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The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson since 1973; sometimes popularly called Eurovision or Grand Prix but not to be confused with the Eurovision network that broadcasts it) is the longest-running annual international TV song competition, held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy since 1951.
Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The contest has been broadcast every year for sixty-two years, since its inauguration in 1956, and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally.Eurovision has also been broadcast outside Europe to several countries that do not compete, such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and China. An exception was made in 2015, when Australia was allowed to compete as a guest entrant as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the event. In November 2015, the EBU announced that Australia was invited back as a participant in the 2016 contest after their success in 2015. Following their success again in 2016, Australia competed again in 2017. Since 2000, the contest has also been broadcast over the Internet via the Eurovision website. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
Winning the Eurovision Song Contest provides a short-term boost to the winning artists’ career, but rarely results in long-term success. Notable exceptions are ABBA (winner in 1974 for Sweden), Bucks Fizz (winner in 1981 for the United Kingdom) and Céline Dion (winner in 1988 for Switzerland), all of whom launched successful worldwide careers after their wins. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
Ireland holds the record for the highest number of wins, having won the contest seven times—including four times in five years in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996. Under the current voting system, the highest scoring winner is Salvador Sobral of Portugal who won the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine, with 758 points. Under the previous system, in place from 1975 to 2015, the highest scoring winner is Alexander Rybak of Norway with 387 points in 2009.
Further information: History of the Eurovision Song Contest
In the 1950s, as a war-torn Europe rebuilt itself, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)—based in Switzerland—set up an ad hoc committee to search for ways of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a “light entertainment programme”. At a committee meeting held in Monaco in January 1955 with Marcel Bezençon of the Swiss television as chairman, the committee conceived the idea (initially proposed by Sergio Pugliese of the Italian television RAI) of an international song contest where countries would participate in one television programme to be transmitted simultaneously to all countries of the union. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy and was seen as a technological experiment in live television, as in those days it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. The concept, then known as “Eurovision Grand Prix”, was approved by the EBU General Assembly in a meeting held in Rome on 19 October 1955, and it was decided that the first contest would take place in spring 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland. The name “Eurovision” was first used in relation to the EBU’s network by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
The first contest was held in the town of Lugano, Switzerland, on 24 May 1956. Seven countries participated—each submitting two songs, for a total of 14. This was the only contest in which more than one song per country was performed: since 1957, all contests have allowed one entry per country. The 1956 contest was won by the host nation, Switzerland. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
The programme was first known as the “Eurovision Grand Prix” (in English). This “Grand Prix” name was adopted by Germany, Denmark, Norway and the Francophone countries, with the French designation being Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne. The “Grand Prix” has been dropped in 1973 and replaced with Concours (contest) in French and in 2001 with the English name in German, but not in Danish or Norwegian. The Eurovision network is used to carry many news and sports programmes internationally, among other specialised events organised by the EBU. However, in the minds of the public, the name “Eurovision” is most closely associated with the Song Contest.
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the Western world during the 1950s and 1960s, deriving from rock and roll. The terms “popular music” and “pop music” are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular (and can include any style).
Pop music is eclectic, and often borrows elements from other styles such as urban, dance, rock, Latin, and country; nonetheless, there are core elements that define pop music. Identifying factors include generally short to medium-length songs written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure) as well as the common employment of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop music as “a body of music which is distinguishable from popular, jazz, and folk musics”. According to Pete Seeger, pop music is “professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music”.Although pop music is seen as just the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music. The music charts contain songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz, rock, and novelty songs. Pop music, as a genre, is seen as existing and developing separately.Thus “pop music” may be used to describe a distinct genre, aimed at a youth market, often characterized as a softer alternative to rock and roll.
