A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces
of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions.
It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style,
although in practice these terms are sometimes used
interchangeably.[not in citation given] Recently, academics have
argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated.
1 The art/popular/traditional distinction
1.1 Art music 1.2 Popular music 1.3 Traditional music 1.4 Critics of the axiomatic triangle 1.5 Automatic categorization
2 Emergence of new genres and subgenres 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading
The art/popular/traditional distinction
Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a
trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle
consisting of 'folk', 'art' and 'popular' musics". He explains that
each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to
Main article: Art music
See also: List of art music traditions
The term art music refers primarily to classical traditions, including
both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music
exists in many parts of the world. It emphasizes formal styles that
invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, and
demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art
music is considered primarily a written musical tradition,
preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted
orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music
usually are. Historically, most western art music has been
written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved
in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its
maturity in the Romantic period. The identity of a "work" or "piece"
of art music is usually defined by the notated version rather than by
a particular performance, and is primarily associated with the
composer rather than the performer (though composers may leave
performers with some opportunity for interpretation or improvisation).
This is so particularly in the case of western classical music. Art
music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is
primarily a form of popular music.
Popular music, unlike art music, is (1) conceived for mass distribution to large and often socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners, (2) stored and distributed in non-written form, (3) only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and (4) in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of 'free' enterprise ... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Oral transmission: The music is handed down and learned through singing, listening, and sometimes dancing; Cultural basis: The music derives from and is part of the traditions of a particular region or culture.
Critics of the axiomatic triangle Musicologist and popular music specialist Richard Middleton has discussed the blurred nature of these distinctions:
Neat divisions between 'folk' and 'popular', and 'popular' and 'art', are impossible to find ... arbitrary criteria [are used] to define the complement of 'popular'. 'Art' music, for example, is generally regarded as by nature complex, difficult, demanding; 'popular' music then has to be defined as 'simple', 'accessible', 'facile'. But many pieces commonly thought of as 'art' (Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus', many Schubert songs, many Verdi arias) have qualities of simplicity; conversely, it is by no means obvious that the Sex Pistols' records were 'accessible', Frank Zappa's work 'simple', or Billie Holiday's 'facile'.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2014)
Automatic methods of musical similarity detection, based on data mining and co-occurrence analysis, have been developed in order to classify music titles for electronic music distribution. Emergence of new genres and subgenres New genres can arise by the development of new forms and styles of music and also simply by creating a new categorization. Although it is conceivable to create a musical style with no relation to existing genres, new styles usually appear under the influence of preexisting genres. The genealogy of musical genres expresses, often in the form of a written chart, the way in which new genres have developed under the influence of older ones. If two or more existing genres influence the emergence of a new one, a fusion between them can be said to have taken place. The proliferation of popular music in the 20th century has led to over 1,200 definable subgenres of music. See also
Composition school Genealogy of musical genres List of music styles List of popular music genres List of radio formats
^ Samson, Jim. "Genre". In Grove
Holt, Fabian (2007).
v t e
Lists of music genres and styles
A–F G–M N–R S–Z Cultural and regional
Genres and movements
Classical and art music traditions
Classical music Opera
Ambient Breakbeat Electro EDM Hardstyle House Industrial Techno Trance
Blues Country Hip hop Pop Reggae R&B Rock
v t e
History of music
Prehistoric Ancient Religious
Medieval Renaissance Baroque Classical period Romantic Impressionist 20th century Contemporary 21st century
Blues Circus music Country music Jazz Folk music Popular music Hip hop music Pop music Progressive music Psychedelic music Rock music
Heavy metal Punk rock Alternative
Band (rock and pop)
Backup band All-female band Rhythm section
Big band Choir Concert band Conducting Disc jockey Musician Orchestra Singing
Lead vocalist Backing vocalist
Form Genre Notation Composer Improvisation Songwriter Lyrics Song
Education and study
A-side and B-side Extended play
Compilation Live Remix
Cultural and regional genres
Central East North Southern West
Central East Middle-Eastern South Southeast
Central Eastern Northern Southeastern Southern Western
Central American South American
Melanesian Micronesian Polynesian
By sovereign state
Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Democratic Republic of the Congo Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Finland France Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Greece Grenada Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North Korea Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Qatar Republic of Macedonia Republic of the Congo Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Korea Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria São Tomé and Príncipe Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City Venezuela Vietnam Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe