Pop music a musical genre that has over time sought international acclamation through it unique form and seamless convergence with other famous format like Jazz and Rock. This paper seeks give an in-depth description of the history of the genre’s evolution and its unique characteristics in sound and style. The paper will further touch on the sociological, cultural, economic and political factors that have influenced the growth of rapid growth of this genre. In achieving this objective, this paper will focus on covering background information of pop music’s most influential and popular artists of time such as the beetle, 2pac and Michael Jackson besides the classic albums the genre has ever produced. In pop music there are a number of record labels and the business moves that have helped bring the genre to prominence, the history of pop music will surely be incomplete without such remarkable contribution to the musical world.
Watkins Craig (2005,p.47) says Pop music has mainly been associated with the young generation audience since the late 1950s. According to seveneth, the name pop comes from a series of concerts of light in 1900 the music promoted annually by live performances. Pop has greatly been associated with that kind of music that is inaugurated by rock and roll. This style has over time spread to such an extent that it is now simply referred in terms of its market segment.
Some of the notable groups associated with the genre are the Beatle. In the early 1960s the Beatles were one of the first groups to experiment with the basic rock format. Thereafter, the pop music has taken formats, incorporating elements from various ranges of sources of music, including blues, soul, and reggae, country and western type of music which is mostly classical and jazz. The genre has also borrowed style from various ethnic styles, like the African ethnic styles. Currently, most of the musicians incorporate their own ethnic style with a few other styles bringing about a perfect pop music. Simon Frith (2004) argues out that Pop music is generally played, presented, and marketed for a teenage audience, and its success has been measured in terms of the various pop charts especially in the UK.
Pierro Scarrufi (2005,p.67) says that there are four main factors that are instrumental in bringing this about this genre’s popularity. The first one is the rise of a new cultural power that was largely indifferent to the cultural dogmas of the European culture. USA in particular incorporates the European culture, and then introduces its variations of the same in the culture. It is for this reason that in USA that popular music changed rapidly and dramatically (Pierro 2005, p.65)
Another factor that catapulted pop music is the capitalism ideology. This factor which is closely related to political environment had always existed but it was in the USA that it gained populism and it reached its ultimate end. This element spurred consumerism with its target of the middle class, the ordinary family, and individuals. This further involved the non-working young individual (Pierro 2005,p.38). The social cultural environment of the USA introduced middle-class families in the USA through assimilation of which pop music was the main agent of interculturalisation. Entertainment was one element of interaction. By then pop music was then main music style and helped spread the American culture to Europe and other continent. According to the American Museum Resource Guide the growth of music publishing business boosted by the growing industrialization in America which helped define popular music as a separate business entity (Pierro 2005, p.67).
The third factor that contributed to the growth of the pop genre was the invention of the records. Pierro says the vast majority of “composers” of popular music did not know how to write music. Therefore popular music could spread only orally, which greatly limited its geographic area and duration over time. When the record was invented, suddenly popular music could be spread without any need to write it down although it took them sometime to understand the power of the new invention, but eventually the industry started recording, not only the music that was already published by the publishing companies. One of the consequences, for example, was to deliver the first recordings of blues and country music, and thus help popularize them outside their area of origin.
The fourth factor that enhanced the growth of pop music was the decisively shape 20th century popular music was the “youth culture”. It is not easy to pinpoint the exact decade in which the American youth became a major factor. The young people were among the main consumers of the dance crazes of the 1920s, although they were officially limited to expensive clubs that did not admit teenagers anyway (Pierro 2005, p.67).
Genre’s most influential artists
According to the Starr et al, (2002,p.34), the Beatles is one of the dominat and mostly recognized group in the pop genre. The grouped succeed in attracting fans and followers from across the globe. According to the review the group was seen as being a group of cheerful boys, lovable and always ready to smile or share a joke with others. The strong bond between the four, who constituted the Beatle group, gave them the right spirit to endear themselves to the public (Starr et al 2002, p. 34).The image of the Beetle band was kept in the audience due to their association to the pop music genre that was getting a steady popularity from the audience. Even after becoming very successful the public was still loved them as they provided source of entertainment despite their own problems. In this way, they maintained a friendly and humble appearance. According to Simon Firth (2004,p.23) the band may have been an ambitious as their counterparts in the music industry during that time were but they were very careful to hide differences in the public. He highly attributes this to pop music saying it is the only genre that could competently capture all emotion and feeling and still delivers entertainment to its audience. The Beatle launched the apex of the music industry largely because of this technique. Their high regard with which they were held, long endured after they disbanded in 1969. The band was then considered the best group with the most impact on society, music, and popular culture.
