Traditional pop

Western popular music that generally predates the advent of rock and roll in the mid-1950s

Traditional pop, also called standard music, is a genre (or type) of Western popular music that was popular before the beginning of rock and roll in the middle of 1950s. The most popular and ever-lasting songs during this period of music are also known as pop standards or American standards.[1]

The works of these songwriters are usually considered part of the great pieces known as the "Great American Songbook". In general, the word "standard" means any popular song that has become very widely known within our basic culture.

"Traditional pop" is now also currently used for standard music, as one category of popular music in Grammy Awards. AllMusic defines traditional pop as "post-big band and pre-rock & roll pop music."[2]



On the Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, and Hollywood show in the 1930s and 1940s, a number of popular songs were written by many songwriters - such as: Irving Berlin, Frederick Loewe, Victor Herbert, Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein, Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields, Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter.

Good improvements were added then. These are string sections or orchestral parts and put more importance on the vocal presentation before the listenners.[3] In this way, rich sounds of strings can be heard in much of the popular music throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Songs made by these writers became popular among people in America. Some of these are now forgotten, but others called standards by people at present time.

In 1960s, rock and roll appeared in music scene and became more popular than such standard music. But some singers like Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Tony Bennett and others still remained popular on television and radio.

Harry Nilsson recorded an album "A Little Touch of Schmilsson In the Night" in 1973 with orchestra by Gordon Jenkins.[4] In 1980s, Linda Ronstadt,[5][6] a popular female singer sang and recorded albums of standard songs.[7] She performed with Nelson Riddle orchestra. Recordings by Rod Stewart's It Had to Be You: The Great American Songbook, Willie Nelson's Stardust and Carly Simon's Torch were made public.[8] These were great successes on the music scene.



  1. Company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. "The American Heritage Dictionary entry: standard". Retrieved 2020-07-27. Music - A composition that is continually used in repertoires: a pianist who knew dozens of Broadway standards.
  2. "Traditional Pop | Music Highlights". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  3. Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8
  4. "A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night ~ Nilsson - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-08-01.
  5. "Rolling Stone". Rock's Venus. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  6. "Work's out fine, best female voice in rock and roll". The Daily News. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  7. "The Linda Ronstadt Interview". Time. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
  8. "Family Week". Linda Ronstadt: The Gamble Pays off Big. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2007.

More information

  • 青木啓, "ポピュラー音楽200年 - フォスターからボブ・ディランまで", 誠文堂新光社, 1976
  • 岡部柚子編, "ポピュラー・スター事典 (en: "Who's Who in Popular Music", 音楽之友社、1976