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Pop rock (also typeset as pop/rock) is
rock music 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 ...
with a greater emphasis on professional songwriting and recording craft, and less emphasis on attitude. Originating in the late 1950s as an alternative to normal
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and sty ...
, early pop rock was influenced by the
beat Beat, beats or beating may refer to: Common meanings Assigned activity or area * Patrol, an area (usually geographic) that one is responsible to monitor, including: ** Beat (police), the territory and time that a police officer patrols ** Beat ...
, arrangements, and original style of rock and roll (and sometimes
doo-wop Doo-wop (also spelled doowop and doo wop) is a genre of rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by ...
). It may be viewed as a distinct genre field rather than music that overlaps with pop and rock. The detractors of pop rock often deride it as a slick, commercial product and less
authentic Authenticity or authentic may refer to: * Authentication, the act of confirming the truth of an attribute Arts and entertainment * Authenticity in art, ways in which a work of art or an artistic performance may be considered authentic Music * Au ...
than rock music.


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 Power pop (also typeset as powerpop) is a form of pop rock based on the early music of bands such as the Who, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds. It originated in the 1960s and developed mainly among American musicians who came of age duri ...
" have been used to describe more commercially successful music that uses elements from, or the form of, rock music. Writer Johan Fornas views pop/rock as "one single, continuous genre field", rather than distinct categories. 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 Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter, and bassist for the Beatles. One of List of best-selling music ...

Paul McCartney
,
Lighthouse A lighthouse is a tower, building, or another type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lens (optics), lenses and to serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses mark dang ...
, and
Peter Frampton Peter Kenneth Frampton (born 22 April 1950) is an English rock musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. He was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie Humble Pie are an English rock band formed by Steve Marriott in Moreton, ...

Peter Frampton
. 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.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), , pp. 93–108. In the aftermath of the
British Invasion The British Invasion was a cultural phenomenon A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical usage through Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, ; ; 22 April 1724 – 12 ...
, 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.T. Warner, ''Pop Music: Technology and Creativity: Trevor Horn and the Digital Revolution'' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), , p. 3. As of the 2010s, "guitar pop rock" and "
indie rock 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 label An independent record label (or indie label) is a record label that operates withou ...
" are roughly synonymous terms. "
Jangle Jangle or jingle-jangle is a sound typically characterized by undistorted, treble (sound), treble-heavy electric guitars (particularly twelve-string guitar, 12-strings) played in a drone (music), droning chord (music), chordal style (by strummin ...
" is a noun-adjective that music critics often use in reference to guitar pop with a bright mood.


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 Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como (; May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001) was an American singer, actor and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor RCA Records is an American recor ...
, whereas rock is rooted in
African-American music African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of music and musical genres largely developed by African Americans African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group of America ...
influenced by forms such as
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and sty ...
. 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 Simon Webster Frith OBE (born 1946) is a British sociomusicologist, and former rock critic, who specializes in popular music culture. He is Tovey Chair of Music at University of Edinburgh. Career As a student, he read PPE at Oxford O ...
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". 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.B. J. Moore-Gilbert, ''The Arts in the 1970s: Cultural Closure?'' (London: Routledge, 1994), , p. 240. In '' Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies'' (1981),
Robert Christgau Robert Thomas Christgau (; born April 18, 1942) is an American music journalist Music journalism (or music criticism) is media criticism and reporting about music topics, including popular music, classical music, and traditional music. Journal ...

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 Singer-songwriters are musicians who Lyricist, write, Composer, compose and Performance, perform their own musical material, including lyrics and Melody, melodies. In the United States, the category is built on the folk music, folk-acoustic trad ...
music,
art 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 arti ...

art rock
,
heavy metal Heavy metal may refer to: *Heavy metals, a loose category of relatively dense metals and metalloids **Toxic heavy metal, any heavy metal chemical element of environmental concern *Heavy metal music, a genre of rock music **Heavy metal genres *Hea ...
,
boogie Boogie is a repetition (music), repetitive, swung note, swung note or shuffle rhythm,Burrows, Terry (1995). ''Play Country Guitar'', p.42. Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. . groove (music), "groove" or pattern used in blues which was originall ...
, country rock, jazz fusion, funk, disco, urban contemporary, and new wave music, new wave, but not punk rock.


See also

* Beat music * Indie pop * New Pop * Post-punk * Soft rock * Twee pop


References

{{Pop music Pop rock, Pop music genres Rock music genres Fusion music genres 1980s in music 2000s in music 1960s in music American rock music genres American styles of music