Talk:Pop music

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alternative to rock or to rock & roll?[edit]

(transplanted from Sssoul's talk page) Hi. In a recent removal of some unsourced material from this article you also undid a minor change of mine which preceded it, which suggested that the sourced given was suggested that pop music as a genre is usually opposed to rock music, not rock and roll, which was my understanding of the phrase at the citation: "Early Pop/Rock emerged in the late '50s, as the initial rock & roll craze began to die down, and a lighter, smoother (but still similar) alternative to rock was needed". Not to debate this at the moment, but was that change deliberate or just caught up in the other reversions? If deliberate I will post something on the talk page so that we can discuss it. Thanks.--Sabrebd (talk) 13:28, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

hello ... thanks for asking. i'm one of those who considers it anachronistic to say rock music (as opposed to rock & roll) existed in the 1950s, and i think the cited source was being a bit careless with the terminology. but - sigh! - since that's what the cited source says, if you feel strongly about it, so be it, in the body of the article. can we keep "rock" out of the infobox, though? Sssoul (talk) 06:59, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Sadly its all a bit more complicated than I thought at first. The thrust of my original suggestion was that rock and roll (not rock) should be in the info box, as it is one of the sources. I would agree with you, rock isnt really used, as far as I know at the moment, until about 1967. So damn it the little change I was arguing for wont quite make sense, because of the 1950s bit. Then after a little research I find that the pop/rock opposition is more a British thing than American. So I suggest we leave it as it is for the moment and I will do a little more research to try to get these dates and terms pinned down and to come up with a form of words which is accuate, clear and concise - which can then be discussed.--Sabrebd (talk) 07:36, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

i'm glad we can both agree on what's currently there - i hereby strike my proposal to leave "rock" in the paragraph, since the sentence we're talking is about the 1950s. the "pop/rock dichotomy" obviously came later. i'm aware that some people perceive that as "a British thing" but posit that that's not quite right either; but anyway enjoy your research! Sssoul (talk) 08:03, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
After some research I incorporated a clarification into a minor clear up and added short sections on terminology and characteristics, which I think make the situation clear. A major aim was ensure it was still evident this article is about a genre and to avoid anything that might invite lists (once they start they are hard to stop).--Sabrebd (talk) 23:11, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I think alternative rock and roll would just go in rock music. Asdfjkl1235 (talk) 02:56, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

the "characteristics" section[edit]

i'm not the one who added that "although there are notable exceptions" to this section, but i sympathize strongly with it. although it's thoroughly referenced, that section includes some very judgemental-sounding statements, and even if they're some musicologists' POV they are (apparently, as now phrased) POV. also, some of those statements could apply to "lame music of *any* genre" and not this genre in particular. so could we discuss balancing this section a bit? Sssoul (talk) 05:37, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

"Judmental-sounding statements", such as? Hyacinth (talk) 04:24, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Strangely, the "Characteristics" section of revision includes a source which is no longer included. Hyacinth (talk) 04:30, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
these statements sound judgemental/disparaging: "Emphasis on technology over musicianship", "Emphasis on artificiality or craftsmanship over artistic values", and the unnecessary "or trivial" part of "Tendency to deal with simple or trivial themes".
i am of course cognizant that there is a school of thought that regards "pop" as a put-down, not a genre, and that's what those statements seem to reflect. the "technology vs musicianship" thing isn't a feature of pop per se (think of 50s-60s pop; and then later it was certainly not only pop music that sometimes suffered from an overdose of technology). and the "artificiality vs artistic value" assessment applies to "commercially-driven" music of any genre, not to pop in particular.
and although "tendency to follow existing practice and fashionable trends over progressive developments" maybe doesn't sound quite as disparaging, it could no doubt be said of most of what is produced in any field of art: even when people are striving to be avant-garde, they usually aren't.
i really feel all that either needs to be omitted or explained at length, and balanced with the POV of critics who have some sympathy for the genre. Sssoul (talk) 06:01, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
specifically, unless/until that can all be clarified/balanced i propose this for the Characteristics section (with no separate "pop song" section):
Pop music is commonly characterized as being orientated towards the singles market and individual songs, and aimed at appealing to the general population rather than to a particular a sub-culture or ideology.[ref, ref, ref]
The major medium of pop music is the song, often between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length, generally marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure.[ref] Common variants include the verse-chorus form and the thirty-two-bar form, with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks, and a chorus that contrasts melodically, rhythmically and harmonically with the verse.[ref] The beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment.[ref] The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes - often love and romantic relationships - although there are notable exceptions.[ref]
then if someone wanted to develop a "criticism" section where the reasons for the "pop = mediocre" perception could be discussed in a balanced WP:NPOV way, that could be interesting. Sssoul (talk) 06:21, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
The general point of view of those articles was not to identify pop with the mediocre but to highlight commonly used descriptions, and the fact remains they are commonly used. I can see that it might be taken to be putting down pop music, but could the desired balance achieved by adding some inverted commas (eg. Emphasis on "artificiality" or craftsmanship over "artistic" values.), then perhaps adding something that points to more positive views?--Sabrebd (talk) 07:40, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) i realize these are not uncommon assessments of pop music, but they are still assessments, not objective characteristics of the genre. some inverted commas might help some, especially if we could leave out the bits that don't apply to pop per se, but i think it would be better for the article to leave the value judgements out until we're ready to expand them into a full-fledged and balanced section about critical views of the genre. Sssoul (talk) 07:57, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

