Music Genre
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Music Genre

A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions.[1] It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably.[2][not in citation given] Recently, academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated.[3]

Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways. The artistic nature of music means that these classifications are often subjective and controversial, and some genres may overlap. There are even varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between genre and form. He lists madrigal, motet, canzona, ricercar, and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre - both are violin concertos - but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, and the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."[4] Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language."[5] Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, and that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can also differentiate between genres.[6] A music genre or subgenre may also be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, and the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will often include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an almost ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects".[7]

Among the criteria often used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art, popular, and traditional musics.

Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal, valence, and depth.[3] Arousal reflects the energy level of the music; valence reflects the scale from sad to happy emotions, and depth reflects the level of emotional depth in the music.[3] These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres.[3]

The Diffferent Genres of Music

Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of 'folk', 'art' and 'popular' musics".[8] He explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria.[8]

Art music

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[9] and criticism, and demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered primarily a written musical tradition,[10] preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music usually are.[10][11] 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.

Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can also be considered to have an identity of its own.[]

Popular music

The term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects:

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.[8]

Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, and in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do.

The distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas[12] such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies often draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which likewise draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction that is not always precise.

Traditional music

Traditional music is a modern name for what has been called "folk music", excluding the expansion of the term folk music to include much non-traditional material. Sometimes "folk" is designated for Western music and non-Western music is considered "world music". The two are both unified as traditional music due to:

  • 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

Hip Hop Music

Main Article: Hip hop music

Hip Hop Music, also referred to as hip hop or rap music, is a genre of music that was started in the United States of America, specifically the South Bronx in the New York City, New York, by African-American youth from the inner-cities during the 1970s. The term hip hop music can be defined as a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping,[13] a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted.[14] Hip hop music derives from the hip hop culture itself, including four key elements, those being emceeing(MCing)/rapping, Disc jockeying(DJing) with turntablism, break dancing and graffiti art.

Originating in the Bronx, New York, hip hop came up during the 1970s when block parties started to become a more frequent event in the urban communities, mostly in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. The genre gets its roots from West African and African-American music such as soul, funk, blues and all other genre of music that were predominately and historically African-American genres. Groups of traveling singers and poets from West Africa known as Griots, played a lot in New York City and had "reminiscent of hip-hop" in their musical styles, which causes an influence on the Hip Hop genre. The term "hip hop" itself was said to be created by a Hip Hop legend known as Keith Cowboy. It is said he did by teasing a friend who joined the U.S. Army and started scatting the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a flow that mimicked the "cadence of the soldiers marching"[15]. He would then use the cadence in his performances and it would soon be used by other Hip Hop artists such as The Sugarhill Gang in their 1979 record "Rapper's Delight"[15]. Along with that, as genres such as disco, funk, soul and other predominately and historically African-American started to decline, hip hop started to make its rise going into the 1980s.

Hip Hop did went throughout various stages in its time since it originated since in the 1970s. The early ages featured its beginning in the 1970s, where hip hop was more centered around the DJs and the role of the MC was to introduce the DJ and the music and keep the audience excited through activities such as greetings, jokes, and introduction of dance battles. This era featured a lot of DJs and MCs such the "godfather" of Hip Hop, DJ Kool Herc, and crew called the Herculoids, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, DJ Hollywood and many others during the times. The genres transition into the 1980s where there was a shift in the role of the MC as they would leave behind their simple tales and DJs would find more "complex, multi-layered beats" through the use of more developed equipment that allowed for new techniques such as looping beats and sampling. [15]This era would be occur during the early 1980s, featuring artists such as "RUN-D.M.C"[16] , the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J. The genre would then reach it what known as "The Golden Age of Hip Hop", between the late 1980s and early 1990s, where people saw an increase in the sense of lyricism through rappers, as this was becoming a more used term in place of MC. I featured artists such as KRS One, Eric B. & Rakim, the Juice Crew that featured rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Kool G Rap, Masta Ace and Roxanne Shante, Public Enemy (band) and many more. It also saw the uprising of Gangsta rap[17] and West Coast hip hop through the rap group N.W.A featuring Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren & DJ Yella, and also rapper Ice-T. Going into the 1990s, Hip Hop became more mainstream and started to become a higher selling music genre. In this decade, we started to see the upbringing of rappers such as Nas, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Sean Combs, Mase, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, MC Hammer[18], Vanilla Ice, and many others. It also aw the beginning of new rap styles such as Southern rap, that began due to the Geto Boys[19] and there was also a beginning hip hop and heavy metal fusion with groups such as Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine. During the mid-1990s, it featured the big East-West Coast rivalry that featured mainly East Coast rapper The Notorious B.I.G. and his record label Bad Boy Records against West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur and his record label Death Row Records. The emergence of all these rappers and their music, Hip Hop would become "one of the most popular types of music in the world"[15]. Entering the 2000s, hip hop was reaching new heights as an emerging mainstream music genre. With hip hop music's rise in popularity , it introduced a new wave of rapper such as 50 Cent, Nelly, the southern rap group Outkast featuring André 3000 & Big Boi who brought back concept of alternative hip hop[20], Lil Jon, who alongside with rap duos the Ying Yang Twins and Three 6 Mafia brought up the hip hop subgenre of crunk music, and the wave of rappers under the subgenre Snap music such as Soulja Boy, Yung Joc and Dem Franchize Boyz. Now going deeper into the 2000s, Hip Hop took a hit and would start a decline in sales and music[21] but it still didn't stop popularity and influence of the genre as artist such as Kanye West, Rick Ross, Fabolous, Eminem, Jay Z and many more would keep it alive, while laterig introducing artists like Drake, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Wale, J. Cole and many more. The transitioning from the 2000s tot he 2010s brought in a new image for hip hop. The 2010s brought the hip hop subgenre known as trap music, which has become recurrent style of hip hop in the modern day culture. The subgenre would soon be taken over by rappers such as Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Lil Herb, Waka Flocka Flame, Future, Young Thug, Migos, and many others. The 2010s has also been the decades of streaming for hip hop music, making it easier for hip hop artists to release their music to more of the general public through platforms such as SoundCloud[22] . With this, it has helped artist such as Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, XXXTentacion, Chance the Rapper, Ski Mask the Slump God, Bryson Tiller, and many others reach big platforms in the hip hop genre[22]. Even with the success of this period, a lot of older MCs and rappers have referred to this age of hip hop music as mumble rap, as they feel as though thtat the current age hip hop artists lack content and lyrical skill[23].

