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Understanding Popular Music on TV

jeremy | Thursday September 24, 2009

Categories: GCSE, AQA GCSE, Music, Television, Pop Music on TV, Understanding Media, Understanding Key Topics

Use the three image links above to access GEEVIDEO.com’s excellent archive of Pop Music on TV Clips. When you click on one of the movie clips, you will see a ‘Download Spamblocker’ advert - ignore this and click on the ‘skip’ option on top right hand corner of the screen. The video should then be ready to watch.

Anyone teaching pop music needs to ge their libary to order the fabulous comprehensive history of pop by Alan Parker called All You Need is Love. It’s coming out on about 4 DVDs as a set in May.

Pop music as we know it in the west began just over 50 years ago in the early 1950s. Arguably it is not about to come to an end but it is the same as when it began. Already the three minute single song the basis of much pure pop is in terminal decline.

Music of all kinds will of course always be popular, but the way pop music is organised and sold is changing rapidly, and the future is hard to see.

You probably have an iPod or want one for Christmas. Where does the music that you listen to come from? Some comes from your and your friends CDs, some music from downloads that you pay for, and some comes to you free. This is not how pop music began, although the three essential elements that are needed for pop music to flourish are still there. These three elements are:




Let’s start at the beginning. Don’t worry this is a very brief history to put everything in perspective. At A Level and higher levels this is known as context.

Before World War Two (1939 – 1945) if you wanted to listen to a popular song you either bought a copy of the sheet music and played the song on your piano or acoustic guitar – this is what my aunt used to do. Or you could buy a GRAMOPHONE that played 78 rpm records, rpm means revolution per minute – this is what my mother did, as she did not play the piano. 78s are large 10 inch brittle discs that broke easily and could hold about 3 minutes of music on each side.


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