would something like this be satisfactory, accurate, clear, etc:
Musicologists often identify the follwing characteristics as typical of the pop music genre:[ref, ref, ref]
  • a focus on the individual song, rather than on longer works
  • aimed at appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular a sub-culture or ideology
  • an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities
  • a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments
The major medium of pop music is the song, often between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length, generally marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure.[ref] Common variants include the verse-chorus form and the thirty-two-bar form, with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks, and a chorus that contrasts melodically, rhythmically and harmonically with the verse.[ref] The beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment.[ref] The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes - often love and romantic relationships - although there are notable exceptions.[ref]
in the list of "bullet points" i left out the one about recordings vs performances because i don't understand what it's referring to - what era, or why it's more typical of pop than of (for example) "art rock" or dub reggae or any of a number of other genres; and i skipped the "simple themes" because that's covered more adequately in the next paragraph. Sssoul (talk) 08:40, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Seems reasonable to me. We can revisit the issues about how it is viewed when we can balance up the views.--Sabrebd (talk) 16:25, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
thanks Sabrebd - i've made the change and hope it looks all right. it'll be interesting to develop a balanced "critique" section. i'm reading something now that i'm hoping will turn out to be a pertinent citable source - if the author stops beating around the bush, that is! we'll see ... and meanwhile, thanks again and swing on Sssoul (talk) 16:41, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Regarding a criticism section, see Wikipedia:Criticism.
I think one's reaction to the list of characteristics in the previous section says as much about one's values as it does about those of the people who described the characteristics. There seems to be no reason to remove information, only rephrase POV to NPOV.
For example, "Focus on the singles market" does not seem derogatory nor subjective. Hyacinth (talk) 06:32, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
yes, "focus on the singles market" isn't blaringly derogatory, but it seems redundant to (and narrower than) "focus on the individual song", and b] it leads too close to the slippery slope where this article gets mistaken for an article on record chart trends. miles of songs in the pop genre were never released (or intended) as singles, which surely doesn't alter their genre.
regardless of our own personal views (which i think we shouldn't try to guess at, thanks!) the quotes you've added presenting Frith's POV need to be balanced with other assessments of the genre, and i doubt that the "characteristics" section is the best place to do that. (yes, i have read Wikipedia:Criticism. i used the phrase "a 'criticism' section" here on the talk page as casual shorthand for a section i can imagine being very usefully added to this article. as Wikipedia:Criticism notes such a section could be called a lot of things; i didn't mean i insist on calling it "criticism".) Sssoul (talk) 07:20, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Calling it something else doesn't make it something else, and while I disagree most editors oppose criticism sections. Hyacinth (talk) 09:26, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) smile: peace, okay? the section is purely hypothetical at this point, and what i'm picturing is very likely something quite different from what you imagine i'm picturing. meanwhile the bit presenting Frith's POV needs to be balanced with other POVs, and i doubt the "characteristics" section is the appropriate place to do that. for now could it at least be moved to below the paragraph describing typical song structures? thanks Sssoul (talk) 10:24, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Do you mean a "Reception" section? Hyacinth (talk) 17:39, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
i mean a section where notable POV assessments of the genre can be presented in a balanced way.
meanwhile i have a question about what's in the article right now: the sentence "Frith distinguishes pop music from classical or art music and from folk music" sounds very much as though Frith is using the term "pop music" to refer to popular music in general, rather than to the specific genre that this article is trying to be about. is that correct?
oh and: thanks for moving that paragraph. Sssoul (talk) 19:53, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
In the reference to Frith's "comment" at this point he is running through possible definitions, not necessarily his own, and as such probably referring to popular music in general. That is why I deleted it as it did not seem to fit, as per the discussion above about the fact that this is an article about a genre called pop music and not the concept of popular music. If it is used it needs to be in context and his other possible definitions need to be clear, as he seems to put more faith in those. See (talk) 00:01, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
thanks for clarifying, Sabrebd - in that case i agree that that part needs to be removed. Sssoul (talk) 06:15, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

I see some quotation marks have been added, but some of Sssoul's concerns about the judgmental tone still don't seem to have been adequately addressed, not even by his own text.

Stating that musicologists "often" identify pop music as having certain characteristics, lowbrow or otherwise, sounds weasel-wordish to me, trying to make it sound like there's a tendency where they may be none. Do the two sources cited actually say that lots of musicologists say these things, or is it just the authors of those works (Frith et. al and Aldershot) who are saying it?

An emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities - what are formal artistic qualities? That means nothing to me, and I know a thing or two about music. Is it virtuosity? Originality (or perception thereof)? Defiance of tradition/formula? I'm wondering what's actually said in the cited works and whether this statement could better summarize what kinds of non-craftsmanship-y things are missing from pop music. And as was pointed out, is this kind of thing really unique to pop music, or is it more a feature of all commecially-driven music?

Harmony in pop music is often "that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded." - if the point here is to say that pop music uses classical European tonality but eschews harmonic complexity, then just say so. Keep the reference, but don't use the disparaging quote. Whether a simple harmony is simple-minded is a matter of opinion.

I suggest trying to work on this section a bit more to get rid of the remaining bits of POV. Thanks for listening. —mjb (talk) 10:43, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

It is a very long time since this was an active discussion so I cannot remember all the points of view and am not as on top of the sources as I once was, but here goes. I think the "often" should just go. They have identified these things, but there is no way of telling if this is often. On craftsmenship, I think they really are talking about pop not just popular music and I think that this is more or less a quote, which brings me to a suggested solution: why don't we just make these quotes as that will indicate the conditionality of the statements. On harmony in pop music. I have no idea what that means, lets do as you suggest and remove the quote, keeping the reference.--SabreBD (talk) 18:09, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I noticed a lack of mention in Characteristics of pop mainly having vocals. Being a person who prefers music without vocals, this stands out as one common quality of pop music. (talk) 19:57, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

the manufactured pop page[edit]

discussion transplanted to Talk: Manufactured pop - thanks for keeping it there Sssoul (talk) 09:01, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Would like to add a list of top selling pop performers[edit]

Hi, I would like to add a list of the top-selling pop performers. As the article is set up currently, it does not give a single name of any performers. I imagine this is because if you allow an editor to list, say, ABBA, next thing someone wants to add in another pop group, then another, all with glowing Original Research / POV statements about how such-and-such group is "widely viewed as the most influential pop group in the world". This is not what I am proposing. I am proposing a table of the top-selling pop artists, as determined by third-party sources. Then the reader who wants to know "What are the top-selling pop groups?" can look at the list and say "ABBA, Celine Dion, Madonna, etc". .....This is not just a random, unsorted list of indiscriminate names. It is encyclopedic, because there is a criteria (top sales) and it is verifiable.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 18:51, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict) there was a conscious decision a while back to eliminate any mention of particular artists from this article, since mentioning any artists just led to the article being overwhelmed by pile-on type additions, and discussion is certainly needed before changing that. there are already lists of pop artists that interested readers can consult/add to, so i don't see what advantage there would be to adding a list like that to this article. Sssoul (talk) 18:56, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
transplanted from Sssoul's talk page:
Dear Sir/Madam, I believe your reversion of encyclopedic information (top-selling artists) sourced to reputable, third-party sources is contrary to our Wikipedia principles. The onus is on the person who adds information to prove that it is verifiable and pertinent to the article. The information is verifiable (mainstream, third-party sources) and pertinent (article is about pop music, I have tried to add a list of the top-selling pop artists). You can revert if the information is not verifiable, not sourced, not encyclopedic, or not pertinent to the article, or if it gives undue weight to an element. Please explain your rationale for reversion, beyond your belief that the article should not have lists (or the talk page, for that matter, because the talk page consensus on a single article does not overrule the Five Pillars of Wikipedia). Thank you.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 18:55, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
i'm not attempting to overthrow any pillars; WP:Consensus is a major aspect of Wikipedia policy. i trust other interested editors will join the discussion, but meanwhile: is there any reason not to make your list a stand-alone page that could be linked to in the "see also" section of this article? again, this article has an unfortunate history of getting completely swamped by people adding their preferred artists, hence the long-standing decision to keep individual artists out of it altogether. Sssoul (talk) 19:01, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Simply put, having mentions of particular artists in this article inevitably results in endless "me too" listing. It would be much better for any list of pop artists to be in a seperate article.--SabreBD (talk) 21:52, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Paragraph on notable pop music performers and groups[edit]

