Brill Building (genre)

Brill Building (also known as Brill Building pop or the Brill Building Sound)[1] is a subgenre of pop music[1] originating from the Brill Building in New York City, where numerous teams of professional songwriters penned material for girl groups and teen idols in the early 1960s.[2] The term has also become a catch-all for the period in which those songwriting teams flourished.[7] In actuality, most hits of the mid 1950s and early 1960s were written elsewhere.[7]

The genre dominated the American charts in the period between Elvis Presley's army enlistment in 1958 and the onset of the British Invasion in 1964.[8] It declined thereafter, but demonstrated a continued influence on British and American pop and rock music in subsequent years,[2][3] having introduced the concept of professional songwriters to traditional pop and early rock and roll,[3] and helping to inspire the girl group craze of the era.[9] Other reasons for the style's decline was the tendency among writers and producers to duplicate earlier successes, resulting in many records that sounded the same, as well the changing nature of society and consumer markets.[10]


Neil Sedaka – "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (1962)
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" is one of the quintessential examples of the Brill Building sound crafted by Neil Sedaka and his contemporaries.[5]

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The Brill Building's music was more sophisticated than other pop styles of the time, combining then-modern sounds with classic Tin Pan Alley songwriting.[1] Its productions often featured orchestras and bands with large rhythm and guitar sections,[2] while its lyrics focused on idealized romance and adolescent anxieties, only rarely exploring more mature themes.[11]

List of artists

Native to the Brill Building

Later artists



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