The concept of pop culture is determined by a number of factors and practices, as well as daily interactions, desires and cultural moments, constituting the mainstream. Depending on the existing forms of communication and information sources, there may exist various genres of pop culture. During the XVIII-XIX centuries, new communication forms, including illustrated magazines and newspapers, political pamphlets, commercial catalogues, printed sheet music and photography, gave rise to the entirely new genres of pop culture. The development of the print industry in the mid XIX century has led to the emergence of new genres of text-based pop culture, like the science fiction and the detective story, as well as the pulp fiction genre. These innovations created the demand for such categories of employment as the journalist, the photographer and the commercial artist.
Radical changes were faced by the performing arts with the emergence of many new genres, like comic opera, grand opera, and operetta. Like other elements of culture, music was radically reshaped by new techniques, including the mass production of such musical instruments as the banjo, the guitar, the piano, and the harmonica; the evolution of symphony music; and the development of inexpensive printed sheet music. Generally the practical basis for a major part of pop culture of the XX century was provided by recorded sound, photography and printing, while the popular culture of modern urban societies has been shaped by the introduction of entirely new technologies of image and sound broadcasting and the rapid growth and expansion of mass media industries.
Speaking about the origins of pop culture, special attention should be paid to folklore as one of the major sources of its existence. In the pre-industrial period, folk culture was the only existing type of mass culture, with its earlier layers still persisting today in the form of slang and jokes. Despite the fact that the folklore element of pop culture becomes more engaged with some commercial elements, it's up to the public to embrace the cultural items that are sold. Another source of pop culture is theprofessional communities, providing people with the facts about the surrounding world. These usually include scholarly and scientific communities, as well as the news media. Both news stories and scholarly facts are modified to the point of falsehoods, thus becoming urban legends.
It is important to distinguish between the primary and secondary pop culture, the former being the mass product and the latter the local reproduction. It implies that some small group of people can have an interest in the area, of which mainstream pop culture is practically unaware. Various elements of primary and secondary pop culture become apparent through specific clothes show, music events, and other cultural products. Being widely available, pop culture is frequently criticized for being superficial. Major cultural items, requiring experience, reflection or training to be appreciated rarely if ever become elements of pop culture.