Music Genres Explained

The evolution of music has progressed at such a rapid pace in the last five decades that new music genres are popping up almost on a daily basis. Music genres today are extremely diversified and the list is a long one. Each genre and why it is different from one another requires several articles to describe them. This is a look at a few very broad categories of music that encompass all the other genres.

Art Music – All types of classical music can be placed under this category. This includes contemporary classical music which encompasses Experimental, Minimal and Electronic music. Some forms of Jazz music are also included here even though Jazz is classified under its own category.

Pop Music – The name itself describes the sort of genres that fit into it. To put it very bluntly, Popular music is music that the general public loves and is entertained by. Classical music lovers claim that pop music is at the very most – light entertainment, and that classical music is equivalent to art. However those lines have blurred somewhat, as many pop music productions have a high level of artistry associated with them and many classical works are loved by the masses. Pop music itself has several sub-genres and has even been labeled by decades like 70’s music, 80’s music and 90’s music. Then we have rock, hip hop, dance and R&B.

Traditional music – Folk music as it used to be known has had to have its name changed due to the expansion of the genre to accommodate other sub-genres of music. Traditional music is characterized by Oral Transmission, where the music passed on from person to person and not written down or learned. It is also characterized by the fact that the music is based on the culture of a region.

Regional music – This refers to music that is somewhat endemic to each country or region.

Fusion music – Fusion music is in a very basic sense an experimentation of two or more genres to produce a unique sound. One the best examples of fusion music is Rock’n’Roll, which was originally born from the combination of Country music, Blues and Gospel.