Since then, certain music publications have embraced the music’s legitimacy, a trend referred to as “poptimism”. Harmony and chord progressions in pop music are often “that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded.” Clichés include the barbershop quartet-style harmony (i.e. ii – V – I) and blues scale-influenced harmony. There was a lessening of the influence of traditional views of the circle of fifths between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, including less predominance for the dominant function.

Assisted by the mid-1960s economic boom, record labels began investing in artists, giving them the freedom to experiment, and offering them limited control over their content and marketing. This situation declined after the late 1970s and would not reemerge until the rise of Internet stars. Indie pop, which developed in the late 1970s, marked another departure from the glamour of contemporary pop music, with guitar bands formed on the then-novel premise that one could record and release their own music without having to procure a record contract from a major label. Multi-track recording and digital sampling have also been utilized as methods for the creation and elaboration of pop music. During the mid-1960s, pop music made repeated forays into new sounds, styles, and techniques that inspired public discourse among its listeners.

Therefore, the term “pop music” may be used to describe a distinct genre, designed to appeal to all, often characterized as “instant singles-based music aimed at teenagers” in contrast to rock music as “album-based music for adults”. From about 1967, the term “pop music” was increasingly used in opposition to the term rock music, a division that gave generic significance to both terms. While rock aspired to authenticity and an expansion of the possibilities of popular music, pop was more commercial, ephemeral, and accessible. According to British musicologist Simon Frith, pop music is produced “as a matter of enterprise not art”, and is “designed to appeal to everyone” but “doesn’t come from any particular place or mark off any particular taste”.

Some of these trends have had a significant impact on the development of the genre. S John Matson reported that this “seems to support the popular anecdotal observation that pop music of yore was “better”, or at least more varied, than today’s top-40 stuff”. However, he also noted that the study may not have been entirely representative of pop in each generation.

Some non-Western countries, such as Japan, have developed a thriving pop music industry, most of which is devoted to Western-style pop. Japan has for several years produced a greater quantity of music than everywhere except the US. The spread of Western-style pop music has been interpreted variously as representing processes of Americanization, homogenization, modernization, creative appropriation, cultural imperialism, or a more general process of globalization. Another technological change was the widespread availability of television in the 1950s with televised performances, forcing “pop stars had to have a visual presence”. In the 1960s, the introduction of inexpensive, portable transistor radios meant that teenagers in the developed world could listen to music outside of the home. By the early 1980s, the promotion of pop music had been greatly affected by the rise of music television channels like MTV, which “favoured those artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna who had a strong visual appeal”.

As of 2011, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” ranks as the most frequently played song in US radio history. It is described by music writers Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden as “the ultimate pop record”. Musicologist Allan Moore surmises that the term “pop music” itself may have been popularized by Pop art. The latter half of the 20th-century included a large-scale trend in American culture in which the boundaries between art and pop music were increasingly blurred.

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The word “progressive” was frequently used, and it was thought that every song and single was to be a “progression” from the last. Music critic Simon Reynolds writes that beginning with 1967, a divide would exist between “progressive” https://www.anatoliabrookline.com/ and “mass/chart” pop, a separation which was “also, broadly, one between boys and girls, middle-class and working-class.” According to Grove Music Online, “Western-derived pop styles, whether coexisting with or marginalizing distinctively local genres, have spread throughout the world and have come to constitute stylistic common denominators in global commercial music cultures”.