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The Concept of Pop Music Expository Essay


Music can be divided into many styles depending on a host of factors, including the message, tempo, target audience, region of origin, and the instruments used to make the music. Different styles and forms of music have qualified to be known as popular music due to their wide appeal to some sections of the population, though they may be equally disliked with passion by other sections of the population. Pop music is one such style of popular music that I personally dislike.

Deriving from rock and roll, Pop music found its distinctiveness in the 1950s to not only become one of the world’s most listened style of popular music, but also one of the very few styles to achieve a global appeal and following. In contemporary times, pop music is best represented by such artists as Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Carly Rae Jepsen, Taylor Swift, Shakira, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Britney Spears. Some of the noted founders of pop music include the Raspberries, Cheap Trick, The Beatles, The Knack, and Big Star ().

Pop music has unique characteristics that differentiate it from other styles of popular music. For example, pop music is often characterized by short-to-medium length songs, which are essentially written in a basic format such as the verse-chorus arrangement. Another characteristic of pop music which makes it distinctive from other styles is the common employment of repeated choruses and catchy hooks in songs, making the songs memorable and easy to grasp within a short span of listening.

Additionally, it can be argued that most artists who sing pop music are concerned primarily with advancing audience pleasure in listening to the music. These characteristics imply that pop music is not performed and recorded as a symphony, suite, or concerto; rather the most basic arrangement for pop music is the song consisting of verse and repeated chorus, and ranging between 2 ½ minutes and 5 ½ minutes in length.

It can be argued that pop music employs the concept of simple harmonies as most artists augment a melody line by playing musical notes at the same time, either higher or lower than the melody note itself, and therefore thickening up a vocal or guitar lead line to provide the whole melody with a totally different feel.

Pop idols such as Britney Spears and Shakira make a massive distinction in their songs by adding just a few harmonies in elected places in line with the concept of simple harmonies. Additionally, it can be argued that pop musicians not only employ repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and catchy hooks to come up with a totally distinctive type of music, but also use electric guitars, bass for instrumentation, and drums to enhance the musical experience.

Pop music finds its huge appeal in the targeted audience by not only utilizing electric guitars, drums, bass for instrumentation, and simple harmonies, thereby making the music pleasurable and smooth to listen to, but also in its capability to borrow and incorporate elements, concepts and ideas from a wide range of musical styles, including rock, metal, R&B, country music, disco, Latin music, punk and hip hop.

These adaptations do not necessarily imply that pure pop does not exist; on the contrary, the genre continues to find wide appeal as music which characteristically consists of comparatively brief songs played on the contemporary electric guitar, bass and drums with lead vocals that have a very imperious catchy chorus, or hook.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 4). The Concept of Pop Music. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/pop-music/

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"The Concept of Pop Music." IvyPanda, 4 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/pop-music/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Concept of Pop Music." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/pop-music/.


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IvyPanda. "The Concept of Pop Music." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/pop-music/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Concept of Pop Music." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/pop-music/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Concept of Pop Music'. 4 May.

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