties were youth-oriented band music in up-tempo beat, I Want to Hold Your Hand,Cant Buy Me Love, Downtown, and To Sir With Love.” African American music likewise joined the popular music scene with its doo-wop style that gives prominence to melodic sounds and vocal harmonies. Rhythm and blues as well as Motown soul music were also chart-toppers during this period.
Cacophony of Sounds
From the 1970s to the present, pop music is as diverse as they come. A slowdown in musical tempo was seen in the early seventies when folk-based artists took center stage. Popular during these times were songs written by the singers themselves. Tempos picked up again towards in the second half of the decade when disco-dancing became a favorite pastime among the youth. Dance tunes Play That Funky Music, Staying Alive, and YMCA dominated the airwaves and the disco scene.
The 1980s and 1990s music scene was composed of music soundtracks, international hits, rock and roll, and pop icon duets. Another music development in this decade is the advent of charity records where artists put their talents together to raise funds for a cause. Particularly characteristic of the last two decades are the prevalence of songs by female artists like Mariah Carrey, Celine Dion, and pop icon Madonna. The new millennium kept with soulful ballads, hip hop pieces and dance tracks. Movie soundtracks remained chart-toppers.
Pop music is a genre that will always be around. People will always listen to music and music labels and radio stations will continue to track what songs people are listening to. For as long as people are playing and listening to music, there will always be a chart-topper.