The Beatles’ fame and influence
According to Hatch & Millward (1987,p.23) the Beatles impressed many fans with their natural talent that they displayed as a group a factor that gave the group an instant fame. Their choice of song theme also contributed to their fame and influence. The Beatle concentrated on the song teenage romance to more mature material, to give them a broad appeal. Moreso, their music had long term appeal, because it was complex for pop and melodic at the same time. Further, they blended classical elements into their music making them more interesting (Hatch & Millward, 1987,p.24). The two scholars further says by doing so the Beatle brought together the first and second half of the 20th century which comprised of the onset of musical recordings and the dawn of the rock and roll genre. The rise of the group was great timing because the 1960s was the best time for revolutionary changes.
According to Simon Frith (2004, p.44) Technological advancements sprung up in 1960s which propelled the pop musical production industry and its business in entirety. This development saw the improvement of recording technologies and equipment and allowed new techniques for recording. Silhouette further says that this event marked an historic time when the music industry of rock and roll spread all over the world. This exciting time ended up bringing about social change and sexual freedom for many as well and the Beatles was affected by all of these social, technological, and economic factors. The Beatles had used these influences to become the most influential band of all time (Frith 2004, p.13).
According to Julian Johnson (2002,p.44), the music business is still doing well globally, in 2010, there was a growing throng of viewership; the video also garnered a volley of outspoken criticism. This shows that the music is still doing well regardless of the passing on the genre icons like of Michael Jackson. The success and rapid growth of the Pop music is attributed to the rich history that is rather influenced by the cultural power in the US and the capitalism ideology of the world that has encouraged consumerism which largely calls for spending. After his death, Michael Jackson was acclaimed to the richest musician in the world. According to California weekly, Michael Jackson wealth was in excess of US$ 50billions minus many other resources he spend on charities and other projects that was not revealed, no other musician has ever made this much money( Columbia Weekly 2009,Nov,19, p.11)
Pop music is sustainable business. According to Julian Johnson (2002, p.43) there are many music channels in the world dedicated to playing hip hop music alone. Globally, such channels as the VHI and BET which are fundamental pop channels have great viewership and it ownership enjoy a great return in profits. All musicians in the world regard it a success when their music is played in channels because they know it is worth being listening and their work is being appreciated by a huge viewership (Julian 2002, p.43)
The invention of the record which enabled the music to spread without any need to write down and also the embracing of the music by the youth ensured that the pop music spread. The Beatles were among some of the influential labels that have seen the pop music rise to where it is now.
All through this paper there is one that is evident, the pop is alive very influential and not likely to fade from the musical charts anytime soon. The wide base variation of pop music with its in-depth connection with different audiences gives it an optimum growth and expansion like no any other music in history. To ascertain these videos of hip hop star and legend 2pac Shakur are still being viewed and has a place in the music store all over the world. The Columbia weekly newspapers reported that hip hop music is the only music that shows positive return to the industry and thus it face out of music arena is unpredictable.
The pop music is rich of form and style. Most of the attribution of the music genre is its in-depth style that seamlessly integrates with other music genre and style. Julian Johnson (2002, p.31) says the landmark was made in the pop music by the birth of dance hall music, which is a combination of rnb and reggae and plays to the full rhythm of the pop music.
In the course of research these findings were made, the music is engaging and old enough, it has a great history, there are remarkable individuals associated with the genre, pop music has social, cultural, economic and political impart to the history of the world and last but not least, pop music is a genre that has established itself into a large business entity with many people depending on it directly or indirectly, it has further integrated and utilized new technological innovation to grow such as recording, digital production and now the internet, which plays major role in the growth of the genre.
In summation, pop music is the most influential and popular music of the world. Many music genres are facing a threat of facing out of market due to reduced audience but pop music is growing in leap and bound. It followers are growing in numbers while other genre like blues only enjoy they loyal audience who are aging. It was early perceived that pop music for the young regeneration but now everyone is enjoying it, young and old.
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