Hi, I am changing my proposal from a list to a paragraph on notable pop music performers and groups (as set out in reputable, third party sources). The goal of having an article on a style of music--pop music-- that does not mention even the most notable performers and groups (as set out in reputable, mainstream sources) seems to be at odds with the approach used in other Wikipedia articles on music. ................The rock music article describles the contributions of 100s of bands and singers; in the pop punk section of the rock music article, for example, we learn about how the approach used by The Buzzcocks and The Clash was taken up by Rancid, [[ Weezer and Greenday, and then by a second generation of bands, including Blink-182, Good Charlotte, and Simple Plan............................In the article on Blues, the section on Chicago blues tells about the contributions of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), Willie Dixon, and late-1950s performers like Buddy Guy and Otis Rush...................The article on Jazz uses 100s of examples of performers and bands to tell the history of jazz. In just the jazz fusion section alone, we learn about the impact of Miles Davis, the groups his "alumni" went on to found ( Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra), and notable performers, including keyboardists Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, vibraphonist Gary Burton, drummer Tony Williams, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, guitarists Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Frank Zappa, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and bassists Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke..........................In all of the examples cited, the authors of the articles could have been concerned that giving examples would lead to a tidal wave of additions, and tried to ban the addition of group names or performer's names. Perhaps there were problems with this; perhaps the various article sub-sections I have described (the pop punk section of the Rock music article; the Chicago blues section of the Blues article, etc) have at one time or another been swamped with the addition of every person who ever played pop punk or played a Chicago blues riff. However, it seems that Wikipedia editors have managed to whittle down these sections so that a small number of highly notable performers or groups are listed...............Just to show I understand this type of problem, though, I wish to relate my experience with the Bass guitar article. Years ago, there were attempts to have a section on "Notable bass players" would start with Paul McCartney, Sting, etc., and then in a few weeks, people would add in their uncle who once played in a bar band in the mid-1980s and their cousin Sam who is in a garage band. As the list grew until it became an indiscriminate list of every human who ever held an electric bass, a decision was taken to remove the list of names. I think that the problem could have been solved another way. First, don't use a bulletted list. In Wikipedia, bulleted lists of anything seem to be a beacon for attracting random, indiscriminiate information. If we had used prose, it would have made it harder for people to add names, because it's not just as simple as adding a bullet with your uncle Bob's name. Second, we should have required a reference to a reputable, third-party (i.e., not uncle Bob's own MySpace page on his band) source which clearly states that the individual made a major contribution to electric bass playing. Third, we should have come to an agreement on how long the section was going to be (re: the "undue weight" rule in Wikipedia). That acts as a brake on uncontrolled growth......................................Moving beyond music articles, I wish to point out that it is normal practice in articles on anything to give examples. If there is an article about "x" category or type of thing, there are usually examples of "x". Let us look at the article on Sports cars, which discusses Porsche, Lamborghini, and other brands of sports cars. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 10:02, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

transplanted from Ssoul's talk page, since the discussion belongs here: Hi, I posted a new message on the pop music article talk page, in which I am proposing the addition of a paragraph on notable pop music performers and groups, with the proviso that any material would have to be backed up by a reputable third-party source. Perhaps I am getting it wrong, but my reading of other major articles in Wikipedia on music genres seems to suggest that there is a broad consensus amongst Wikipedia editors that, in an article on "Musical genre X" examples of notable bands and performers from "musical genre X" are given. In the talk page message, I give a few examples, like the rock music article, the Blues article, and the Jazz article, each of which describe the impact of many performers and groups. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 10:14, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
thanks for using the talk page. again: the decision to leave particular artists firmly off this page is a long-standing consensus that doesn't need to match the consensus reached on other articles. the problem of floods of "me too" type listings is no doubt greater here than in the case of (for example) bass players due to the facts that a] there are miles of artists whose ouevre includes pop music in addition to other genres; and b] the term "pop music" has multiple meanings, so it's easy to find thoroughly reliable references using it in ways that have no (0) relevance to this article. and adding provisos doesn't help much, since so many of the people making "me too" additions tend not to read or care about provisos, consensus, etc.
as was suggested above: if you think Wikipedia needs a list of notable pop artists, why not start a separate article or list with the criteria and provisos you deem fit. a link that can be added to the "see also" section of this article, and everyone will be happy. Sssoul (talk) 11:32, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi, You have a good suggestion about creating a second article. However, I wish to note that the long-standing consensus has now come to an end, because I do not agree with the "no naming performers or groups" rule for this article. I think that the concept of consensus has both a "page-level" and a Wikipedia-wide notion. Indeed, the policy page on consensus which was appended to one of the earlier messages back to me states (roughly) that a consensus by some editors at a particular place and time cannot override the broader Wikipedia consensus.....OK...little child needs attention....must go offline! I will be back...OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 21:34, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Can the main editors for the article on music from the Classical period (1750-1800) come to a consensus that no composers will be mentioned in the article, and that no one is allowed to type the words "Mozart", "Haydn", or "Beethoven"? I don't know if editors for a page can come to a consensus that encyclopedic, well-sourced, pertinent information cannot be included in an article. I will do some research on the consensus policy pages, and try and figure it out. Perhaps you are right, and the editors of an article on "Music from the Romantic era" can declare that neither Brahms, Liszt, nor Mahler can be mentioned. It just seems....well...unusual. To reiterate my earlier point, articles on "x" usually have a few examples of what experts agree are the most notable and important examples of "x". I will get back to you on the results of my investigation into the rules on consensus. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 21:46, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

consensus sought regarding an image[edit]

Hi, I this article is about pop music. I added an image of a pop music singer from ABBA, a group which a third-party source calls the most successful pop group of the 1970s. WP:Images says that images must be pertinent to the article. The article is about pop music. The photo is of a singer from one of the most successful pop groups of the 1970s. It seems that this picture passes muster. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 23:13, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

this is the same discussion as above: an image of a particular band would be appropriate to an article about (or referring to) that band, and this one doesn't, because of a long-standing consensus to leave any mention of particular artists/performers out of this article. again: please create a separate article or list about "notable pop music artists" with the criteria and provisos you see fit, and add images to that if you consider them necessary. thanks Sssoul (talk) 08:28, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
ps i'm changing the title of this section, since "permission" isn't needed. consensus is. Sssoul (talk) 09:18, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi, There is no longer a consensus that particular artists or performers cannot be included in this article. I disagree. The longstanding consensus has ended. This consensus blocks editors from adding encylopedic information. Some of the most important sources cited in this article (e.g., Frith, for one) explain pop music and its history by describing the role played by specific performers and groups. I do not believe that the editors on an article page can have a consensus that encyclopedic information that is directly pertinent to the topic--in this case the definition and history of pop music--cannot be added to this page. I hope that we can come to a new consensus as to what types of information about performers or groups are acceptable. One possible compromise is that only statements made in published, mainstream books, journals, and encyclopedias are acceptable. This prevents people from adding quotes like "Flock of Seagulls are the most influential pop band in history" that are sourced from a Flock of Seagulls fan blog. But if a reputable source, say Frith, cites certain pop performers or bands as important to the history or development of pop, they should be able to be included.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 02:22, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I look forward to suggestions for a new consensus, in which there is a framework for making reference to performers or groups. I believe that the consensus-making process requires us to have a discussion and a back-and-forth of positions and points.

