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    Pop Music----the Soul of Youth

    Pop music, a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of "popular ", is a genre of popular music, which firstly appeared in the 1950s. Since its appearance, the furious debate on its value and effects hasn't stopped for a while. Some people think highly of its beautiful rhymes and tremendous lyrics, while others bitterly criticized its non-mainstream and superficiality. Despite these endless controversy, for most young people, pop music, rich in miraculous power, is the soul of youth undoubtedly.



    Origin & development

    Modern pop music was born in the USA when two different kinds of music came together. The first kind was the music of Africa which was brought to the USA by black slaves while the second kind one was taken by white settlers from Britain and Ireland. For a long time ,these two kinds of music developed separately. It was not until 1950s that a young man called Elvis Presley brought them together, and then the pop music strictly formed.



    Over a long period of time, Pop music has absorbed various elements from other forms of popular music, but as a genre,and is particularly associated with the rock style. When it comes to 1960s, this decade was regarded as a witness of how glam rock refreshed the pop music with its original formats. By the late 1970s, another distinguishing music -hit pop, made a hit suddenly because of its fashionable style.And during the following ten years, some other subgenus have constantly sprout up like mushrooms, namely punk rock, Britpop and synth pop.



    Characteristics of pop music

    Known as the "public music ", pop songs are mostly based on our daily life, and most of which are related to love. Besides, other contents such as dreams, homesickness, friendships and inner thoughts can also be covered in pop songs.In short, there is no boundary in pop music-Everything is worthy of being sung. It is because of its common enduring appeal that people never lose affection for them. The primary purpose of the song is to express the singers' internal feelings and arise an emotional resonance between the singers and the listeners.



    When it comes to pop music’s structure, the most distinctive feature is its concision and refinement. Without excessive embellishment on partial details, it pays more attention to the harmony of the integral melody. Consequently, it is not difficult to find that most of the pop music songs are usually less than five minutes, to be more specific, often four minutes. However, its profound touch of soul is beyond description – which echoes around ears for a long time and leaves a strong aftertaste.



    As for its audience, young people make up for the majority of them. As we all know, young people always chase after the new things and are willing to accept changes, because of which, most of them are desperately fascinated with pop songs. Just as one saying said, "Pop is never old." Undoubtedly, pop songs do always keep abreast of the times and give the audience a great enjoyment of hearing, so they can largely satisfy young people’s constant pursuit of freshness and fashion.



    Another characteristic is commercialization. Since the start of 21th century, this genre’s immense success has ironically led to even more commercialization within the music itself. As pop songs are normally easy to understand and can spread worldwide in a short time, they usually bring in a great deal of commercial profit for the singers.However, a fact cannot be ignored is that all these songs really decorate our life and make it much more brilliant.


    Some genres of pop music

    Without so much limitation on its development styles, pop music has been changing in accordance with the society’s evolution. Nearly every generation would add something new into pop music, which made it stay lively and never fade out. Here are some styles of pop music.



    Dream pop

    As the name suggests, dream pop sounds as if it was a mysterious dreams. Produced by synthesizers and blended with the effect of ECHO, it can create a blear atmosphere and give people an illusion of dream. The lyrics tend to be poetic as much as possible, which will vastly strengthen the effect of dream. To make it more perfect, the singers always adopt a "breathy "way to output their lyrics, and the lighting on the stage is required to be dimmer. In such a scene, it is very easy for audience to get relaxed and fall into dreaming. And for its representative bands, there are Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and My Bloody Valentine.


    Classical pop

    Classical pop is a kind of pop music integrated with the classical style. It has not only the infinite vigor of the pop style, but also successfully absorbed the elegant melody from the classical style. Most of these songs are accompanied with the stringed instrument.




    Britpop is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom. It was characterized by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s. The movement developed as a reaction against various musical and cultural trends in the late 1980s, particularly the grunge phenomenon from the United States. Similar to the rock music, Britpop sounds much louder and noisier, also with more enthusiasm and excitement. Many people put a high value on Britpop because it has brought new life to the pop music.


    Chamber pop

    Chamber pop, also called orchestral pop, is a style of pop music featured in an emphasis on melody and texture, the intricate use of strings, horns, pianos, vocal harmonies and other components drawn from the lounge and orchestral pop of the 1960s. As you can see, it is a group performance which needs accurate cooperation between different members and instrument. It is very renowned for its elegance, nobleness as well as delicacy. Many bands are good at playing it , such as The Divine Comedy, Balle &Sebastian and Eric Matthews.



    Functions of pop music

    William Congreve once said, "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks or bend a knotted oak. ” Indeed,pop music is not only beneficial to individuals,but also it plays an indispensable role in international exchange. Since its popularity and prevalence, more and more emphasis has been put on its unique impact on state relations. On the one hand, it can greatly strengthen the bonds of friendship between different countries, which will promote deeper cooperation as well as steadier development. On the other hand, the wide range of communication is bound to inject more vitality for the further innovation.


    For individuals, listening to music is absolutely a good way to get pleasure and relaxation. There is no need to figure out what it wants to tell, and the only thing you should do is just to listen freely. It can refresh your brain after long time hard work and let off steam. In this way, you can always keep in high spirits.



    Pop music can also bring about intangible motivation. If you feel gloomy, you may choose to listen to some pop songs. The exciting rhythm, blended with the inspiring lyrics can help you keep away from depression and gain more encouragements. Through these songs, you will be distracted from the sadness and regain a positive attitude towards life. There is no doubt that listening to pop music will reduce the risk of developing psychological illnesses and enable us to keep in good health.



    Prospect of pop music

    In spite the fact that there still exists some misunderstandings about pop music, its unique value and beauty should not be entirely ignored or denied. At the same time, you can see that a lot of endeavors are being made to improve its quality. So we can say that pop music will take on a new look and come across a brighter future!


    Editor: Chen Qiurong

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