Pop rock

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Pop rock (also typeset as pop/rock [4] ) is a fusion genre with an emphasis on professional songwriting and recording craft, and less emphasis on attitude than rock music. [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, 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 overemphasized 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 music 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 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 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 guitar, 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. Rock was the most popular genre of music in the United States and much of the Western world from the 1950s to the mid-late 2010s and remains popular.

Glam rock is a style of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s and was 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 rock.

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 music, avant-garde music, classical music, and jazz.

Indie rock is a subgenre of rock music that originated in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand from the 1970s to the 1980s. 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".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Easy listening</span> 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, or alt-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 musicians influenced by the musical style or independent, DIY ethos of late-1970s punk rock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">British popular music</span> General popular music in the UK

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.

Popular music of the United Kingdom in the 1980s built on the post-punk and new wave movements, incorporating different sources of inspiration from subgenres and what is now classed as world music in the shape of Jamaican and Indian music. It also explored the consequences of new technology and social change in the electronic music of synthpop. In the early years of the decade, while subgenres like heavy metal music continued to develop separately, there was a considerable crossover between rock and more commercial popular music, with a large number of more "serious" bands, like The Police and UB40, enjoying considerable single chart success. The advent of MTV and cable video helped spur what has been seen as a Second British Invasion in the early years of the decade, with British bands enjoying more success in America than they had since the height of the Beatles' popularity in the 1960s. However, by the end of the decade a fragmentation has been observed, with many new forms of music and sub-cultures, including hip hop and house music, while the single charts were once again dominated by pop artists, now often associated with the Hi-NRG hit factory of Stock Aitken Waterman. The rise of the indie rock scene was partly a response to this, and marked a shift away from the major music labels and towards the importance of local scenes like Madchester and subgenres, like gothic rock.

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cock rock</span> Genre of 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American rock</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">British rock music</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rockism and poptimism</span> Belief that rock music is dependent on values such as authenticity and artfulness

Rockism and poptimism are two ideological arguments about popular music prevalent in mainstream music journalism. 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, often with a focus on blue-collar workers, 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Art pop</span> Pop music genre that emphasizes artistic styles over personal expressions

Art pop is a loosely defined style of pop music influenced by art theories as well as ideas from other art mediums, such as fashion, fine art, cinema, and avant-garde literature. The genre draws on pop art's integration of high and low culture, and emphasizes signs, style, and gesture over personal expression. Art pop musicians may deviate from traditional pop audiences and rock music conventions, instead exploring postmodern approaches and 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.

Pop music 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.

References

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  3. "Entertainment". Archived from the original on 2017-02-19. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
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  10. T. Warner, Pop Music: Technology and Creativity: Trevor Horn and the Digital Revolution (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), ISBN   0-7546-3132-X, p. 3.
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