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Encyclopedia > Music genre

A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language" (Peter van der Merwe 1989, p.3). Music may also be categorised by non-musical criteria such as geographical origin, though a single geographical category will normally include a wide variety of sub-genres. A music genre (or subgenre) could be defined by the techniques, the styles, the context and the themes (content, spirit). For Wikipedias categorization projects, see Wikipedia:Categorization. ... Look up genre in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... // Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. ... Look up style in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Peter van der Merwe is a South African musicologist, author, and librarian at the Natal Society Library. ... Physical map of the Earth (Medium) (Large 2 MB) Geography is the scientific study of the locational and spatial variation in both physical and human phenomena on Earth. ... Look up origin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A musical technique is a technique used in the composition, precomposition, or performance of music, including extended techniques. ...

Contents

Categorisation

A list of genres of music (including subgengres) can be found at List of music genres. However, there are a number of criteria with which one may classify musical genres, including: Music can be divided into genres in many different ways. ...

  • The Art/Popular/Traditional distinction
  • Regional and national distinctions
  • Fusional origins

Art music

Main article: Art music

Art music, also known as "serious music," primarily refers to classical music, including European classical music, Contemporary classical music, or others listed at List of classical music styles (including non-European classical music). Art music also includes some forms of Jazz, Electronic art music, and Experimental music (including Minimalist music). This article is about the broad genre of classical music in the Western musical tradition. ... Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... In the broadest sense, contemporary music is any music being written in the present day. ... Classical music in its widest sense refers to music composed in a classical tradition and intended as serious art, especially as distinguished from popular or folk music. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Electronic music has existed, in various forms, for more than a century. ... For experimental rock music, see experimental rock. ... Minimalist music is an originally American genre of experimental or Downtown music named in the 1960s based mostly in consonant harmony, steady pulse (if not immobile drones), stasis and slow transformation, and often reiteration of musical phrases or smaller units such as figures, motifs, and cells. ...


Popular music

Main article: Popular music

Popular music (not to be confused with Pop music) is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. ... For popular forms of music in general, see Popular music. ... // Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. ... Look up mainstream in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been suggested that Mass wire media be merged into this article or section. ...


Traditional music

Main article: Traditional music

Traditional music is the modern name for what used to be called "Folk music", before the term "Folk music" was expanded to include a lot of non-traditional material. The defining characteristics of traditional music are that it is: Traditional Music is a quasi-synonym for folk music. ...

  • Aurally transmitted: The music is passed down aurally; this is not universal, but there must be a strong tradition of aural transmission
  • Culturally particular: The music derives from, or is related to, a particular region or culture

Regional and national music

It is possible to categorise music geographically. For example, the term "Australian music" could include Australian rock music, Australian traditional music in the European style (eg. Waltzing Matilda), Aboriginal Australian music, Australian classical music, and Australian Jazz.


Fusional origins

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In the West, nearly all music except Traditional music has a fusional origin. Image File history File links Circle-question. ... Traditional Music is a quasi-synonym for folk music. ...


A fusion genre is a music genre that combines two or more genres. For example, rock and roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The main characteristics of fusion genres are variations in tempo, rhythm and sometimes the use of long musical "journeys" that can be divided into smaller parts, each with their own dynamics, style and tempo. A Fusion genre is a music genre that fuses two or more other musical genres. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... Gospel, from the Old English good tidings is a calque of Greek () used in the New Testament (see Etymology below). ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


Artists who work in fusion genres are often difficult to categorise within non-fusion styles. Most styles of fusion music are influenced by various musical genres. While there are many reasons for this, the main reason is that most genres evolved out of other genres. When the new genre finally identifies itself as separate, there is often a large gray area in which musicians are left. These artists generally consider themselves part of both genres. A musician who plays music that is dominantly blues, influenced by rock, is often labelled a blues-rock musician. The first genre is the one from which the new one evolved. The second genre is the newer and less-dominant genre in the artist's playing. An example of a blues-rock group would be Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Vaughan, a Texas blues guitarist, surrounded by a world in which rock was dominating music, used rock and blues together. Stephen Stevie Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990), born in Dallas, Texas, was an American blues guitarist. ... Double Trouble could reference many things: // Films Double Trouble, a 1967 Elvis Presley film. ...


Arguments

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Image File history File links Circle-question. ...

Subjectivity

One of the problems with the grouping of music into genres is that it is a subjective process that has a lot to do with the individual's personal understanding and way of listening to music. This is especially true in sub-genres. One example is Led Zeppelin, which could be called heavy metal, hard rock, classic rock, folk, or blues, depending on one's interpretation (and not helped by the fact that they made excursions into other genres such as electric folk). Another difficulty with grouping artists into genres is that, for many, their style of music changes over time. For the bands 1969 self-titled debut album, see Led Zeppelin (album). ... Folk-rock is a musical genre, combining elements of folk music and rock music. ...


Some genre labels are quite vague. Many were originally contrived by marketing executives or music critics; post-rock, for example, is a term devised and defined by Simon Reynolds. Another example of this is video game music, which while defined by its media, can also represent its own style, as well as that of any other musical genre. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords. ... Simon Reynolds (born 1963 in London), is an influential British music critic who is well-known for his writings on electronic dance music and for coining the term post-rock. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Resistance

Categorising music, especially into finer genres or sub genres, can be difficult for newly emerging styles or for pieces of music that incorporate features of multiple genres. Attempts to pigeonhole particular musicians in a single genre are sometimes ill-founded as they may produce music in a variety of genres over time or even within a single piece. Some people feel that the categorisation of music into genres is based more on commercial and marketing motives than musical criteria. John Zorn, for example, a musician whose work has covered a wide range of genres, wrote in Arcana: Musicians on Music that genres are tools used to "commodify and commercialise an artist's complex personal vision". “Instrumentalist” redirects here. ... “Next big thing” redirects here. ... John Zorn (born September 2, 1953 in Queens, USA) is an American avant-garde composer, arranger, record producer, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. ...


References

See also

Articles and lists relating to music genres
v  d  e
List of music genres : A-F · G-M · N-R · S-Z · Cultural and regional
Art Music · Blues · Electronic · Folk · Heavy metal · Hip hop · Post-industrial · Jazz · Popular music · Reggae · Rock

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