• Around 1955 where I grew up. Be-bop started, and the "pop" followed. I think it was jitterbug before that, and a kind of country or swing lyrics for slow dances.
  • It began when a few people realised they could make bundles of money off people like Elvis.
  • Pop music, as in 'popular' music, has been with us for ages. We are very aware of it today, through the promotion of recordings, but that does not mean it arose any time recently. Before the entertainment industry was created, to amuse consumers and profit industry, entertainment generally consisted of what people could do for themselves and with their neighbours, through activities such as music, singing, and storytelling. These activities played an important role in community life by sharing news and entertainment with people who would not otherwise have been exposed to it. Travelling musicians and actors, were a part of daily life and carried songs and stories with them between towns. Since most people lived and died within five or ten miles of their birthplace, travelling entertainers played a vital role in society. Most of the popular music written over the centuries has been lost, as some of it was never written down and what was committed printed was eventually destroyed or lost. The musicians we know best were generally employed by the wealthy, who sponsored musical works and musicians. Allmost all of their music was written down and much has survived the ensuing centuries. Cheaply-printed sheets sold to those among the lower classes who could read, since the majority of the population was illiterate. The stories, lessons, religious stories, and government notices distributed in this manner were passed along through the spoken word. The popular songs of the day were performed by those who could read and play instruments, lyrics were learned by word of mouth so that everyone could participate. The vast majority of these works have been lost over the ensuing years. People did not consider popular entertainments as something worth archiving for future generations. Wipe the mud off the floor of the tavern, lay down some clean rushes, the minstrel show is coming to town. And in modern times.... The 'modern' pop music era began during the 1920s. The popular music of the day could be heard on the new radios and people could purchase records to play at home on their new gramophones. Both of these inventions brought something new to people: the ability to enjoy entertainment right in their homes. Music recordings began with the Edison cylinders in the late 19th century, but really grew with the advent of the 78 rpm 'shellacs'. 78s were relatively inexpensive, easy to use, sounded fairly good, and could be played over and over. Radio stations broadcast music of all kinds, along with the news, drama, and comedies, a role duplicated by television in the 1950s. The depression slowed this growth, as there was little money to spend on luxuries, such as new batteries for the radio (rural areas were not electrified), money to purchase new recordings, or even repairs for equipment that broke. People who had been forced to sell their luxury items, could still enjoy these entertainments if they had a neighbour who still owned a radio or gramophone. Another explosion in popularity, at least in the Americas, began as the world industrialized for war at the end of the 1930s and the depression ended.
  • it's a good question - what DID people listen to before pop music? even the first answer, which seems - at first - pretty indepth, glosses over that vital missing link. people weren't listening to travelling yodelers in the 1910s, so what WERE they listening to? there's a gap - to my mind at least - between the time of travelling singers / groups, and the pop music of the 30s and onwards. i'd love to know if anyone has any ideas.
  • if by 'pop' you mean the 3-4 minute song format designed for teenage mass am radio, I'd say it started with the Beatles
  • Popular music has always existed, and became popular in the 1890's when grammophones begun to become popular. Rcok music developed in the 1950's and what we today call pop music begun in the mid 1960's with the Beatles becoming worldwide popular.

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