Where did it come from? What is distinct about it? Why did it die out? Where can I get more?

  • Is my answer not what you're looking for? It matches the examples you had previously. The last example is just a musical sting. Jan 9, 2021 at 3:13
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    You've given three very different examples. No single genre is going to fit all of them.
    – PiedPiper
    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


This is the "Pops Orchestra" or "pops" style, a pop-influenced style performed by a full symphonic orchestra. The repertoire is usually a mixture of famous classical music performed in a jazzy, pop style, or older popular music scored for orchestra. There's some original music specific to the genre, but that's comparatively rare. There's also some overlap with the poppy instrumental style known by the trademarked name "Muzak," aka "Elevator Music." When it's an actual pop song with vocals (as in your examples) that's technically called "chamber pop," but not all chamber pop has that distinctive '60s sound.

The genre was probably innovated, or at least popularized by the Boston Pops Orchestra, an offshoot of the Boston Symphony that is actually over 130 years old, but that really became popular and influential starting in the 1930s.

Speaking of which, while its hey-day was definitely in the 1950s and 60s, this genre didn't really go anywhere (except off the radio). Many large cities still have a live "Pops Orchestra," or at least a classical orchestra that occasionally plays in the "pops" style, particularly around the holidays --"pops" style Christmas music is still popular.

Here's my own favorite "pops orchestra" song, Paul Mauriat's immortal version of the French pop hit "Love is Blue":

  • "Pops orchestral" is not a term in general use. The music you'd hear at a "pops" concert could cover a lot of different genres, the three examples given by OP (all of them different) and diverse other styles.
    – PiedPiper
    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:29
  • @PiedPiper - I disagree. Pops orchestras may play different styles, but they do have a home style, and the OP's first two examples both fall squarely within it. The third example is just a musical sting. It's a searchable term, and the music it finds is of a kind with what the OP is --apparently --seeking. // With all that said, if you DO have better categorizations for the first two examples, I'd be glad to hear them, and I think the OP would be as well. Jan 11, 2021 at 14:10

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