It is inevitable that the first issue of this yearbook will raise questions about the use of the term ‘popular music’. I do not believe that this question is going to be easy to answer and, as a precaution, I think we should regard quick and seemingly clearcut solutions with suspicion. In fact, we may eventually have to operate with intuitive, poorly defined and rather elastic definitions of popular music. Before we resort to that expedient, however, the problem of definition must be considered and discussed from various points of view.