Popular music


August 11, 2022

Popular music is a direction of musical art that has been developing since the 18th century. It is characterized by the availability of perception by the general public and includes many different musical genres.


The emergence and development of popular music in the 18th century was facilitated by the growth of the educated middle class, who had free time and a taste for composing musical works, as well as the development of printing, which contributed to the emergence of cheap musical publications: sheet music for ballads and comic operas, simple choral works - hymns, popular melodies for home performance on keyboards. In the 19th century, the processes of urbanization, the development of musical education, the delimitation of professional creativity and performing arts, as well as attention to the needs of a mass audience, became a catalyst for the entry of certain elements of musical culture into national everyday life. At this time, there was a sharp increase in the number of music publications and an increase in the number of composers whose works were originally designed for amateur performance. In 1843, the Virginia Minstrels, led by Dan Emmett, toured Europe for the first time, where they were a success. Over time, their repertoire, which consisted of Negro songs, became an indispensable part of music hall programs. Around the same time, the American Stephen Foster (1826–1864) began to compose popular songs, greatly simplifying the melodies to attract a larger audience. His songs "Parents" and "Ginny with light brown hair" became hits. In the 1990s, a new generation of American songwriters emerged, whose favorite haunt was the 14th Street area of ​​New York City, which became known as Tin Pan Alley - "Tin Pan Alley". Tin Pan Alley was a hub of music shops, music publishers, and record labels, and singing and piano sounds were constantly heard from the windows of the street houses. American popular composers of the time used a more complex musical language, and their work mainly reflected the views of the city dweller. In their works, they first followed European musical trends.