J-Pop Information

J-pop , an abbreviation for Japanese pop, is a loosely-defined musical genre that entered the musical mainstream of Japan in the 1990s. Modern J-pop has its roots in 1960s music such as The Beatles, and replaced kayōkyoku in the Japanese music scene. The term was coined by the Japanese media to distinguish Japanese music from foreign music, and now refers to most Japanese popular music. According to 2010 global music industry market share data from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Japan has the second largest market for recorded music in the world, behind the United States.

The origin of modern J-pop is said to be Japanese-language rock music inspired by The Beatles. Unlike the Japanese music genre called kayōkyoku, J-pop uses a special kind of pronunciation, which is similar to that of English. One notable singer to do so is Keisuke Kuwata, who pronounced the Japanese word karada as kyerada. Additionally, unlike Western music, the major second was usually not used in Japanese music, except art music, before rock music became popular in Japan. When the Group Sounds genre, which was inspired by Western rock, became popular, Japanese pop music adopted the major second, which was used in the final sounds of The Beatles' song "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and The Rolling Stones' song " Satisfaction". Although Japanese pop music changed from music based on Japanese pentatonic scale and distortional tetrachord to the more occidental music over time, music that drew from the traditional Japanese singing style remained popular .

At first, the term J-pop was used only for Western-style musicians in Japan, such as Pizzicato Five and Flipper's Guitar, just after Japanese radio station J-Wave was established. However, the term became a blanket term, covering other music genres—such as the majority of Japanese rock music of the 1990s.

Wikipedia, J-Pop, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J-pop (as of Apr 7, 2011)

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