This conference will draft a general, introductory, landscape for this series of conferences by analyzing the social and economical conditions favoring the birth the pop culture in these years, and in which way its manifestations correspond to the yearnings and mythologies present at the time. The pop art (coming from the English term "Popular Art") was an artistic movement that appeared at the end of the 1950's in England and United States, whose characteristics are the use of images and themes taken from the mass communication world and applying them to visual art. It is the result of a way of life, the plastic manifestation of a (pop) culture where objects cease to be unique and are began to be considered as serial productions. In this kind of culture, also art ceases to have "aura" and is transformed into an object of consume.
Music is the most common artistic manifestation of the pop phenomenon, referring to its meaning as all the culture related to the modern concept of consumption and dissemination through mass media. In opposition to the pop-art in the visual arts, where we find an artistic movement that uses everyday urban life and consumption images and objects, but with an elite orientation, we have pop music, which is in itself an object for consumption and does not represent a movement within the contemporary musical creation.
Thus, this makes a significant difference when approaching the musical realm that needs, first of all, an attempt to find a definition that could explain the term itself. A term that appeared in a rather imprecise way in the decade of the 50's and beginning of the 60's of the past century. Originally it was applied to the purely commercial music aimed mainly at the younger ages in the English-speaking world, with a style disseminated, strictly speaking, across a number of musical groups and soloists very specific to those years.
In the most ample and general approach, we could include under this designation most of the movements and styles within the light musical realm of the time, which disseminated through commercial means. Although specialists and good fans differentiate a good number of style variations that in many occasions assert with conviction that they do not belong to this particular category. Pop music appears within the framework of popular urban music, which had flourished in the industry in parallel to the new dissemination medias and the new social scenario. Through its two main genres, song and dance, the repertory of pop music grew in Europe and America with the contributions from other countries, even generating aesthetics of significant technical difficulty as its professionalism increased (jazz, flamenco, tango, etc.). Nevertheless, popular music in the strict sense still remained as a less-demanding lower level music. A level that even decreased in the last years of the 1950's, where following the commercial example of rock and roll, the phenomenon of pop music really takes off. It is characterized by being easy to understand and consume, and by joining the tactics of market expansion of the record companies using the mass media. We find then a predomination of simple melodies, accompanied by clear harmonic supports, and the inclusion of the possibilities that along the years the field of electroacoustics had developed and offered.
The use of certain musical characteristics common in this type of repertory have been lacking or non-existent in the contemporary creation of "serious" or "classical" music, although there have been some interesting fields of conjunction between both worlds that are worth pointing out and analyzing, which will close this musicological approach we intend to do to pop music.