The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that the term “pop” refers to music performed by such artists as the Rolling Stones (pictured here in a 2006 performance)
The term “pop song” was first recorded as being used in 1926, in the sense of a piece of music “having popular appeal”.However, the term was in mainstream use at least ten years earlier. Hatch and Millward indicate that many events in the history of recording in the 1920s can be seen as the birth of the modern pop music industry, including in country, blues and hillbilly music. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
According to the website of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, called Grove Music Online, the term “pop music” “originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new youth music styles that it influenced The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that while pop’s “earlier meaning meant concerts appealing to a wide audience … since the late 1950s, however, pop has had the special meaning of non-classical mus[ic], usually in the form of songs, performed by such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc”. Grove Music Online also states that “… in the early 1960s [the term] ‘pop music’ competed terminologically with Beat music [in England], while in the USA its coverage overlapped (as it still does) with that of ‘rock and roll'”.
Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from most other genres of popular music. Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazz, country, and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, and has recently appropriated spoken passages from rap. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
It has also made use of technological innovation. In the 1940s improved microphone design allowed a more intimate singing style and ten or twenty years later inexpensive and more durable 45 r.p.m. records for singles “revolutionized the manner in which pop has been disseminated” and helped to move pop music to ‘a record/radio/film star system’. Another technological change was the widespread availability of television in the 1950s; with televised performances, “pop stars had to have a visual presence”. In the 1960s, the introduction of inexpensive, portable transistor radios meant that teenagers could listen to music outside of the home. Multi-track recording (from the 1960s); and digital sampling (from the 1980s) have also been utilized as methods for the creation and elaboration of pop music. By the early 1980s, the promotion of pop music had been greatly affected by the rise of music television channels like MTV, which “favoured those artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna who had a strong visual appeal”.Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
According to several sources, MTV helped give rise to pop stars such as Michael Jackson and Madonna; and Jackson and Madonna
Pop music has been dominated by the American and (from the mid-1960s) British music industries, whose influence has made pop music something of an international monoculture, but most regions and countries have their own form of pop music, sometimes producing local versions of wider trends, and lending them local characteristics. Some of these trends (for example Europop) have had a significant impact of the development of the genre.
According to Grove Music Online, “Western-derived pop styles, whether coexisting with or marginalizing distinctively local genres, have spread throughout the world and have come to constitute stylistic common denominators in global commercial music cultures”.Some non-Western countries, such as Japan, have developed a thriving pop music industry, most of which is devoted to Western-style pop, has for several years produced a greater quantity of music of everywhere except the USA. The spread of Western-style pop music has been interpreted variously as representing processes of Americanization, homogenization, modernization, creative appropriation, cultural imperialism, and/or a more general process of globalization. Select subgeneres of pop such as the guitar-driven “Jank” subgenre have consciously reversed the trend toward homogenization by combining elements from world and classical music into more traditional pop structures.Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
According to British musicologist Simon Frith, characteristics of pop music include an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology, and an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal “artistic” qualities. Music scholar Timothy Warner said it typically has an emphasis on recording, production, and technology, rather than live performance; a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments; and aims to encourage dancing or uses dance-oriented rhythms.
The main medium of pop music is the song, often between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length, generally marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure. Common variants include the verse-chorus form and the thirty-two-bar form, with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks, and a chorus that contrasts melodically, rhythmically and harmonically with the verse. The beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment.The lyrics of modern pop songs typically focus on simple themes – often love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions.
Harmony and chord progressions in pop music are often “that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded.” and then to the tonic) and blues scale-influenced harmony. There was a lessening of the influence of traditional views of the circle of fifths between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, including less predominance for the dominant function. Socrates superstar karaoke instrumental
A study in 2012 that examined over 464,000 recordings of popular music recorded since 1955 found “three important trends in the evolution of musical discourse: the restriction of pitch sequences (with metrics showing less variety in pitch progressions), the homogenization of the timbral palette [tone colour] (with frequent timbres becoming more frequent), and growing average loudness levels (threatening a dynamic richness [changes in volume] that has been conserved until today).” It was reported that the study “seems to support the popular anecdotal observation that pop music of yore was better, or at least more varied, than today’s top-40 stuff.