Pop rock

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Pop rock (also typeset as pop/rock [4] ) is rock music with a greater emphasis on professional songwriting and recording craft, and less emphasis on attitude. [5] [1] Originating in the late 1950s as an alternative to normal rock and roll, early pop rock was influenced by the beat, arrangements, and original style of rock and roll (and sometimes doo-wop). [1] It may be viewed as a distinct genre field rather than music that overlaps with pop and rock. [4] The detractors of pop rock often deride it as a slick, commercial product and less authentic than rock music. [6]

Contents

Characteristics and etymology

Much pop and rock music has been very similar in sound, instrumentation and even lyrical content. The terms "pop rock" and "power pop" have been used to describe more commercially successful music that uses elements from, or the form of, rock music. [7] Writer Johan Fornas views pop/rock as "one single, continuous genre field", rather than distinct categories. [4] To the authors Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman, it is defined as an "upbeat variety of rock music" represented by artists and bands such as: Andy Kim, the Bells, Paul McCartney, Lighthouse, and Peter Frampton. [8]

The term pop has been used since the early twentieth century to refer to popular music in general, but from the mid-1950s it began to be used for a distinct genre, aimed at a youth market, often characterized as a softer alternative to rock and roll. [9] [1] In the aftermath of the British Invasion, from about 1967, it was increasingly used in opposition to the term rock music, to describe a form that was more commercial, ephemeral and accessible. [10]

As of the 2010s, "guitar pop rock" and "indie rock" are roughly synonymous terms. [11] "Jangle" is a noun-adjective that music critics often use in reference to guitar pop with a bright mood. [12]

Debates

Critic Philip Auslander argues that the distinction between pop and rock is more pronounced in the US than in the UK. He claims that in the US, pop has roots in white crooners such as Perry Como, whereas rock is rooted in African-American music influenced by forms such as rock and roll. Auslander points out that the concept of pop rock, which blends pop and rock, is at odds with the typical conception of pop and rock as opposites. Auslander and several other scholars, such as Simon Frith and Grossberg, argue that pop music is often depicted as an inauthentic, cynical, "slickly commercial", and formulaic form of entertainment. In contrast, rock music is often heralded as an authentic, sincere, and anti-commercial form of music, which emphasizes songwriting by the singers and bands, instrumental virtuosity, and a "real connection with the audience". [13]

Simon Frith's analysis of the history of popular music from the 1950s to the 1980s has been criticized by B. J. Moore-Gilbert, who argues that Frith and other scholars have over-emphasized the role of rock in the history of popular music by naming every new genre using the "rock" suffix. Thus when a folk-oriented style of music developed in the 1960s, Frith termed it "folk rock", and the pop-infused styles of the 1970s were called "pop rock". Moore-Gilbert claims that this approach unfairly puts rock at the apex and makes every other influence become an add-on to the central core of rock. [14]

In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau discussed the term "pop-rock" in the context of popular music's fragmentation along stylistic lines in the 1970s; he regarded "pop-rock" as a "monolith" that "straddled" all burgeoning movements and subgenres in the popular and semipopular music marketplace at the time, including singer-songwriter music, art rock, heavy metal, boogie, country rock, jazz fusion, funk, disco, urban contemporary, and new wave, but not punk rock. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

Pop is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form during the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The terms popular music and pop music are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many disparate styles. During the 1950s and 1960s, pop music encompassed rock and roll and the youth-oriented styles it influenced. Rock and pop music remained roughly synonymous until the late 1960s, after which pop became associated with music that was more commercial, ephemeral, and accessible.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style that drew directly from the blues and rhythm and blues genres of African-American music and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical, and other musical styles. For instrumentation, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 4
4
time signature
using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Glam rock is a style of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s performed by musicians who wore outrageous costumes, makeup, and hairstyles, particularly platform shoes and glitter. Glam artists drew on diverse sources across music and throwaway pop culture, ranging from bubblegum pop and 1950s rock and roll to cabaret, science fiction, and complex art rock. The flamboyant clothing and visual styles of performers were often camp or androgynous, and have been described as playing with other gender roles. Glitter rock was a more extreme version of glam.

Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experimental, or unconventional elements. Art rock aspires to elevate rock from entertainment to an artistic statement, opting for a more experimental and conceptual outlook on music. Influences may be drawn from genres such as experimental rock, avant-garde music, classical music, and jazz.

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock or "guitar pop rock". In the 1980s, the use of the term "indie" started to shift from its reference to recording companies to describe the style of music produced on punk and post-punk labels. During the 1990s, grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream, and the term "alternative" lost its original counter-cultural meaning. The term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status. By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed several subgenres and related styles, including lo-fi, noise pop, emo, slowcore, post-rock, and math rock. In the 2000s, changes in the music industry and a growing importance of the internet enabled a new wave of indie rock bands to achieve mainstream success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.

Easy listening Popular music genre

Easy listening is a popular music genre and radio format that was most popular during the 1950s to 1970s. It is related to middle-of-the-road (MOR) music and encompasses instrumental recordings of standards, hit songs, non-rock vocals and instrumental covers of selected popular rock songs. It mostly concentrates on music that pre-dates the rock and roll era, characteristically on music from the 1940s and 1950s. It was differentiated from the mostly instrumental beautiful music format by its variety of styles, including a percentage of vocals, arrangements and tempos to fit various parts of the broadcast day.

Alternative rock is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1990s. "Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream or commercial rock or pop music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a musicians influenced by the musical style or independent, DIY ethos of late 1970s punk rock.

Music journalism

Music journalism is media criticism and reporting about music topics, including popular music, classical music, and traditional music. Journalists began writing about music in the eighteenth century, providing commentary on what is now regarded as classical music. In the 1960s, music journalism began more prominently covering popular music like rock and pop after the breakthrough of The Beatles. With the rise of the internet in the 2000s, music criticism developed an increasingly large online presence with music bloggers, aspiring music critics, and established critics supplementing print media online. Music journalism today includes reviews of songs, albums and live concerts, profiles of recording artists, and reporting of artist news and music events.

British popular music

British popular music and popular music in general, can be defined in a number of ways, but is used here to describe music which is not part of the art/classical music or Church music traditions, including folk music, jazz, pop and rock music. These forms of music have particularly flourished in Britain, which, it has been argued, has influenced popular music disproportionately to its size, partly due to its linguistic and cultural links with many countries, particularly the former areas of British control such as United States, Canada, and Australia, but also a capacity for invention, innovation and fusion, which has led to the development of, or participation in, many of the major trends in popular music. This is particularly true since the early 1960s when the British Invasion led by The Beatles, helped to secure British performers a major place in development of pop and rock music, which has been revisited at various times, with genres originating in or being radically developed by British musicians, including: blues rock, heavy metal music, progressive rock, punk rock, British folk rock, folk punk, acid jazz, drum and bass, grime, afroswing, dubstep and Britpop.

Simon Webster Frith is a British sociomusicologist, and former rock critic, who specializes in popular music culture. He is Tovey Chair of Music at University of Edinburgh.

Middle of the road is a commercial radio format and popular music genre. Music associated with this term is strongly melodic and uses techniques of vocal harmony and light orchestral arrangements. The format was eventually rebranded as soft adult contemporary.

Cock rock phenomena in rock music

Cock rock is a genre of rock music that emphasizes an aggressive form of male sexuality. The style developed in the later 1960s, came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, and continues into the present day.

American rock

American rock has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and country music, and also drew on folk music, jazz, blues, and classical music. American rock music was further influenced by the British Invasion of the American pop charts from 1964 and resulted in the development of psychedelic rock.

British rock music Rock music from the United Kingdom

British rock describes a wide variety of forms of music made in the United Kingdom. Since around 1964, with the "British Invasion" of the United States spearheaded by the Beatles, British rock music has had a considerable impact on the development of American music and rock music across the world.