Thank you.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 02:50, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Consensus info from the policy pages[edit]

Hi everyone, for our discussion on consensus regarding this article, I thought it might be helpful to cut and paste some information from the policy pages:

re-stating the proposals[edit]

Hi, I have come upon a potential compromise: setting a very high bar for the inclusion of performers or bands in this article. I propose that performer or band names can only be included if "reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" state that a performer or band has had a major impact or role in pop music. Citing WP:V, "The most reliable sources are usually peer-reviewed journals; books published by university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. As well, we could use the rule that "Tiny-minority views need not be included, except in articles devoted to them". OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 03:24, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

as already noted: "setting a high bar" doesn't stop the floods of "me too" type additions, because there are too many people who add things without reading the "provisos" and "standards". again: please understand that the term "pop music" is not clear-cut like "bass player" or time-bound like "composers of the Romantic era". "pop" has been applied to a huge realm of songs and performers, with a variety of meanings that aren't all related to this article (including "whatever has ranked high on record sales charts, regardless of genre" as well as a derogatory sense something like "derivative junk").
if, in spite of all that, you're convinced Wikipedia needs a list of "notable pop artists" as you define them, and that you can maintain high standards on such a list, then please create that list as a separate page. a link to that can be added to the "see also" section of this article.
and yes, consensus can change, but the process of establishing that it's changed entails more than a single individual declaring a long-standing consensus defunct. i'm still hopeful that more editors will weigh in, and i'll put something on appropriate noticeboards to request more input. meanwhile, please read some of the history of the existing consensus in the archives – for example, this discussion and the ones that follow it; having a look at some old versions of the page could also be enlightening. thanks. Sssoul (talk) 08:02, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
WP:List gives guidance about when to embed a list and when to create a List article instead. There are probably no absolute rules but in my opinion the proposed list would work best as a separate List article, not as an embedded list in this article. The current article is concerned with the terminology, history and characteristics of the genre; it has no need of a list of examples and can include links to such lists instead. OnBeyondZebrax, to put this in the terms of your question, I would say an embedded list is not "pertinent to the article". PL290 (talk) 16:52, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

(Coming over from invite at WikiProject Music) ... My first inclination was to agree with Sssoul, as I can understand the potential for fancruft. But in looking at the present state of the article, compared to how it was up to February 13 when the edits under discussion began, I think it has improved and looks more concise with the addition of citations from textbooks on music in the Terminology section. I don't think it would be helpful to further edit these citations to remove the names of artists.

However, this section, and the names mentioned, all have to do with the origins of pop music as identified by various writers. I don't see how a mention of ABBA would fit in to the origins. To list present-day or all-time top pop artists, would create the problems that Sssoul has described.

So I wonder if a compromise could be reached, where we would allow the use of names that are mentioned in scholarly, cited quotes about the history of pop music, but disallow a list of top pop people, based on the view that even coming from reliable sources, these lists would reflect bias. An expert might pick examples he thinks would be familiar to his readers, rather than those that are most important to pop music's history and development. To pick up on another point Sssoul made about the wide range of types of pop music, it's even bigger than that, when you consider international and non-Western cultures. There were pop music scenes in India and Japan in the mid 20th century, and a list of artists would have to include those as well, making a very large list that may not be helpful, and even the experts may avoid mentioning non-Western names that should be included on such a list. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 17:04, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

thanks for weighing in, PL290 and A Knight. your compromise proposal is interesting, but my concerns still remain: who would determine what counts as scholarly, cited quotes about the history and what's mere fancruft that mars the integrity of the article? again, there are many scholarly sources that use the term "pop" in ways that are not relevant to the topic of this article; and (another issue) it's not difficult to find references calling Whoever's Favourite Artist From Past Decade X a king/queen of the genre, and what are the criteria for asserting what is/isn't "historical/scholarly enough"? it's a slippery slope. Sssoul (talk) 20:10, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree; having considered Knight's suggested compromise, I remain of the opinion that there is nothing to be gained by a compromise. The article's coverage and focus does not require such a list, and to introduce one would, I feel, merely be a distraction. The list in question appears to me to simply work best as a separate list. PL290 (talk) 20:49, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Bands should only be mentioned in the prose as they affect the development and history of the genre. Genre articles should not be here to list bands that are within the genre. The focus of the article is the genre not the bands. Ridernyc (talk) 20:37, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

as noted below, it appears that major changes to the article have been galloping along as if this discussion and the ones below had already established some kind of consensus. that is not the case. i've just removed some of the recent additions/alterations that no consensus has been established for (and there are other recent major changes that i would remove for now on the same grounds). please hold off with further changes until consensus is established. thanks Sssoul (talk) 06:59, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Let us begin our discussion again. It appears that Ssoul believes that the article on Pop music should not include a quotation from what Wikipedia considers to be the most reliable source (a university press book) that includes the name of a performer or band. Under this proposal, including a sentence like "According to the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Pop and Rock, 'the most influential pop music groups from the 1970s were XXX and YYY'" would not be permissible. I find it unusual that pertinent, encylopedic information that directly relates to the topic of an article which is sourced from a highly reliable source is impermissible. I have read your rationale for this position, which is a concern about "me-too" additions. Well, if you set the bar for references very high (encyclopedias and university press books), then you can screen out additions like "According to the Flock of Seagulls Fan Website, Flock of Seagulls is the "most influential band in pop music history" or "The Complete Fan's Guide to Culture Club states that Culture Club was the most influential pop band in the history of Western music" (all quotes and book names are hypothetical) : ).... .............As I have stated above, such an approach (not allowing band or performer names, as cited in reliable sources) is not in line with the approach used in other music articles (check out Rock music, Punk rock, Heavy metal music, etc, all of which cite reliable sources that refer to notable, important bands and performers. These pages have "me-too" additions, but there is a standard Wikipedia way of filtering unsourced material, because Wikipedia puts the "burden of proof" on the editor who adds information. The editor who adds information must give a verifiable reference to a reliable, third-party source.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 04:46, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Another argument for permitting the inclusion of band and performer names (when cited in a reliable source) is that it helps the reader to understand the topic. When a reader looks up a film genre like film noir on Wikipedia, the article tells them about the characteristics of the genre (cynical outlook, dark, shady filming techniques, etc), yes, but it also tells readers about the most notable films in this genre, according to reputable, third-party sources. When a reader looks up a music genre like Heavy metal music, yes the article tells them about cymbal chokes and distortion guitar, and extreme volume...but it also describes the most notable, influential bands (according to reputable, third-party sources), so the reader learns about the role played by Motorhead, [[Metallica], and so on.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 05:05, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Pop as alternative[edit]

