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date: 26 February 2020


  • Richard Middleton,
  • David Buckley,
  • Robert Walser,
  • Dave Laing
  •  and Peter Manuel


A term applied to a particular group of popular music styles. Originating mostly in the USA and Britain, from the 1950s on, these styles have subsequently spread to most parts of the world. In Western countries, and in many others too, they became the predominant popular music styles of the second half of the 20th century. Closely connected with the development of new media and music technologies, and with the growth of large-scale recording and broadcasting industries, mostly based in the West, pop music has generally been associated with young people. However, audiences have tended to broaden in the later part of the period. At the same time, new centres of production have emerged, including Japan, Africa and Australasia. By this time, in many parts of the world, pop music styles, derivatives and hybrids, could be regarded as the vernacular lingua franca.

The term pop music originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for ...

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