Pop music, or popular music as known to the most discerning listener, is any piece of music that is popular with the masses. A reflection of the prevailing generation’s aural tastes.
Pop is primarily improvisational in nature, like jazz. Both drew inspiration from the folk traditions of America in their formative years. The recordings of the 1920’s laid the foundation of modern day pop music, which includes rhythm and blues, as well as country, folk and others. A long line of solo musicians and bands has entertained the masses with their pop recordings since then. The Beatles however were the genre’s first legit band.
Pop music has been a moneymaker for record labels. After all, it’s easier to cater to the catchall music fan’s need for sticky sounds. A practice that will last for as long as new genres keep developing.