Ark Galactapedia


S-pop (abbreviation of Saisei Pop) is a form of Human popular music originating on Saisei (Centauri III). Common characteristics of S-pop include the incorporation of relaxing organic-sourced sounds and traditional Saisei instruments. The term can refer either specifically to the popular music of Saisei or to any music functionally derived therefrom.


The earliest iteration of traditional Saisei music evolved in the 25th century, when Saisei was first established and built up as a colony world. The form owes a significant amount to the slow, methodical process involved in planning and constructing Saisei colony. While typical colonies grow in fits as interest in particular exports drive commerce and immigration, Seisei was instead built up deliberately according to a long-term plan. Lacking the booms and busts of traditional early colonial development that leave newly settled worlds more closely tied to a home culture, Saisei developed its own disparate takes on a variety of Human art forms.

During the initial settlement period, luxury imports from Earth (Sol III) were extremely limited. As a result, traditional Human instruments were uncommon beyond those carried as part of the first wave's personal preference kits. Colonists turned to local materials to develop their own offshoots. Trees seeded during the early terraforming process produced softer wood than is traditionally used to create stringed instruments. This limitation ultimately gave rise to the Saisei-made softwood guitar, or s-guitar, which produces a mellower, more resonant sound than its Earth-made equivalent.

Saisei musicians soon began experimenting with natural sounds. By the middle of the 27th century, a typical Saisei arrangement might include several dozen different natural samples, often arrayed so elaborately that their source could not be externally determined.


For roughly four hundred years, Saisei traditional music was not widespread beyond the Centauri system. That changed in 2932 when Saisei-based band The Claw appeared on Terra, Show Me the Music!, a popular Spectrum-based showcase for aspiring bands. Instead of performing an original song, The Claw chose to perform a Saisei-styled interpretation of Clover's "Moonlight," then at the height of its popularity. The group used a traditional s-guitar and an array of cultivated aquatic insect sounds to give the song what the series' host termed "eerie, still movement." The performance was accompanied by a holographic light show based in traditional Saisei culture.

In under two weeks, The Claw had the number one single on popular music charts of both Earth and Terra (Terra III). Viewers initially curious about the light show and the unusual sounds became interested in the music itself. The Terra Gazette dubbed this style of music S-pop. A brief S-pop craze followed The Claw's larger UEE debut with music producers rushing to sign hitherto unknown acts from Saisei and other performers around the galaxy eager to emulate what they considered an exciting new discovery.

S-pop ruled Spectrum from November 2932 to December 2934 with dozens of songs taking top positions. Although interest in S-pop has waxed and waned in the ensuing years, the impact of the fad has had permanence.

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