The History of Pop Music

Breeze Aguilar, Editor in Chief

From Elvis, the King of Rock, to Ice Spice, the People’s Princess of Pop, popular music has come a long way. 

The development of pop music began in the 1940s, not with a fusion of different genres like some suggest, but with the advancement of technology: a simple improvement of the microphone birthed a new genre, one in which singers could be more intimate and sensitive with their music. By the 50s, the popularization and widespread ownership of the television brought a different appeal to music; suddenly, pop stars— such as Elvis for example— were expected to take on a visual presence. In the 1960s, transistor radios were inexpensive and allowed teens to listen to music wherever they pleased and by the 1980s, channels like MTV soared and heavy emphasis was once again placed on the visual appearance of pop stars, including names such as Michael Jackson or Madonna.

Pop music defined as a genre, however, has always been promiscuous: it has been influenced by other genres such as rock, jazz, country, hip hop and R&B. Elvis was the King of Rock, but even his music can be considered pop as he encompassed blues, country and rock to form his own unique sound. Current pop stars like Britney Spears are known for electronic sounds and beats obviously meant for dancing.