Breaking Down the Chords: A Look at the Contemporary Progressions of Pop Music from the 80's to Today. Since the 1980s, the world of pop music has been constantly evolving, and one of the key aspects of this evolution has been the changing trends in chord progressions. From the simple three-chord progressions of early pop songs to the complex, multi-layered harmonies of contemporary pop hits, chord progressions have played a key role in shaping the sound of popular music. One of the most notable developments in pop chord progressions has been the rise of the four-chord progression. This chord progression, consisting of a sequence of four chords repeated throughout a song, has become a staple of pop music since the 1980s. The most famous example of this progression is the I–V–vi–IV progression, which has been used in countless pop songs since its introduction. In fact, the I–V–vi–IV progression has become so ubiquitous that it has been dubbed the "Axis of Awesome" by some musicologists. The chord progression is so versatile that it can be used in a variety of keys and tempos, and has been employed in hit songs by artists such as Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift. But while the four-chord progression has become a mainstay of contemporary pop music, there have also been other trends in chord progressions that have emerged over the past few decades. One notable trend has been the increased use of seventh and ninth chords in pop songs. These chords add complexity and depth to a song's harmony, and have been used in hits by artists such as Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. Another trend has been the use of more unusual chord progressions, with pop artists experimenting with jazz-inspired harmonies and unconventional chord changes. For example, Billie Eilish's hit song "Bad Guy" uses a complex chord progression that features a mix of major and minor chords, as well as a descending bass line that gives the song a distinctive and memorable sound. Despite these trends, however, there is still plenty of room for experimentation in pop chord progressions. Artists continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, incorporating elements of hip-hop, R&B, and other genres into their music. The result is a constantly evolving landscape of pop chord progressions, with new ideas and sounds emerging all the time. As we move further into the 21st century, it will be interesting to see how pop chord progressions continue to evolve. Will we see a return to simpler, more traditional chord progressions, or will pop artists continue to experiment with new sounds and harmonies? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: the world of pop music will continue to be shaped by the ever-changing landscape of chord progressions. In conclusion, the evolution of pop music chord progressions since the 80's has been fascinating to witness. From the rise of the four-chord progression to the increased use of seventh and ninth chords, pop music has continued to evolve and innovate over the past few decades. With new artists and new sounds emerging all the time, it will be exciting to see where pop music chord progressions go from here.