Types of Pop Music and Their Characteristics You Need to Know

Pop music or popular music is one of the well-known music genres, even the pop music genre is arguably the most sung genre of music by singers and bands around the world. This type of music is pleasant to listen to at leisure even while working, the lyrics are light and usually taken from everyday life.

Pop music has existed for a long time, around the 1920s. However, world pop music began to develop rapidly since the emergence of the band ‘The Beatles’ from England in the 1960s. From there, pop music began to spread throughout the world and became one of the most popular genres of music, spreading very quickly, especially through radio.

Pop songs are usually created with simple arrangements that are easy to remember. In addition, pop song melodies can usually be used in various characters of song lyrics and can be combined with other genres of music.

Pop music can be divided into children’s pop music and adult pop music. The musical instruments commonly used in pop music are electric guitars, basses, drums, keyboards, acoustic guitars, and pianos.

Meanwhile, in general, pop music can be divided into several types. It is important to understand each of these types of pop music.

The following is a summary of the types of pop music along with their characteristics and song samples, as reported by, Wednesday (13/10/2021).

1. Standard Pop Music

Illustration of song, music. (Source: Unsplash)

The characteristics of standard pop music, among others:

• melodies are easy to apply in various lyric characters.

• very flexible when combined with other types of styles.

• songs are generally easy to hum and absorb.

• harmonies are not too complicated and the tempo varies.

Examples of standard pop music: Maybe (Stinky), Widuri (Kris Biantoro), Butterfly Night, Marilah Kemari (Titik Puspa), and others.

2. Creative Pop Music

Illustration of a musical instrument. Credit:

Creative pop music is a type of pop music that has unique rhythms, melodies, harmonies, instruments, dynamics, styles, and creative lyrics.

Examples of creative pop music: Because Women Want to be Understood (There is a Band), Meaning of Love, Emptiness, Guardians of the Heart (Ari Lasso).

3. Pop Ballads 

Illustration of song, music. (Source: Unsplash)

Ballad pop music, its characteristics include:

• Slow and medium tempo, varied melodic patterns because they are made for lyrical purposes.

• Lyrics tend to be expressive which can be in the form of satire.

• Tells about social feelings and ups and downs of life.

Examples of ballad pop music: Umar Bakri, Bento, People’s Representative (Iwan Fals), Paper Butterfly, Camelia (Ebiet G. Ade)

Characteristics of Pop Music

Illustration of a musical instrument. Credit:

Pop music is characterized by the use of rhythm that feels free by prioritizing the playing of drums and bass guitar. Usually, the musicians also add to the appeal and appreciation of the listener or audience with various movements and styles on stage.

The characteristics of pop music that distinguish it from other types of music, as follows:

1. The melody is easy to digest and easily accepted by the public.

2. Easily combined with other types of music.

3. The lyrics are in simple words, which are easy for the public to understand. Sometimes, the lyrics are also adapted to the latest trends that are booming among the public.

4. The harmonies are not too complicated and the tempo varies somewhat (can be fast, can be slow, can be loud, but can also be slow).

5. Usually the musical instruments used in pop music include guitar, bass, piano, drums, or keyboard.

6. Using various technological innovations to support the music.

7. Easily displaced by the times (famous for a moment).