I am having a job accounting for the article's thesis, twice repeated, that "pop developed as a softer alternative to rock'n'roll". The cited works do not all appear to back this; the allmusic one in particular refers to "early pop-rock", implying the identity of the two. Most of the given quotations likewise fail to back this and even seem to contradict it. Perhaps the Frith book says this? As things stand it looks like OR. Is it not the case that "pop" bands like the Beatles played "rock'n'roll" songs and that it was only in the late sixties that the marketing men introduced the term "rock" as a supposedly "advanced" form of pop - even as "rock" groups like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple appeared in the "pop" charts - and that it has somehow since been retrospectively agreed among goodness-knows-who that "rock'n'roll", as the true forerunner of "rock", differed from and was opposed to 50s "pop"? Could we at least have a valid citation for this extraordinary bit of revisionist snobbery? Redheylin (talk) 05:54, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

once again i think we're running into a problem with different sources using the term "pop" to mean different things; i feel some of the recent additions have muddled various uses of the term and obscured the intended topic of the article – which is trying to focus on a particular genre, not on "popular music in general" nor on "derivative commercial junk". if you look at Talk:Pop music/Archive 2 you'll see that this article has struggled with this problem before ... Sssoul (talk) 09:37, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
There's bound to be the struggle, so long as there's an attempt to define the subject of the article in a special, idiosyncratic way. The article says "pop developed as a softer alternative to rock'n'roll". And I am not finding confirmation of this in the cited sources. If, as you say, "different sources us(e) the term "pop" to mean different things", then why are these "different things" eclipsed by a single definition without proper citations, without due weight to all definitions? The "intended subject" is an OR/OS. The subject is "pop music" and the article needs to reflect all views and definitions of that phrase. This is all taking for granted that "pop" is a genre, not just "popular". I am drawing attention to the fact that the cited sources do not back the definition. Redheylin (talk) 10:33, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) smile: peace, okay? some terms have multiple meanings, and Wikipedia is entitled to have separate articles about the different topics. some writers (and music charts) use "pop music" to mean "every genre of music that isn't 'art music' or 'traditional music'", and/or "whatever does well saleswise, regardless of what genre it is". those topics are covered in Wikipedia's Popular music and Record chart articles. but there is also a specific genre known as pop music, and that's the subject of this article. again, if you look at the archives you'll see there have been attempts to make/keep that clear, using hat notes, disambiguation, etc. do you have a suggestion for keeping the distinction clear?
as for the refs that don't support what they're being used to support: thanks - the {{failed verification}} tag can be used to point out specific instances of that. that would be helpful - thank you Sssoul (talk) 11:00, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I can tag the quoted piece, certainly, if you like, but I have already drawn the exact point and citations to your attention so, if you disagree with the removal of these inadequately referenced statements (or are able to improve them) please do so since it cannot be said that due notice has not been given. Please do not suggest again that this is in any way unfriendly or hostile: please do not suggest again that I am saying anything other than what I have said. I am looking for due weight to be applied to all definitions of "pop music" since this is the name of the article - I can find no evidence of a notable or authoritative source defining it as "developed as a softer alternative to rock and roll" despite the present citations. Any citation defining it as a specific genre would be a start. Redheylin (talk) 17:21, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Thank you for the ideas that have been contributed. In particular, I would like to thank user Ssoul for this editor's suggetions to look at the Talk Page history for this article. There was a great deal of discussion about what title to give the article (i.e., whether to add a bracketed term like (genre)), and whether or not to make it part of Popular music. I am glad that there was a consensus to create a different "pop music" article, because Popular music appears to cover 1000 years, from minstrel singers to today. I would also like to thank user Ssoul for this editor's excellent edits to some of my contributions to this article. After Ssoul re-worded my contributions, the writing was better. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 01:07, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

I think the fact that the intro says something totally different then the first paragraph of the article is a major problem. Things to need to be rewritten to show that the term had been around and then latter was applied to certain form of popular music. Ridernyc (talk) 02:12, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

The "Critics" Section[edit]

Seems to be on the verge of tipping into some POV issues, depending largely on one source and using synthesis with other sources. Ridernyc (talk) 02:34, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi, that is a good point, Ridernyc. I would like to find other sources who describe the role of music critic in pop music. As it is now, all I found was the Steve Jones book...which means we are relying 100% on one source. You are right...we don't know if he has a bias or not. It would be good to find some other sources on music critics, to either confirm or refute Steve Jones' claims.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 04:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I think we should work on other things before adding a section like this to the article. A good place to start would be the intro which is totally wrong and misleading. Ridernyc (talk) 04:33, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
It is hard to keep up with all the recent additions and changes. This section also strays into a problematic area for this topic, a lot of the sources are actually about popular music not pop music as a genre.--SabreBD (talk) 18:09, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with changes this massive I think it would be for someone to work on the article in a sandbox then ask for critique when it's nearly done. Ridernyc (talk) 19:26, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Its a good idea if it is acceptable.--SabreBD (talk) 13:44, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I have removed this section for now. Sorry to do this to good will edits, but I think we need to see if there is a consensus for it and look at how it is presented.--SabreBD (talk) 16:08, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Several comments. First, the Wikipedia page on reversion suggests reverting good faith content only as a last resort. Since the music criticism page was not only good faith material, but was also sourced (I think every sentence) to mainstream sources, reversion seems harsh. Second, regarding the comments that the section needs work, Wikipedia is a work in progress. If you leave the content up, it gets edited and reworked. Third, regarding the comment by Sabrebd that much of the section deals with popular music rather than pop music, I kindly ask that you review the material cited, much of which is discussing "pop music" as is defined by the reputable mainstream sources now cited in the article. If you look at the material in quotes, it usually explicitly refers to "pop music". For a source that refers to "pop music" to be outside the scope of this article, as set out by the third-party sources, the source would have to be talking about medieval minstrel songs or 1890s music theater songs (the breadth of the time period covered by popular music).OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 02:26, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

(un-indent)Hi, WP:RV suggests that we should "Revert vandalism and other abusive edits upon sight but revert a good faith edit only as a last resort. A reversion can eliminate "good stuff," discourage other editors, and spark an edit war. So if you feel the edit is unsatisfactory, then try to improve it, if possible – reword rather than revert. Similarly, if only part of an edit is problematic then consider modifying only that part instead of reverting the whole edit – don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." I suggest that in blanking the section, you resolved your valid concerns (excessive reliance on the Steve Jones book) yet also removed pertinent, encyclopedic material, including very up-to-date information on pop music criticism from Slate magazine and the New York Sun. I find it interesting that by reverting the "music critics" section, a section in which almost every sentence had a reference, this contribution got the exact same treatment as the IP vandal who deleted the article, and typed "I hate skool": reversion.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 02:39, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

