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What you'll find
This guide is intended to help those that work in the music industry, whether they are artists, archivists or media professionals seeking clarity on specific types of music genres as well as the origin of certain genres. Music genres in this case refers to the stylization of particular artists, songs and eras in music. This guide seeks to give both a broad overview of main genres such as rock and roll, jazz and classical, but it also seeks to shed light on more obscure subgenres that splinter from larger genres.
Visual map that contains rich text descriptions of each genre and webbing of how they are related to other genres. Also shows a time element.
Guides, links and condensed lectures from composer, performer and Berklee University professor Ralph Rosen's lecture series.
Supplemental Scholarly Texts
Comprehensive Lists of Different Music Genres
Music Brainz Genre List
A compiled list of music genres and subgenres arranged alphabetically to help with cataloging your own digital music library.
KOOP Genre List
A list of music genres used by the KOOP Austin, Texas, community radio station with descriptions.
Every Noise At Once Genre Map
Extensive genre list visually mapped to demonstrate the relation of subgenres and adjacent subgenres. Also generates playlists through Spotify to exemplify the genres.
Playable archives of classical music which you can search by composer, album, period or playlist.
Music Genres List Website
A list organized by umbrella, encompassing music genres and updated periodically by community submissions.
AllMusic List of Genres
A list of major genres that contain examples, separate webpages to highlight and prominent artists and songs of said genre.
Four Over Four's Rock Genres
A list of rock genres aimed for beginners.
Complex's Guide to EDM
A list of popular, recognizable electronic dance music (EDM) aimed toward novices.
English Club's List of Popular Music Genres
A guide aimed to giving clarity to what the bigger umbrella genres of music are and how they came to be.
Books on Music Genres
Rocking the Classics by Few styles of popular music have generated as much controversy as progressive rock, a musical genre best remembered today for its gargantuan stage shows, its fascination with epic subject matter drawn from science fiction, mythology, and fantasy literature, and above all for its attempts tocombine classical music's sense of space and monumental scope with rock's raw power and energy. Its dazzling virtuosity and spectacular live concerts made it hugely popular with fans during the 1970s, who saw bands such as King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and JethroTull bring a new level of depth and sophistication to rock. On the other hand, critics branded the elaborate concerts of these bands as self- indulgent and materialistic. They viewed progressive rock's classical/rock fusion attempts as elitist, a betrayal of rock's populist origins.In Rocking the Classics, the first comprehensive study of progressive rock history, Edward Macan draws together cultural theory, musicology, and music criticism, illuminating how progressive rock served as a vital expression of the counterculture of the late 1960s and 1970s. Beginning with adescription of the cultural conditions which gave birth to the progressive rock style, he examines how the hippies' fondness for hallucinogens, their contempt for Establishment-approved pop music, and their fascination with the music, art, and literature of high culture contributed to this excitingnew genre. Covering a decade of music, Macan traces progressive rock's development from the mid- to late-sixties, when psychedelic bands such as the Moody Blues, Procol Harum, the Nice, and Pink Floyd laid the foundation of the progressive rock style, and proceeds to the emergence of the matureprogressive rock style marked by the 1969 release of King Crimson's album In the Court of the Crimson King. This "golden age" reached its artistic and commercial zenith between 1970 and 1975 in the music of bands such as Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, andCurved Air.In turn, Macan explores the conventions that govern progressive rock, including the visual dimensions of album cover art and concerts, lyrics and conceptual themes, and the importance of combining music, visual motif, and verbal expression to convey a coherent artistic vision. He examines thecultural history of progressive rock, considering its roots in a bohemian English subculture and its meteoric rise in popularity among a legion of fans in North America and continental Europe. Finally, he addresses issues of critical reception, arguing that the critics' largely negative reaction toprogressive rock says far more about their own ambivalence to the legacy of the counterculture than it does about the music itself.An exciting tour through an era of extravagant, mind-bending, and culturally explosive music, Rocking the Classics sheds new light on the largely misunderstood genre of progressive rock.
Publication Date: 1997-01-09
Moving to Higher Ground by How jazz music has evolved over time and is based in history through the lens of a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Wynton Marsalis.
Publication Date: 2009-09-08
The Devil's Music by Superbly researched and vividly written, The Devil's Music is one of the only books to trace the rise and development of the blues both in relation to other forms of black music and in the context of American social history as experienced by African Americans. From its roots in the turn-of-the-century honky-tonks of New Orleans and the barrelhouses and plantations of the Mississippi Delta to modern legends such as John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, the blues comes alive here through accounts by the blues musicians themselves and those who knew them. Throughout this wide-ranging and fascinating book, Giles Oakley describes the texture of the life that made the blues possible, and the changing attitudes toward the music. The Devil's Music is a wholehearted and loving examination of one of America's most powerful traditions.
Publication Date: 1997-03-22
Secret History of Rock by Covers under-the-radar rock artists who helped shape the genre alongside well-known groups such as The Beatles.
Publication Date: 1998-08-01
Categorizing Sound by Through theory and archival analysis the author delves into how genres and music are categorized and labeled.
Publication Date: 2016-07-19
Making Beats by A close examination of sample-based hip-hop and how the overall genre of hip-hop has metamorphosed.
Publication Date: 2004-07-26
Listen to Pop! by Discusses the changes pop music has gone through from the 1950s to today.
Publication Date: 2018-09-01
British Rock Modernism, 1967-1977 by This book gives more clarity to the genre of British Rock Modernism, 1967-1977.
Publication Date: 2010-11-24
Banding Together by Explains how some incredibly niche and obscure music genres stay that way and others thrive and gain traction and popularity.
Publication Date: 2012-02-12
Hip Hop Africa by Shows some of the historical origins of hip hop and how it is different from other forms of hip hop, such as sample-based hip hop.
Publication Date: 2012-10-23