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Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Ariana Grande

Pop into some great music for this Valentine’s season with a sweeter than candy playlist by FlipSide. This month, the genre of choice is pop music.

Pop music, despite seemingly holding a very similar sound, is actually a very broad genre of music. The origin of the title is derived from shortening “popular music” and started as music that was just a big hit for listeners.

The idea of pop music in its definition has been around for decades but kicked off due to technological advancements in the mid-1900s. The publication and sharing of sheet music began pop music. Improvements in the microphone in the 1940s allowed for better production of singles and helped move pop music to record and radio in a more enjoyable experience.

Sony’s introduction of a transistor radio in 1954 allowed music to be accessible to people in places such as their home and car, allowing music to be spread and become more popular.

The idea and process of multi-tracking was developed in 1955 by Ross Snyder and allowed multiple sounds to be recorded and played over top of each other to create a different, cohesive end product. This technology continued to be developed and improved, allowing the complicated instrumental and layers of vocals that are present in pop music today.

In the beginnings of the genre, the style was based on ballads, gospel and soul music for vocals paired with jazzy instrumentals with touches of rock, dance, hip-hop and even rap for the lyrical progressions.

Around the 1960s, pop music began to level out and hold a more uniform structure and sound as opposed to the wide variety in its origin stages. This sound, however, is much different than modern pop music because the genre is ever changing with each decade. The 1980s saw an increase in the use of synthesizers, giving the pop music of that decade a second title — synth-pop.

Major contributors to the evolution and hype associated with the genre still remain very famous in our culture with iconic names. Despite being the “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley with his young, exciting personality paired with handsome looks helped make pop music a common aspect of youth culture. As the most successful pop group of the 1900s, The Beatles held a large influence on the growth of the pop music sound. With the release of “Thriller,” Michael Jackson, the King Of Pop, marked the use of music videos to promote music.

While pop music is still constantly changing and evolving, current pop has developed a more uniform structure and sound. Most are singles featuring a catchy melody, a repeated chorus, two to three verses and last around 2 to 5 minutes. The lyrics revolve mainly around love and its ups and downs, but have recently begun to include world issues or ideas such as self love and female empowerment.

For modern day artists, FlipSide writer Susan Prigozen recommends checking out Beyonce, Ariana Grande and Post Malone. My favorite pop artist is Taylor Swift. Songs from these pop artists and many more amazing tracks will be featured in our Spotify playlist. I love pop music because of its fast, upbeat nature. The catchiness of the chorus of each song keeps the joy going even after the songs are over.

Overall, pop music is a great genre to check out when looking for something new to listen to. It’s great for any mood and often can be a great source of joy when cheering up is needed. If this genre interests you, check out our FlipSide pop music playlist. Scan the image above for the Spotify playlist, or search “FlipSide-Pop” on either Spotify or YouTube.