in the discussion above people have stated that they recognize that these additions are good-faith edits, but you've been asked more than once to please wait with all the major changes to the article, because there are currently discussions going on about what changes consensus might support. consensus has not been established for a change in the topic of the article; nor has consensus been established for a change in the long-standing policy to omit mention of specific performers. the suggestion has been made that you create a sandbox (either here or at your user page) where you can propose your version for consideration by other editors who have an interest in this article. please do that instead of just proceeding with changes to the article as if these discussions were not going on. thanks. Sssoul (talk) 06:45, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
There's no consensus needed for the proposition that the page "Pop music" even-handedly reflect all notable sources defining that subject, nor for removing definitions that offer no, or unsatisfactory, references. Redheylin (talk) 13:10, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem is you are making massive changes to the article without discussion. As I try to talk here about problems in on section you have already moved on on to another section, which affects what I'm trying to say about the previous section. Build the article to your satisfaction in your sandbox. I'm not even sure I disagree with the work you are doing, just the way you are doing it. It's imposable to follow and discuss the changes hence the need to undo everything to a former state. Before we can even start rewriting this article or adding new sections, or adding lists etc... We need to develop a consensus on what this article is about. We also need to deal with the major can worms that as I have pointed out in the section bellow, this articulate over laps with other articles so we need to also deal with those article as well. Ridernyc (talk) 13:28, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, You said that we should develop a consensus about what the article is about. I assume you mean as far as what subtopics and issues? Given that the Pop music article is the "umbrella" article for all of the pop subgenres (bubblegum pop, Europop), it seems that the "umbrella" article should be broad in scope, and cover the history of pop music, how it is produced, its musical elements, etc.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 04:27, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
See you are making a big assumption there I'm not sure there is even a consensus for that. I think you are starting to display slight ownership issues with this article. Ridernyc (talk) 04:49, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I regret if my above comment was taken negatively. I was trying to clarify what you meant by saying we should get a consensus about what the article is about, so I stated my assumption, then I made a suggestion. Please explain what you mean by getting a consensus about what this article is about. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 05:09, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
The reason I suggested that the "Pop music" article is an umbrella article is because it is titled "Pop music", and the infobox on the "Pop music" page shows a variety of other types of pop underneath this heading. So it is like "Pop music" is the umbrella article for all of the other articles. I was trying to explain what I already see on the page.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 05:13, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
First the article that most people seem to want to create really should not be pop music, it should be pop music (genre). Second I'm not sure there should be anything other then a Popular music article, that has a "Pop music as a genre" section in it. Ridernyc (talk) 08:29, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) if you check out Talk:Pop music/Archive 2#Requested move, an attempt was made to rename the article "pop music (genre)", but that was nixed by denizens of the WP:Move policy pages - i don't know why.
it's excellent that several editors have joined this discussion - thank you - because reaching a consensus is not just a matter of a single individual persisting in implementing their own vision of the article while others are saying the changes need to be discussed first.
nor is it a question of one person saying the same thing over and over, which is why i've been trying to stay quiet (or anyway quiet-ish!) to see what other editors think. but for the record: i don't see any consensus for declaring this an "umbrella" article - maybe that is an idea that might gain consensus, but it needs to be discussed and consensus reached before the changes are implemented.
Ridernyc's idea of making "Pop music as a genre" a section of Popular music instead of a stand-alone article is interesting, but i'm not sure it's practical: are there reasons to treat the pop music genre differently from other genres that fall into the Popular music category? Sssoul (talk) 09:36, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Well to be honest I'm not 100% convinced there is such a thing as a generic pop music genre. I think it's more of a descriptive term stuck on other genres. Ridernyc (talk) 09:59, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Further comment for example take a power pop band like Big Star and try to compare them to ABBA I really think it's a major stretch to try to say the two have anything at all in common. Ridernyc (talk) 10:07, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
And to complicate things even more every time I look I find yet another page on the same subject which has a totally different description of what Pop is American pop, seriously this is a major mess that is going to take years to clean up. Ridernyc (talk) 10:12, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
"The problem is you are making massive changes to the article without discussion". I have not edited the page at all. I am simply watching this citation-less POV-pushing - the reinstatement of cites that are known to be wrong, the refusal to accept or to seek those that are admissible. It is, as you say, a mess that needs cleaning up, but I get the impression it is not going to happen so long as the discussion remains one of personal opinions and standard sources are not consulted and incorporated. Rather, the process happening here seems to be the reason for the mess. Redheylin (talk) 22:31, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


I think we should start discussing merging Traditional pop music to this article. Ridernyc (talk) 02:33, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea. We still seem to be stuck with "pop music according to the rock critics" - and we have an article defining it in those terms, giving the misleading impression that the phrase originated in the 50s, whereas we know it has been in use throughout the history of recorded light music. I think if all the definitions are laid out at the start, it still leaves room to treat "pop music" more specially as a late 20thC genre, but without obscurity, inaccuracy, OS and undue weight. I do not think I have ever heard of the phrase "traditional pop music" and I am not sure anybody is going to find that page, or how the subject can be defined. I am not sure anybody is going to find Pop music (disambiguation) either. I suspect these pages came into being purely to preserve a defined field for this present article - a definition that is not backed by any notable source outside the province of "serious" rock. When decent sources are incorporated, these articles are bound to change rapidly. The article Popular music defines its subject, more or less, as "pop that is not "pop"" - it takes no stock whatsoever of most of the world. And for its comments on typical harmony (the only decently referenced bit) it relies on a piece named "Winkler, Peter (1978). "Toward a theory of pop harmony", In Theory Only, 4." What a mess. Redheylin (talk) 21:55, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree. Since one the sources in the Pop music article puts the origins of "pop music" as early as the 1920s (Hatch and Millward), this gives a justification for including the 1930s and 1940s crooners and big band singers from the "Traditional pop" article in the "Pop music" article.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 02:34, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
It's a very slippery slope we are on, because I'm pretty sure I can source to long before that we have to find a way to define this as a genre, we need a basic description and style of music. Ridernyc (talk) 13:31, 2 March 2010 (UTC)


I think this version of the [1] while having issues is much better then the current state of the article which is largely based on one source and one POV. Ridernyc (talk) 05:54, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

So can we go agree to go back to this version and then discuss the important issues before getting a consensus for how we move the article forwards?--SabreBD (talk) 07:57, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
that seems appropriate to me. major changes need to be suspended until consensus is reached. Sssoul (talk) 08:22, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, One of the great things about Wikipedia is that all changes are saved in the History. So any material that was contributed can be looked at in the history pages and discussed. In order to promote harmony amongst editors and get us working together, I agree with rolling back to before my changes. I will then propose changes in a sentence-by-sentence fashion, and we can discuss each sentence.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 15:28, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Done. Ridernyc (talk) 20:51, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposed material and changes[edit]

Hi, I would like to propose my first change. It is not controversial; it is to add the bullet that much pop music uses dance rhythms or dance beats.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 23:02, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Work on it in your sandbox., I don't think having discussion on line by line changes is possible or will lead anywhere. I can't answer the question above without context and referencing. Ridernyc (talk) 23:06, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Here is the proposed change: "much pop music is intended to encourage dancing, or it uses dance-oriented beats or rhythms"[1]OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 23:10, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Again, this would be much easier if you use a sandbox.--SabreBD (talk) 23:17, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I will make a sandbox version so that I can demonstrate proposed changes. That is a good suggestion.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 23:30, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

