J Pop History
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J Pop History

Many musicians travel to Japan every year. They come form different countries because Japanese people like their music. They work with Japanese musicians and also produce albums in Japan. Japanese pop music has a unique sound which distinguishes it from older styles of Japanese music, since it uses modern instruments. Older music is produced with traditional instruments.

Ai Otsuka was born in Japan in September, 1982. She didn’t know it then but she would become one of the more popular artists in the genre of music known as J-Pop. Visitors to Japan will notice that J pop is quite distinct from other forms of Japanese music. It more closely resembles Western pop but has a different sound from that as well.

J Pop History: The Evolution of Japan Made Pop

J-Pop or Japan-made Pop, encompasses a wide range of musical styles. It evolved from the Jazz music that first gained popularity in the Showa era and was first called New Music, then City Pop and eventually, J-Pop.

J-Pop is an integral part of Japanese culture and in some areas, videos play on giant digital screens as you walk by. Some news programs on Japanese television run a J-Pop song during their final credits. J-Pop is used in anime, commercials, movies and video games.

J Pop History: Artistes

The faces of J-Pop are constantly changing because of the huge quantity of songs that are released on a regular basis. Groups like Dreams Come True and Southern All Stars are considered very successful because they have been around for more than 15 years.

Young Japanese are more interested in pop and rock music than in music produced with traditional instruments like the shakuhachi, biwa or koto. Some have suggested that this is because of the length of time it takes to study in a school of traditional Japanese music.

In Fukuoka and Oita, bands featuring both local and foreign artistes have experienced a surge in popularity. Bands like Bump of Chicken, Dr. Funkinstein and F8, have attracted the attention of music companies because of this.

Japanese electropop became successful in the 1970s and 1980s, starting with the solo albums of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono.  Folk music similar to that popular in the United States in the 1960s was also developed by Japanese musicians. The first who became widely recognized were Nobuyasu Okabayashi and Wataru Takada.

Michael Jackson’s music is cited as one of the models for Japanese dance music. Japanese psychedelic rock was modeled after the rock music that was popular in the United States at that time but kept away from the drug use that it was associated with. Popular J-Rock bands include Acidman, Miyavi, Wolf Guitar, the Pillows andLunaSea.

Quite a few foreign artists have chosen to record albums in Japan. Musicians from other countries are generally well received in Japan and every year there are many music concerts throughout Japan, featuring many different musical forms. This includes salsa, heavy metal, reggae, rock, samba, African soukous, electropop and club music.

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