Does it POP?


Ever wondered about the history of Madonna and Michael Jackson? Do the songs by Katy Perry make you groove? Do you always break into ‘’Hit Me Baby One More Time’’ whenever you’re happy? Then you definitely need a peek into the world of pop music!

What is Pop?

Pop music (which was originally derived from the abbreviation ‘’popular’’) is a genre of popular music which has its origins in rock and roll. The definition of pop music is very flexible because it’s constantly changing. At any point of time, pop music can be identified as anything which is successful on the pop music charts. Pop music for the last fifty years has continuously evolved however; there are some consistent patterns in what is identified as pop music.

Pop music is often confused with popular music. While popular music is the music which came up after the industrialization of the 1800s and is in sync with the tastes of the urban middle class, it is basically a music which is popular and can include any style. Pop music on the other hand is primarily the music which evolved from the rock and roll revolution of the mid-1950s and continues to be influential till today.

Pop music has been used increasingly in opposition to rock. While rock music aspires to authenticity, pop music is more commercial. According to a few commentators, pop music is a matter of enterprise and not art. Pop music is the sort of music which is accessible to a wide range of audience which means that it is the kind of music which sells the most copies and draws the largest concert of audience and is played most often on the radio.

Song Structure

One of the consistent elements of pop music is the pop song. The music is not usually written, performed and recorded as a symphony, song or concerto. The music usually consists of verses and repeated chorus. The songs are often between two to five minutes however, there exits notable exceptions like ‘’Hey Jude’’ by The Beatles which is seven minutes in length. In most of the cases if the song is really lengthy then an edited version is released for radio airplay and on the flipside there have been numerous hit songs which end within two minutes.


Like any other art form, pop music has been a melting pot for various musical styles which are very diverse in nature. It borrows from country, disco, punk, r&b (and many more) and each of these specific genres has been incorporated quite well into pop music within the last fifty years and continues to influence it in numerous ways. Recently, Latin music has been influencing the pop scene more than anything else. Pop music has been dominated by the American and British music industries and has in turn made pop music into something of a monoculture (a group dominated by a single variety). The promotion of pop music by channels such as MTV and artists like Madonna and Michael Jackson (who had a strong visual appeal) has affected the growth of pop music in a positive way.

Power pop

This is a genre of pop music that claims to be pop music in its purest form. It is a mixture of melodic pop and hard rock. This genre consists of songs which are not more then 3 ½ minutes. The songs have a very catchy chorus and audience pleasure is the primary goal and not art. Notable artists in this genre include Matthew Sweets, Redd Kross, The Posies, The Knacks and so on. While the cultural impact of power pop has waned over the years, it continues to be one of the most enduring subgenres of rock.

Impact of Pop

Despite social commentators arguing that pop music is on a decline due to online piracy, decline in physical sales of pop records and growth of pop careers launched through talent shows, teenagers all over the world spend most of their time listening to this genre. Pop music and its artists continue to influence teenagers especially because of the high attention which they receive in media and the teenagers in turn idolize and emulate these artists. Pop music continues to dominate music industries and will continue to do so because of its dynamic nature.

Here are few links which would definitely make you dance –

Bad Girl by Madonna –

Blank Space by Taylor Swift –

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran –

Sugar by Maroon 5 –



Feel free to share about pop music in your comments below!

Written By- Shruti Das



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