(unindent)Hi, The proposed new bullet is in User talk:OnBeyondZebrax/sandbox. It is bolded to make it easier to find.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 01:07, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Not sure line by line is quite the way to go, but since we have a proposal: I have no objection to this extra bullett point, but I think we should move all of the notes to the end of the lines that they apply to in this section. I will do this here when I get time, since I put them in in the first place.--SabreBD (talk) 09:02, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I tried the WP:BOLD approach ("Be Bold") and it did not appear to have been a well-liked approach : ).....So now I am trying the opposite: presenting every proposed change here on the talk page, so it can be discussed, debated, commented on, etc. There have been several comments that discussing each change is not desirable or workable. I admit that it is a slow process, but it will allow for a calm, reasoned consideration of each proposed change. If you do not want to discuss each change one by one, I guess another option is to come to a consensus on broad changes that are deemed to be desirable for specific sections (e.g., "We should find more information about "X" in the section on "Y").OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 09:45, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

(Unindent) Hi, I would like to propose the addition of a one-sentence quote from the Grove Music Encyclopedia article on pop music: "The term pop music originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for Rock and roll and the new youth music styles that it influenced...". The proposed new sentence is in User talk:OnBeyondZebrax/sandbox. It is bolded to make it easier to find.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 10:02, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

once again not talking about on line changes here. Work on it in your sandbox.Ridernyc (talk) 11:10, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
In response to this comment, I would ask, if I just work on a sandbox version, how will other editors see the proposed changes, if I do not notify editors about them?OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 13:07, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Editors will not want to comment on every little addition. You need to do revisions, come here and briefly explain them and then allow editors time to comment.--SabreBD (talk) 12:39, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Grove is a highly reputable source and should be included - there is no argument against that. However if the quote is inserted as a direct statement with a footnote citation it will cause a contradiction with the 1920s origin statement. Therefore it is necessary to inform the reader that there are a variety of different notable definitions (admissible under the rule of due weight) and these must then be quoted; "according to Grove", "according to Frith" and so on. Once this has been done there's no difficulty in devoting sections to one or more more specialised and generic definitions. Redheylin (talk) 21:48, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

New approach for proposed changes[edit]

Hi, It has been suggested that I make changes directly in the article, and then explain them here, and allow time for commnents. So I have followed this proposal. The recent change was the addition of a quote from Grove Music Online which states that the term "pop music" arose to describe Rock and roll in the 1950s.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 13:07, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Hi, Here is the complete definition of pop from the Oxford Dictionary of Music....Pop.

Abbreviation for ‘popular’. Earlier meaning meant concerts appealing to a wide audience. The London Popular Concerts were founded by Benedict in 1858 and continued until 1898 . Since the late 1950s, however, pop has had the special meaning of non‐classical mus., usually in the form of songs, perf. by such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Abba, etc. Thus ‘pop groups’ (performers of pop, usually singer(s), guitars, drums, sometimes sophisticated elec. effects), and ‘pop festivals’.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 23:52, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Sorry I missed this when you first posted it. Not that it is not valid, but extensively quoting a dicitonary in an encyclopedia is a bit of an odd thing to do. It really suggests that readers should just go to the dictionary. Do we need to quote this or can we just explain the view and reference it?--SabreBD (talk) 01:01, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

This Pop music page is highly stilted and incorrect. Why is there no mention of Pop music performers? I don't agree that pop music is 'mainly' for young people or women! There are is a great deal of 'subjective opinions' on this page, rather than facts. PKimage (talk) 00:52, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

There are no performers because this article started with a few and then it became a drive by drop site for every ips favourite pop artists. Those "subjective opinions" are reliably sourced.--SabreBD (talk) 00:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

I don't understand why the best known and top selling pop performers of the past 50 years cannot be mentioned - such as Elton John, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Madonna for example. Could there not be a criterion for adding a few pop stars - such as their number of sales worldwide have to be over a certain figure?

I attend many concerts in Scotland of different genres, including pop concerts - and at many the average age attending is over 50! Most of Elton John's fans are well into middle age! You say this article is well sourced, yet even in science nothing is ever 'proved'. This pop music page is rather dull and simply not very interesting to read compared to the page on Popular music for instance. PKimage (talk) 12:30, 16 May 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

female youth market[edit]

Currently the intro acknowledges that pop music is often oriented towards a youth market. It's also plainly clear from demographic data and common observation that it's heavily geared towards females. This is relatively significant, and thus I encourage the intro to be updated to mention this. -- (talk) 12:20, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source for this?--SabreBD (talk) 12:23, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Why is this article so short?[edit]

20x shorter than comparative rock, metal, rap articles — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fleaman5000 (talkcontribs) 11:25, 6 October 2011 (UTC)


same subject, significant overlap. Pop music IS popular music, completely illogical to have two articles when a combination of the two in a single entry would make for a more informative overview. Semitransgenic talk. 09:28, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Good luck I tried straightening this all out years ago. Ridernyc (talk) 15:57, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

characteristics: sentence issue[edit]

Reads: Musicologists often identify the following characteristics as typical of the pop music genre:

  • an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology[2]
  • an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities[2]
  • an emphasis on recording, production, and technology, over live performance[1]
  • a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments[1]
  • much pop music is intended to encourage dancing, or it uses dance-oriented beats or rhythms[1]

We see a list of items that we are told represents characteristics that musicologists typically associate with pop music, but this list offers the observations of two sources, and it is not even clear that they both agree on the five stated points. We have two specific musicologists here, not "musicologists" more generally. We would also need a source to support an assertion that suggest that musicologists universally identify the five characteristic as being typical of the pop music genre. Semitransgenic talk. 00:18, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Given that you currently have this article under discussion for a move, it would probably make sense to wait and see the outcome of that discussion. I also do not really see an urgent problem here, since the statement is correct that musicologists have identified these characteristics and they are reliably sourced. We could go over to listing the characteristics highlighted by the most important commentators and I expect that some of the sources I used in the merger discussion could be used for that. However, in my experience this sort of heavily theory based explanation usually meets opposition from editors on the grounds of that it is unnecessary detailed.--SabreBD (talk) 06:43, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
i think a cite would be good though, to support the statement, otherwise there is a potential issue with OR and synthesis here, it would also address the weasely usage of "musicologists." We can't say a statement is correct without providing sufficient support. Some, or even certain, musicologists identify the characteristics listed "as typical of the pop music genre" but not all musicologists; which is what the current sentence seems to imply, that's why clarification via a citation is necessary. Semitransgenic talk. 10:31, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I guess that the wording would depend on what the sources say. I will take a look when I have time since I have a holiday coming up. It is pretty unlikely that all musicologists agree and that is not really what the sentence was intended to say, rather different commentators identify different characteristics, so a different form of words may be needed to make that clear.--SabreBD (talk) 20:47, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Audio clips[edit]

For now, I added a clip of a Katy Perry song that I felt was generic enough to typify the craftsmanship of pop music. This was not an attempt to glorify the artist above others, or to insult her in any way. Personally, I do not care for Ms. Hudson's music. I feel this clip greatly benefits the article and vehemently disagree that using a "snow ball argument" or citing slippery slope possibilities is a legitimate rationale for its exclusion -- or the exclusion of any sample for that matter. "Part of Me" employs electronic synths and hooks typical for this genre of music. It also explores many cross-genres, which the text of the article claims is common. Specifically, the song employs elements of electronica, disco, and rock-influenced pop music. I think that instead of having one clip from a modern pop song, we also include a clip of an older pop song (perhaps from the 70s or 80s) to help illustrate that the craft has not changed much and that the formula seems to still be working. Comments are welcome. I would to involve myself in another edit-war, simply because someone wants to avoid "fangirls" from adding a million clips of their faves. I think that harms the encyclopedia more than it benefits it.--Thevampireashlee (talk) 23:43, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

