What’s the difference between pop and contemporary?

What’s the difference between pop and contemporary music?

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One Response to “What’s the difference between pop and contemporary?”

  1. K_Alejandro said:

    pop means popular.

    This would include things like being played on the radio, being in the top 40, top 100 or whatever. It is referring to the style of music which is generally pretty similar within the ‘Billboard Top 40’.

    Contemporary means ‘of the current time’. It can indicate just about anything in the last 20-30 years. It can include a variety of different styles, but generally follows the styles that have been popular in recent times.

    There are a number of groups of music classified as Contemporary. There’s Contemporary Adult, Contemporary Classical and more.

    Contemporary Adult would include anything that would be considered ‘fairly recent’ by an average adult person. This could still be music from 30 years ago because a 50 year old person is considered an adult. However, that’s about as far back as it might go and anything that old would probably be a remake or something with a modernized twist on it.

    Contemporary Classical can include things in about the same time frame, but it is more of a comparison to other periods in the Classical spectrum. The time frames for Classical are quite broad. You might even find some Contemporary classical that was actually written/performed more than 30 years ago especially if it’s of a style that is still being explored.

    Contemporary music does not have to be at all popular. Much of it is fairly unknown.

    Most pop music is known by a pretty wide range of people – or at least the performer is known.


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