The piano (an abbreviation of pianoforte) is a musical instrument played using a keyboard. It is widely employed in classical and jazz music for solo and ensemble performances, accompaniment, and for composing and rehearsal. Although the piano is not portable and often expensive, its versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments. 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". The dominance of rock by white, male musicians has been seen as one of the key factors shaping the themes explored in rock music. Such elements 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. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, rap rock, and rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and synthpop revivals at the beginning of the new millennium. Such elements 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. As a genre, pop music is extremely eclectic, often borrowing elements from other styles including urban, dance, rock, Latin and country; nonetheless, there are core elements which define pop.
The piano was founded on earlier technological innovations. The dominance of rock by white, male musicians has been seen as one of the key factors shaping the themes explored in rock music. Since the term rock began to be used in preference to rock and roll from the late-1960s, it has often been contrasted with pop music, with which it has shared many characteristics, but from which it is often distanced by an emphasis on musicianship, live performance and a focus on serious and progressive themes as part of an ideology of authenticity that is frequently combined with an awareness of the genre's history and development. According to Simon Frith "rock was something more than pop, something more than rock and roll. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four. Melodies are often derived from older musical modes, including the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes. 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. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four. Melodies are often derived from older musical modes, including the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes.
The invention of the modern piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Padua, Italy, who was employed by Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany, as the Keeper of the Instruments; he was an expert harpsichord maker, and was well acquainted with the body of knowledge on stringed keyboard instruments. It is not known exactly when Cristofori first built a piano. An inventory made by his employers, the Medici family, indicates the existence of a piano by the year 1700; another document of doubtful authenticity indicates a date of 1698. The three Cristofori pianos that survive today date from the 1720s.
Some early pianos had shapes and designs that are no longer in use. The square piano (not truly square, but rectangular) was cross strung at an extremely acute angle above the hammers, with the keyboard set along the long side. Rock music has also embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major sub-cultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from most other genres of popular music. Punk was an influence into the 1980s on the subsequent development of other subgenres, including new wave, post-punk and eventually the alternative rock movement. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former is a description of music which is popular (and can include any style).