Dance Music 101: J-pop

Dance music has a diverse reach that contains several genres. With genres like Pop, Rock and Metal dominant in the industry, several countries have developed their own brand of music and influenced the totality of the music industry, not just within their country but all over the world. One of the most popular music genres today is J-pop and continues to become more and more popular, influencing other music genres with its smooth and upbeat melody and tempo.

What is J-Pop?

J-pop or Japanese Pop is one of the most popular music genres today. It was during in the 1990s when J-pop hit the musical mainstream market. While the modern J-pop music still has its origins from the traditional Japanese music, it was still influenced by the pop and rock music of the 1960s like that of the Beatles. This led to the development of the Japanese rock bands and then fusing rock together with the Japanese music as early as the 1970s.

It was a few years later when kayokyoku (“Lyric Singing Music”) was replaced by the term J-pop. This was done to make sure that the J-pop genre wasn’t confused with foreign music. Today, J-pop mostly refers to the most popular Japanese music in Japan which continues to grow with each passing day.


The Beginnings of J-pop

Japanese music has stemmed in the Meiji period but most people still consider the Taisho period as the true beginning of the ryukoka or Japanese popular music. This was because it was during the Taisho period when the Japanese music became popular. But by the time the Taisho period arrived, the Western music techniques had already influenced the Japanese music to some degree which led to the integration of those techniques into Japanese music. Instruments such as the violin, guitar and more were used but the melodies were still of the traditional Japanese music. Genres like jazz and blues also exhibited their influence.

J-pop Today

Today, J-pop has been significantly influenced by anime music, image songs and idol groups. Even now, more and more idol groups have been popping out since 2010. But it doesn’t mean that the J-pop industry is being dominated by idol groups. In fact, individual artists are still getting stronger by the minute with their own brand of music. The synthetic music program voice system known as Vocaloid has also been a significant addition to the J-pop music genre as it introduced a new brand of music. What it did was create music out of the samples from the voices of real people and then blended together so that it would create meaningful music. This gave way to the possibilities of creating music without even coming from human sources and also opened concerts that featured synthetic music artists. Anime has been a huge influence as it was first in tandem with the indie music genre. But along with the development and evolution of anime, so did the J-pop music genre as it matched the flow and atmosphere of the existing anime series today.

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