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The Definitive Music Genre List

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Since I forgot who started a difinitive bass tone list, I thought this could be another helpful list. I however do NOT have the mind to contribute, as I'm not very good at this crap. Disco and Rock are all there still is to me.

    How many differrent genres and subgenres are there in music? Anyone wanna take a stab at a list?

    Old Shcool metal
    Acid Jazz

    You get the idea.
  2. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    We can't forget the -core idioms...


  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...and that (should) be the final word.
    Good job, Josh!
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Well... I suppose it people actually are interested in this they could contribute. Personally I dislike the compartmentalizing of music, I use the minimum amount of genres possible in my itunes, simply for organizational purposes. Once you get into sub sub genres it just gets pretty silly if you ask me. Coupled with the fact that any band can kinda invent their own genres to define their sound, which is also silly imo.

    I believe Allmusic.com has a comprehensive list of genres, and that page tends to include even very silly sub sub genres.
    For the sake of the thread though, here's a list of the genres I use in iTunes, they are the ones I feel are important enough to warrant having a genre tag, otherwise I don't really care.

    Hip Hop/rap
    New age
    Solo Bass
  5. Honestly there are more 'sub-genres' than anyone could hope to shake a stick at, they're the product of lazy record reviewers and fanzine writers. There are new ones every two months it seems.

    Some of my favorites:

  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    You must not listen to that much music then abark :p
  7. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    It's interesting to consider how many genres there are that the united states does not have. Music genres are really defined by where you live. What's "world" music called in the country of origin? (of course assuming it's not sting or something worthless like that)

    Like I ran across some blues/rock/organ stuff from sweden (if memory serves me correctly) at the station today, but their genre is called "pig trog."

    genres are fun, though I get into the habit of using "sounds like" comparisons or non-musical adjectives in the notes I take on new music.
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Where would you put Primus and The Flecktones? To me, each of them is a genre by themselves, but maybe can fit into a category.
  9. It's true, now that you mention it. "World" music can be so incredibly broad, taking everything from Afrobeat to Raggas. Speaking of funny foreign genres, my favorite's Yeh-Yeh, French pop from the 60s.
  10. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    People!! Let go of your fear of the unlabeled!
  11. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I think there are three genre's:

    Stuff I like

    Stuff I don't like

    Stuff I havent heard
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    It depends why you're subdividing - so lumping a load of stuff together can lose a whole lot of richness as well!!

    People talk about "Latin" music and this term covers vast amounts of different music with their own unique approaches to rhythm, for example.

    Brazilian music is based on Jazz harmonies and rhythms like the Samba, which is based on marching - but has developed a lot of complexity through interlocking percussion...

    To lump that in with Cuban music - which has completely different rhythms based on "clave", anticipating the 1 and harmonies from their ethnic/folk music (etc etc) - seems to me , to be doing a disservice to both!! :meh:
  13. Here's my list:

    Good music
    Bad music
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    But thats not a "genre" - that's just a subjective value judgment! :meh:

    I must say that I wouldn't think much of any music critic who said this...:meh:

    So, if I buy a magazine of reviews, looking for the writer to describe what the CD was like, to help me decide whether it's worth investigating - then if each review was just : "Bad", "Good" etc. then I would feel pretty short-changed and wouldn't buy that magazine again!! :scowl:
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    It has a main page "explore by genre" :


    With these main headings :

    Popular Genre

    Easy Listening
    New Age

    Classical Genre

    Band Music
    Chamber Music
    Choral Music
    Electronic/Avant-Garde/Minimalist Music
    Film Music
    Keyboard Music
    Musical Theater
    Orchestral Music
    Vocal Music
  16. There's no accounting for taste...the genrefication of music is one of the most annoying things about how it is categorised, boxed, packaged and sold to fit the confines of the market etc. I don make my critical judgments on how well things define themselves by these standards - loving, hating or being indifferent to a particular genre of music is something that just comes down to personal taste - I think you'll find actually Bruce - that A LOT of critics are incredibly narrow minded and despite the best efforts of the old PR people and positive reactions of fans etc can still find much to HATE about certain aspects of almost any music.

    If you're such an authority on music - why don't you set yourself up as a journalist? I'm sure many of your opinions would make fascinating reading...an honest reaction to music is all that is needed to define its qualities - obviously if you're not into death metal then don't listen to Slipknot - likewise if you also hate bebop - don't listen to Charlie Parker.

    A 'definitive' list of musical genres is pretty pointless in my opinion - sure you can have the 'generic' starting points for each area of a particular style - but purely encountering music through a filter of this or that genre and whether it is defined clearly by this isn't something I'm personally concerned about - you obviously are.

  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree entirely - but it's equally pointless, to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" and do away with all categories! :meh:

    So it would be a pretty poor shopping experience if you went into HMV in Oxford Street and found they had scrapped all categories and decided to put all the CDs in two piles on the floor - one labelled "bad" and the other "good"!!

    In fact you'd think the manager was on acid and/or out of a job the next day!! ;)
  18. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Actually, as long as I was the manager I wouldn't give a flying fandango.
  19. Creating a 'product' and categorsing it is an obvious thing to do - and no I wouldn't do away with categories in record shops - that would be very, very stupid. However - when I ask about a certain CD - by say a brilliant acoustic guitarist called Don Ross - I get taken to the New Age section - the very LAST thing I would describe his music as - because his approach to music embraces a myriad of styles and techniques etc.

    Music is unique in that it has the potential to absorb lots of styles and textures, moods etc that once you become 'expert' or at least experienced, in the appreciation of the subtle differences between the so say genres and the increasingly blurred boundaries between them - particularly in leftfield music (which is my most common area of listening) - the whole selling by genre is increasingly difficult.

    Genre's often refer to a music's historical evolution - just as histroy itself does - so obviously we still need genres to give its history some kind of order - I just don't think one should try to judge music by these often invisible boundaries - because like any line, they are there to be crossed. I try not to judge something because its origins are say in country or hip-hop but by whether the end result - i.e. the music, actually does something for me or not - it's that simple.

    And just for the record I ran a massive Specialities music section HMV for two years and the director of HMV, on a store visit, said it was one of the best he'd ever seen - I may write fancy bull*** now for a magazine but I've done my time on the shop floor too.

  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well yes, but nobody has said that they would - definitely not in this thread!

    Joe just said - how about a list of genres - nothing about judging or dismissing anything. :confused:

    In fact , I think defining genres can help you be more broad-minded in your musical taste...

    So, I can remember seeing a documentary where it was mentioned that Japanese Classical music, was one of the few
    types of music that still used just temperament rather than equal temperament...

    This made me think - hmm... my collection has none of that genre - maybe I ought to give a listen to some?

    Another time, I remember Radio 3 talking about "ElectroAcoustic" music and again I thought - none of that in my collection and I bought "Foret Profonde" by Francis Dhomont and this is a completely diffenet genre - maybe even a new approach to what music is!!


    But if the genre hadn't been mentioned, I would never have sought out the CD to listen to..:)

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