Automatic categorization

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.[24]

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.[25]

See also


  1. ^ Samson, Jim. "Genre". In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Accessed March 4, 2012.
  2. ^ Janice Wong (2011). "Visualising Music: The Problems with Genre Classification".
  3. ^ a b c d "Musical genres are out of date - but this new system explains why you might like both jazz and hip hop". Econotimes. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ Green, Douglass M. (1965). Form in Tonal Music. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-03-020286-5.
  5. ^ van der Merwe, Peter (1989). Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-19-316121-4.
  6. ^ Moore, Allan F. "Categorical Conventions in Music Discourse: Style and Genre". Music & Letters, Vol. 82, No. 3 (Aug. 2001), pp. 432-442.
  7. ^ Laurie, Timothy (2014). "Music Genre As Method". Cultural Studies Review. 20 (2), pp. 283-292.
  8. ^ Siron, Jacques. "Musique Savante (Serious Music)". Dictionnaire des mots de la musique (Paris: Outre Mesure): 242.
  9. ^ a b Arnold, Denis: "Art Music, Art Song", in The New Oxford Companion to Music, Volume 1: A-J (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1983): 111.
  10. ^ Tagg, Philip. "Analysing Popular Music: Theory, Method and Practice". Popular Music 2 (1982): 37-67, here 41-42.
  11. ^ Arnold, Denis (1983): "Art Music, Art Song", in The New Oxford Companion to Music, Volume 1: A-J, Oxford University Press, p. 111, ISBN 0-19-311316-3.
  12. ^ "Definition of HIP HOP". Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Rap | music". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved .
  14. ^ a b c d "The History of Hip Hop Music". Retrieved .
  15. ^ "RUN-D.M.C." Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved .
  16. ^ since 2005, Henry Adaso Henry Adaso has written about hip-hop; for "Vibe, founded the award-winning blog The Rap Up He has written; Mtv, "; Rehab, Rap; more. "A Brief History of Gangsta Rap". ThoughtCo. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em - MC Hammer | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Lomax, John Nova (2005-05-05). "Mouth of the Dirty South". Houston Press. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "OutKast | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "After 21% Decline In Sales, Rap Industry Takes A Hard Look At Itself - Futuremusic Presents ::: Digihear? Music News - Music Trends". Retrieved .
  21. ^ a b "How Streaming Revolutionized Rap's Album Rollouts On The Road To No. 1". Retrieved .
  22. ^ Paor-Evans, Adam de. "Mumble Rap: cultural laziness or a true reflection of contemporary times?". The Conversation. Retrieved .
  23. ^ François Pachet, Geert Westermann, Damien Laigre. "Musical Data Mining for Electronic Music Distribution". Proceedings of the 1st WedelMusic Conferencesou, pp. 101-106, Firenze, Italy, 2001.
  24. ^ Fitzpatrick, Rob (September 4, 2014). "From Charred Death to Deep Filthstep: The 1,264 Genres That Make Modern Music". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group.

Further reading

  • Holt, Fabian (2007). Genre in Popular Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Negus, Keith (1999). Music Genres and Corporate Cultures. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-17399-5.
  • Starr, Larry; Waterman, Christopher Alan (2010). American popular music from minstrelsy to MP3. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-539630-0.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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