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Popular music

Popular music is music intended for a broad audience, especially an audience that has no formal training in or understanding of musical theory.

Popular music, often called simply pop music, is music belonging to any of a number of contemporary musical styles broadly popular (ergo the term) in Western culture. Often usage of the term is restricted to mainstream music broadcast on radio and not falling into any other convenient style such as Jazz or Hip Hop. However, sometimes those styles are considered subgenres of pop, or at least were considered subgenres of pop until they had developed enough cohesion, identity and interest to merit their own classification.

Pop music is often criticized for being entertaining while lacking serious musical value and artistic significance. This is believed to be primarily due to financial considerations being placed above artistic considerations by recording companies in their selection of artists and songs. This is also at least partially why genres that manage to attain a certain level of credibility as styles in their own right are often no longer considered "pop".

Well known pop artists include Madonna and Michael Jackson (the self-styled "King of Pop") and from earlier days Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Paul Whiteman, and Rudy Vallee.

In most of pop music, the record producer is a major contributor, sometimes more important than the artist, through choosing the songs and shaping the sound of the music.

Music genres that can be described as popular music include

As the term is most commonly understood, "popular music" or "pop music" describes kinds of rock and roll most popular on the radio. A list of current performers playing on "pop music" radio stations can be found at this list of popular music performers.

See also:



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