1970s in music

This article includes an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 1970s.

For music from a year in the 1970s, go to 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79

In North America, Europe, and Oceania, the decade saw the rise of disco, which became one of the biggest genres of the decade, especially in the mid-to-late 1970s.[1] In Europe, a variant known as Euro disco[1] rose in popularity towards the end of the 1970s. Aside from disco, funk, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and soul music remained popular throughout the decade. Rock music played an important part in the Western musical scene, with punk rock thriving throughout the mid to late 1970s.

[2] Other subgenres of rock, particularly glam rock,[3] hard rock, progressive, art rock, and heavy metal achieved various amounts of success. Other genres such as reggae were innovative throughout the decade and grew a significant following.[4] Hip hop emerged during this decade,[5] but was slow to start and did not become significant until the late 1980s. Classical began losing a little momentum; however, through invention and theoretical development, this particular genre gave rise to experimental classical and minimalist music by classical composers. A subgenre of classical, film scores, remained popular with movie-goers. Alongside the popularity of experimental music, the decade was notable for its contributions to electronic music, which rose in popularity with the continued development of synthesizers and harmonizers; more composers embraced this particular genre, gaining the notice of listeners who were looking for something new and different. Its rising popularity, mixed with the popular music of the period, led to the creation of synthpop. Pop also had a popularity role in the 1970s.

In Africa, especially Nigeria, the genre known as Afrobeat gained a following throughout the 1970s.[6]

In Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, the Nueva canción movement peaked in popularity and was adopted as the music of the hippie, Liberation Theology, and New Left movements. Cumbia music began its internationalization as regional scenes rose outside Colombia. Merengue experienced mainstream exposure across Latin America and the southern US border states.

In Asia, music continued to follow varying trends. In Japan, the decade saw several musical trends, including pop music, folk music, rock music, disco music, while the rock group "Spiders" disbanded in 1970.[7]


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