Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form during the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom.[1] The terms popular music and pop music are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many disparate styles. During the 1950s and 1960s, pop music encompassed rock and roll and the youth-oriented styles it influenced. Rock and pop music remained roughly synonymous until the late 1960s, after which pop became associated with music that was more commercial, ephemeral, and accessible.

Although much of the music that appears on record charts is seen as pop music, the genre is distinguished from chart music. Identifying factors usually include repeated choruses and hooks, short to medium-length songs written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), and rhythms or tempos that can be easily danced to. Much pop music also borrows elements from other styles such as rock, urban, dance, Latin, and country.

Below are list of styles of pop music.

Stylistic origins

Traditional pop

Main article: Traditional pop

Traditional pop (also known as classic pop and pre-rock and roll pop) is Western popular music that generally pre-dates the advent of rock and roll in the mid-1950s. The most popular and enduring songs from this era of music are known as pop standards or American standards. The works of these songwriters and composers are usually considered part of the canon known as the "Great American Songbook". More generally, the term "standard" can be applied to any popular song that has become very widely known within mainstream culture.

AllMusic defines traditional pop as "post-big band and pre-rock & roll pop music".[2]

Rock and roll

Main article: Rock and roll

Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music that evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s.[3] It originated from black American music such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues,[4] as well as country music.[5] While rock and roll's formative elements can be heard in blues records from the 1920s[6] and in country records of the 1930s,[5] the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.[7]

Earliest form

Main article: Pop music § Stylistic evolution

Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazz and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, and spoken passages from rap.[1][verification needed]


Below are genres that exclusively considered as subgenres of pop.

Note that music styles like dance, electronic, opera, and orchestra are not considered as standalone genres.

Art pop

Main article: Art pop

Brill Building

Main article: Brill Building

Bubblegum pop

Main article: Bubblegum music

cringe pop

Main article: Cringe pop


Main article: Dance-pop


Main article: Electropop

Operatic pop

Main article: Operatic pop

Orchestral pop

Main article: Orchestral pop

Sad pop

Main article: Sad pop


Main article: Schlager music


Main article: Sophisti-pop

Sunshine pop

Main article: Sunshine pop

Teen pop

Main article: Teen pop

Wonky pop

Main article: Wonky pop

Fusion genres

Below are styles of pop music that mixed with other standalone genres.

Ambient pop

Main article: Ambient pop

Country pop

Main article: Country pop

Dancehall pop

Main article: Dancehall pop


Main article: Folk-pop

Hip pop

Main article: Pop-rap


House-pop (sometimes also called "pop-house")[8] is a crossover of house and dance-pop music that emerged in early '90s.[9] The genre was came for make house music more radio friendly.[10] The characteristic of house-pop is similar to diva house music, like over-the-top vocal acrobatics, bubbly synth riffs, and four-on-the-floor rhythm. House-pop also has hip-hop influence.[9]

Jazz pop

Main article: Jazz pop


Main article: Contemporary R&B

Pop rock

Main article: Pop rock

Baroque pop

Main article: Baroque pop

Cowboy pop

Main article: Cowboy pop

Emo pop

Main article: Emo pop

Goth pop

Main article: Goth

Indie pop

Main article: Indie pop

Jangle pop

Main article: Jangle pop

Pop metal

Main article: Pop metal

Pop punk

Main article: Pop punk

Power pop

Main article: Power pop


Further information: Motown (music style)

Pop soul is a genre of soul music that has upbeat tempo and given a commercially viable, crossover production.[12] The vocals are still raw, but the material and the sound of the record could easily fit onto pop radio stations' playlists. Motown was the pioneering label of pop soul, and through much of the 1960s, it was one of the most popular pop music genres. In the 1970s, pop soul became slicker, and it eventually metamorphosed into disco.[13] Luther Vandross is an example of pop soul musician.[14]

Beach pop

Main article: Beach music

Psychedelic pop

Main article: Psychedelic pop

Hypnagogic pop

Main article: Hypnagogic pop


Main article: Reggae fusion

Space age pop

Main article: Space age pop


Main article: Synth-pop


Main article: Worldbeat

Avant-garde related genres

Below are pop music that related to avant-garde culture.

Experimental pop

Main article: Experimental pop


Main article: Hyperpop

Industrial pop

Main article: Industrial pop

Noise pop

Main article: Noise pop

Progressive pop

Main article: Progressive pop

Regional scenes and subgenres

Popular music scenes

Other related genres

Contemporary Christian music

Main article: Contemporary Christian music


Main article: Motown (music style)

New wave

Main article: New wave music

Rock music

Main article: Rock music

Smooth jazz

Main article: Smooth jazz

Smooth soul

Main article: Smooth soul

Other genres

Below are 'pop' genres that are not considered as pop musics.


Main article: Avant-pop


Main article: Bitpop


Main article: Britpop

Chamber pop

Main article: Chamber pop

Dream pop

Main article: Dream pop


Main article: Futurepop

Swamp pop

Main article: Swamp pop


  1. ^ a b S. Frith, W. Straw, and J. Street, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), ISBN 0-521-55660-0, pp. 95–105.
  2. ^ "Traditional Pop | Music Highlights". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  3. ^ Farley, Christopher John (July 6, 2004). "Elvis Rocks But He's Not the First". Time. Archived from the original on August 17, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  4. ^ Christ-Janer, Albert, Charles W. Hughes, and Carleton Sprague Smith, American Hymns Old and New (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), p. 364, ISBN 0-231-03458-X.
  5. ^ a b Peterson, Richard A. Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity (1999), p. 9, ISBN 0-226-66285-3.
  6. ^ Davis, Francis. The History of the Blues (New York: Hyperion, 1995), ISBN 0-7868-8124-0.
  7. ^ "The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll 1946–1954". 2004. Universal Music Enterprises.
  8. ^ "R3HAB Releases "My Pony," A Dancefloor and Radio Friendly Soulful House-Pop Gem". 12 April 2022.
  9. ^ a b "A Brief History of House Pop, Inspired by Robyn's Honey". Pitchfork. 5 November 2018.
  10. ^ "The 100 Best Dance Songs of All Time". Slant Magazine. 15 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Beach Music Genre Overview". AllMusic.
  12. ^ "30 Pop Soul Anthem Songs (Playlist)". 19 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Pop-Soul Music Genre Overview". AllMusic.
  14. ^ Holden, Stephen (3 October 1982). "Luther Vandross: Pop-Soul Pyrotechnics". The New York Times.