Difference Between K-Pop and Pop (With Table)

The difference between K-Pop and Pop is that K-Pop isn’t limited to a single country, while pop is. The music industry in Korea is much more robust in terms of what it can offer than in other countries. Their music is made for the world. At the same time, pop music may be prevalent in a particular country but not as much in others (like Justin Bieber’s music).

K-Pop vs Pop

The difference between K-Pop and Pop is that K-Pop mainly features Korean musicians. On the other hand, Pop is made up of musicians from all over the world. K-Pop is generally in Korean, whereas Pop is usually in various languages from around the globe. Big, Bang, Red Velvet, and BTS are popular K- Pop artists, whereas Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Elton John, and Lady Gaga are popular Pop artists.

K-pop has come to dominate the Korean wave, which was the cultural export of South Korea. It has been trendy across Asia and has had some success in Europe and North America. However, the genre has yet to make its mark on Latin America. It is characterized by a mixture of Western sounds with an Asian aspect of performance.

Pop music is influenced by other popular music genres, such as rock, soul, country, hip hop, and jazz. But pop music has developed its distinct sound, which relies on solid melodies and hooks. The pop song often contains a chorus to make it easy to remember and sing along. Some best-selling artists make pop music, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston, The Beatles, and Celine Dion.

Comparison Table Between K-Pop and Pop

Parameters of ComparisonK-PopPop
  Location The majority of K-Pop artists are from Korea.Pop artists are all over the world.
  Visuals K-Pop music video usually focuses a lot on dance and visuals.The pop music video doesn’t focus much on dance and visuals as much as K-Pop.
  Efforts K-Pop artist generally puts a lot of effort into music videos.The pop music video doesn’t put a lot of effort into music videos.
  Introduced in Around the 1990s, K-Pop was born.Pop music was first introduced in the mid-1950s.
  Language K-Pop is usually in the Korean language.Pop is in languages from all around the world.
  Famous ArtistsPopular K-Pop artists are BTS, EXO, Twice, and Blackpink.Famous Pop artist is Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber.

What is K-Pop?

Korean popular music, or K-pop as it is more often known, is a kind of music that emerged in South Korea. In the country, K-pop music is comparable to Taylor Swift’s in the United States.

The press coined the term “K-pop” in the late 1990s, but the genre can date back to the 1950s when American pop and rock music hit South Korea. Since then, it has been evolving from ballads and rock to dance and hip hop. According to CNN, K-pop is a cultural export with an estimated global following of 30 million (and growing).

In 2013, during its annual year-end concert, YouTube announced that K-pop songs were some of the most played on its website — up there with songs by Bruno Mars and Katy Perry. But while musicians like Swift make money from their music through record sales and concerts, K-pop artists have another way to make cash: endorsements.

Most top K-pop singers model brands like cosmetics companies or fashion labels like Samsung Electronics Co., Adidas AG, and Intel Corp., said Jana Waronker, a partner at boutique entertainment law firm Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman LLP. She represents American clients doing business in Asia.

K-pop has been around for decades, and it is getting increasingly more popular. The genre has even produced its fair share of famous bands and solo artists. The biggest name in the genre today is BTS, which just became the first K-pop group to perform at the Billboard Music Awards show. BTS also won Top Social Artist at the awards show, besting Justin Bieber for the second year in a row.

What is Pop?

Pop music has the most hits and is the most popular genre of music. Pop is a popular music genre that first appeared in its modern form in the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The lyrics are usually focused on personal or social issues, love or lust.

The meaning of pop has changed over time. In the 1950s and 1960s, it referred to music distinctive from rock and roll. Rock songs were often about rebellion, sex, and drugs, whereas pop songs were about love.

The terms’ popular music’ and ‘pop music’ are often used interchangeably, though they are not entirely identical. The word “pop” is derived from “popular” while “popular music” is derived from “pop song,” which itself was derived from “popular song.”

Pop song lyrics often deal with themes of love and romance. Pop has been called one of the most “conservative” genres of popular music because of its focus on entertainment and traditional forms such as ballads and dance music. The pop genre has been criticized for being bland, formulaic, and lacking emotion.

Pop music is diverse, and it frequently incorporates aspects from different genres such as urban, dance, rock, Latin, and country; yet, several essential qualities constitute pop music. Many extra components, such as backup vocals or electric guitars, are frequently used in current pop music. Synthesizers, electric percussion, and electronic effects are also used to produce the sound of modern pop tunes. 

Main Differences Between K-Pop and Pop 

  1. Korea is home to the majority of K-Pop artists. On the other hand, Pop musicians come from all over the world.
  2. K-Pop emerged in the 1990s, while Pop music debuted in the mid-1950s.
  3. K-Pop is primarily performed in Korean, whereas Pop is performed in various languages.
  4. BTS, EXO, Twice, and Blackpink are some of the most popular K-Pop musicians, whereas Dua Lipa, Ava Max, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion are some of the most famous pop singers.
  5. K-Pop music videos are generally more focused on dance and visuals, whereas Pop music videos are less focused on dance and visuals.
  6. In general, K-Pop artists put a lot of work into their music videos, whereas Pop artists don’t.

Conclusion

While K-Pop is famous worldwide, like BTS, EXO, BlackPink, Twice, etc., pop music has been around for a long time, BTS and other groups are relatively new compared to Pop. Even though Pop is extremely popular, it doesn’t have as significant an impact on society as K-Pop does. It’s not about what you like more or what you think sounds better, and it’s about where the two get their inspiration from and how they affect society as a whole.

K-Pop has more influence on society than Pop does. It has influenced clothing styles around the world, it affects people to learn Korean so they can sing along with their favorite artists more easily and understand what they’re saying (many people are learning Korean because of K-Pop), and it has even influenced people to learn Korean culture more and want to visit Korea.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649370903166150
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07256868.2020.1724907

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Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
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