This blog will investigate the history of the American pop song from its beginnings as a commercial trade during the latter half of the nineteenth century, to today’s modern pop sounds and trends.
It should be noted that music has always been popular in America, whether hymns, work songs, cowboy songs or the many other types of music of America’s past considered popular music, so therefore this term will not be used. Instead, the focus on this blog is of pop song, which I consider to be a commodity which is bought and sold, whether sheet music of Tin Pan Alley songwriters in the 1880s and 90s, phonograph cylinder, album, CD or mp3 formats. The definitions of the two terms, I imagine, will provoke an intense amount of debate, but I will attempt to argue my points effectively.
Exploring what is popular when is important in understanding the social aspects of American culture, how it changes over time and how trends in pop song reflect the periods of American history. I hope this blog will entertain and shed light on the pop songs of America’s past.