Soul and Pop - The Influence

The term "pop music" refers to popular music which actually had its beginnings in the Victorian Age. Through the years, there have been many influences o­n pop music. Of the many different influences, soul music has left an indelible footprint in the sands of pop music that still influences it today.

Soul music was born in the early 50's and was performed by African-Americans. It was created by blending the gospel singing style with rhythm and blues and secular lyrics. Many thought that using the gospel style to sing about secular topics was sacriligious since gospel music was an African-American contribution to Christianity.

The musical composition of soul music was initially comprised of vocals accompanied by the sounds of the guitar, bass, piano, organ, drum, horn, or even a full orchestra. Soul music was characterized by a distinctive bass melody and a strong percussion beat. Dancing was and is often an added activity for those who perform as well as listen to soul music.

Ray Charles and James Brown were among the most popular soul performers beginning in the 50's. Later, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and others gained fame as soul music artists in the 60's. Marvin Gaye and The Temptations also were popular during the 70's singing songs about relationships and love.

In the 80's, the sounds of soul music were increasing produced by synthesizers and the use of electronic sounds. Boy bands and girl groups emerged in the 90's to appease growing appetites for soul music.

In the 2000's, the evolution of soul music continues as rap and hip-hop influences become apparent. Nostalgic elements are also key components of the latest trends in soul music as the songs of the earlier soul music eras
are "remixed" to create new sounds heavily based o­n the old.