To compliment the Perry clip, I added the song "Blue Velvet", as covered by Bobby Vinton. Not only is the clip in the public domain, making it more desirable than various alternatives, but I feel that it helps illustrate the focus of earlier pop music to incorporate popular genres of the time -- i.e. blues, jazz, soul etc. It also helps show the type of music considered "pop" before lavish electronic production pervaded the industry. --Thevampireashlee (talk) 15:51, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Please stop adding this kind of material to the article. These kind of examples just result in arguments by partisans of various pop stars. There is no evidence for the long statements that these are typical or significant or for the claims of what they are influenced by. Please look back through the history of this article, we have been here before and it just became a list of pop stars and unsuitable as an encyclopedic article. Also the idea that this article would benefit from borrowing form the largely unsourced and frankly confused Limburgish article borders on the hilarious.--SabreBD (talk) 21:10, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't completely agree with the snow ball argument, but the problem is that the styles can be so diverse that only one or two clips isn't really enough to exemplify the genre. That is how things will pile on, and once you start to get to four and five clips, it does turn in to unnecessary clutter. If there is only going to be one or two examples, there are better songs that complement the text, but audio clips are pretty sparse. This is also the kind of thing that needs refs. If a song exemplifies a genre, the fact needs to come from somewhere. Otherwise, again, that is how things will pile on. Clips could be added to the article, but there is a right way to do it, and just adding clips for the sake of clips is not really a way that will lead to the article's benefit. Radiodef (talk) 21:51, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I see what the issue is. Reliable sources. Which parts exactly need to be sourced on the song clip? For example, "Blue Velvet" is a traditional pop song with jazz, soul, and blues influences. Does this need to be sourced? Or, like works of fiction, is the song itself considered the source of the information and thus no outside source is needed? Just curious about that. I know that statements like: "Unlike modern pop music, songs such as "Blue Velvet" employ less electronic elements. Technology made this type of production easier later in the evolution of pop music." Definitely require verification. And I will work to add that, because I think it's definitely true and there are sources out there. As far as using this particular clip goes, it is a relatively popular pop song; not to mention, it's in the public domain, so we don't have to worry about fair use tags and all of that messy business.--Thevampireashlee (talk) 00:31, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
In regards to adding the {{expand language}} template, please forgive my blunder. The article was promoted to featured status, so I assumed there must have been some measure of credibility to the topic. Surely the article was not simply stamped with a featured article star all willy-nilly, am I right? At the very least, you could have been a bit more considerate about approaching me on the topic. I felt that your reaction was very rude and extremely off-putting. --Thevampireashlee (talk) 00:33, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Now I'm confused. I thought the problem revolved around the audio clips; why was the photograph of Michael Jackson removed? He was mentioned in the article body and the caption of the image (which includes reliable sources) dovetails with what is mentioned in the article. I thought the purpose of adding images to articles was to help illustrate the text. That's what this image is doing, non? Don't music articles typically display photos of prominent musicians in the genre? For example, Synthpop is rife with images of artists. Where are the edit wars that constantly replace pictures of Elly Jackson with pictures of Kesha then? The argument of causing potential edit wars is unfounded and illogical, I think, so I've re-added the image to the article -- especially since the claims associated with it are sourced and assist the text of that exact section. --Thevampireashlee (talk) 00:38, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Removed the Madonna image and text because it was not supported by the cited source. I am not sure if the text involving MTV is included in the source either, so I am removed it on the grounds of original research. One photograph should be suitable. This one is source and well-known. Documenting all of them is not necessary and overkill; however, I feel the article quality is serious degraded without including something visual. --Thevampireashlee (talk) 05:40, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Hip hop as an influence[edit]

Considering how popular hip hop/rap/r&b is today, and how both hip hop and pop cross over into each other's genres, shouldn't hip hop be one of the biggest influences (if not biggest) of the modern pop of today? I mean it seems most pop stars today use a great amount of hip hop's style of beats and techno sounds, and many do full hip hop on a lot of songs in their albums. Many hip hop artists also seem to now include a great amount of pop in their albums and are using less rap. --bhegeta (talk) 01:38, 11 February 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Musical parameters in infobox[edit]

I'm not sure of the best place to ask this, but I've started a discussion over at Template_talk:Infobox_song, which essentially asks whether tempo and key should have their own parameters. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Differences with Traditional pop music ?[edit]

I think this needs to be explained. The article does not say a word about how it differs from or resembles traditional popular music, and many other styles in the infobox. 2A01:E35:2F0C:F510:34DE:4D15:A3FD:A5FB (talk) 17:53, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Pop music a genre??[edit]

Reading this article and the talk page it sounds to me like this article is full of original research. For starters is it even a genre? Googling it throws me back to Wikipedia or its copy past articles. The only reference on it is an article of without even referring to pop music as a genre of its own. The article itself only refers as a genre of its own what it calls Pure Pop or Power Pop, but implicitly refutes the idea of a genre of Pop music in general. Can we clean out this please?!Learningnave (talk) 22:05, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree. At last someone notices how unclear is the classification of pop. If pop is genre like jazz, funk, rock or blues why are there no typical instruments section or description of basic rhythms? The way pop is described, it seems that umbrella term would be much more appropriate than genre similar to Art music article. Also I agree that styles like teen pop, europop, sunshine pop etc. are real sub genres, but maybe not directly under pop. As you can already see on their respective pages, general term pop is mentioned rarely under stylistic origins; one of reasons for this is that most of mentioned pop characteristics are very vague and only loosely related to music stylistic characteristics. For example compare pop- an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities with funk - A great deal of funk is rhythmically based on a two-celled onbeat/offbeat structure, which originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions. Pop article talks mostly about promotional methods, social/commercial goals, purpose,format etc. while other genre articles also talk a lot about specific musical elements, performance approach, lyrical techniques etc. I think it would be ok to add that some people consider pop as genre, but definition umbrella term would be more appropriate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

"Typical instruments"[edit]

I think that section should be removed from the infobox. The problem is that the term "pop music" covers such a wide range that any listing of instruments is inevitably going to be partial and misleading. Before the mid-1950s, the main instrumentation was often orchestral, or big band. Then, there was a long rock-influenced period when guitar, bass, drums and often keyboards predominated. Now, as edits like this suggest, much of the instrumentation is often electronic. We cannot hope to cover all that and more in a single list in the infobox. I'll delete the section to hopefully stop the current dispute, but thoughts here are welcome. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:40, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Fair point. I agree, it pretty much impossible since it would include just about every instrument in modern history.--SabreBD (talk) 09:17, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
    • ^ a b c d T. Warner, Pop music: technology and creativity: Trevor Horn and the digital revolution (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), p. 15.
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Firth2001 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).