Rockism and poptimism Belief that rock music is dependent on values such as authenticity and artfulness

Rockism is the belief that rock music is dependent on values such as authenticity and artfulness, and that such values elevate the genre over other forms of popular music. So-called "rockists" may promote the artifices stereotyped in rock music or may regard the genre as the normative state of popular music. Poptimism is the belief that pop music is as worthy of professional critique and interest as rock music. Detractors of poptimism describe it as a counterpart of rockism that unfairly privileges the most famous or best-selling pop, hip hop, and R&B acts.

Heartland rock is a genre of rock music characterized by a straightforward, often roots musical style, a concern with farmers, blue-collar workers, and truck drivers of American life, and a conviction that rock music has a social or communal purpose beyond just entertainment.

Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.

Art pop is a loosely defined style of pop music influenced by pop art's integration of high and low culture, and which emphasizes the manipulation of signs, style, and gesture over personal expression. Art pop artists may be inspired by postmodern approaches or art theories as well as other forms of art, such as fashion, fine art, cinema, and avant-garde literature. They may deviate from traditional pop audiences and rock music conventions, instead exploring ideas such as pop's status as commercial art, notions of artifice and the self, and questions of historical authenticity.

A sentimental ballad is an emotional style of music that often deals with romantic and intimate relationships, and to a lesser extent, loneliness, death, war, drug abuse, politics and religion, usually in a poignant but solemn manner. Ballads are generally melodic enough to get the listener's attention.

Women in rock

Women in rock describes the role of women singers, instrumentalists, record producers and other music professionals in rock music and popular music and the many subgenres and hybrid genres that have emerged from these genres. Women have a high prominence in many popular music styles as singers. However, professional women instrumentalists are uncommon in popular music, especially in rock genres such as heavy metal. "[P]laying in a band is largely a male homosocial activity, that is, learning to play in a band is largely a peer-based... experience, shaped by existing sex-segregated friendship networks. As well, rock music "...is often defined as a form of male rebellion vis-à-vis female bedroom culture."

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Early Pop/Rock". AllMusic.
  2. Borack, John M. (2007). Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide. Not Lame Recordings. p. 7. ISBN   0-9797714-0-4.
  3. http://80music.about.com/od/genresmovements/p/janglepop.htm
  4. 1 2 3 Steven L. Hamelman (2004). But is it Garbage?: On Rock and Trash. University of Georgia Press. p. 11. ISBN   978-0-8203-2587-3.
  5. "Pop/Rock". AllMusic.
  6. S. Jones, Pop music and the press (Temple University Press, 2002), p. 109.
  7. R. Shuker, Popular Music: the Key Concepts (Abingdon: Routledge, 2nd edn., 2005), ISBN   0-415-34770-X, p. 207.
  8. L. Starr and C. Waterman, American Popular Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2007), ISBN   0-19-530053-X, archived from the original on 17 February 2011.
  9. S. Frith, "Pop music" in S. Frith, W. Stray and J. Street, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), ISBN   0-521-55660-0, pp. 93–108.
  10. T. Warner, Pop Music: Technology and Creativity: Trevor Horn and the Digital Revolution (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), ISBN   0-7546-3132-X, p. 3.
  11. Plemenitas, Katja (2014). "The Complexity of Lyrics in Indie Music: The Example of Mumford & Sons". In Kennedy, Victor; Gadpaille, Michelle (eds.). Words and Music. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 79. ISBN   978-1-4438-6438-1.
  12. Kamp, David; Daly, Steven (2005). The Rock Snob's Dictionary: An Essential Lexicon Of Rockological Knowledge . Broadway Books. p.  54. ISBN   978-0-7679-1873-2.
  13. P. Auslander, Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (London: Taylor & Francis, 1999), ISBN   0415196892.
  14. B. J. Moore-Gilbert, The Arts in the 1970s: Cultural Closure? (London: Routledge, 1994), ISBN   0-415-09906-4, p. 240.
  15. Christgau, Robert (1981). "The Decade". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies . Ticknor & Fields. ISBN   0899190251 . Retrieved April 6, 2019 via robertchristgau.com.