J-pop (ジェイポップ, also 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 ("Lyric Singing Music", a term for Japanese pop music from the 1920s to the 1980s) 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 2006 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.
Form and definition
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 ("body") as kyerada. Additionally, unlike Western music, the major second (sol and la) 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 "(I Can't Get No) 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 (such as that of Ringo Shiina).