An Introduction To Music Genres

Posted by James Corkery | Blog, Music

Music is a language without boundaries. Whether it is any special occasion or the need for a stress buster, music adds life to any situation. In fact, recent studies show music has a therapeutic effect and has the power to cure mental and physical ailments. This auditory art has its origin dated many millennia back. You will find it mentioned across various histories and civilizations around the world. With time, it has evolved but people all around the world have still preserved the tradition of this art in its new and varying avatars.

While it is appropriate to say that music is so vast and diversified that no one can comprehend or categorize it fully, people have divided it into various genres and styles according their understanding and convenience. A genre of music is a form of music having similar fundamentals and values. Like the world itself, music categorisation is divided into Western and Oriental.

The sub-classification of western music includes styles like rock, jazz, hip-hop, electronic, latino, country, R&B, Reggae, classic and blues.

· Rock music: The rock and roll revolution of 1950 in western countries marked the origin of this loud, flamboyant and vibrant genre of music. The success of this art was personified in the form of one of the most iconic singers of all times, Elvis Presley. In the late 60s and early 70s, new subgenres of rock known as hard rock and heavy metal emerged into mainstream music.
· Jazz: Jazz registers its origins from southern US where a majority of the African-American community thrive. The African influence is prominently noticeable in the emphasis on improvisation and combination of various rhythms used. It is performed in ensembles, and the artists have recently been experimenting with incorporating it with other music styles like Indian classic.
· Western Classic: The classic music styles of Europe including symphony, sonata, oratorio, concerto, etc. are some of the oldest forms of art in the Western world. It has been categorised as Medieval (early 15th century), Renaissance (till 1600), Baroque (till early 1700), Classic till 1800 and Romantic till 1900. It is still preserved in its original format without any improvisation.

· Country Music: It originated from the folk music of the southern areas of the United States. It influences are carved from various immigrant cultures from Ireland, Italy, Germany and different African nations.
· Reggae: It has its roots in the Jamaican music style Ska, which originated in the 1960s and had a significant emphasis on the use of the high pitched drum.
· Hip Hop and Electronic: The modernization of music introduced these two genres. The hip-hop revolution of the 1970s kick-started this music culture and it has been evolving ever since. Electronic music is composed through the sole use of electronic instruments, and the two widely known forms of electronic music are House and Disco.

The counterpart of western music lies in the east. From the flute music of Cambodia to the Indian sitar and the Japanese Taiko drums, the east is a magical place for sounds. In fact, Indian classical music is the oldest surviving form of oriental music on this planet with roots connected to the Vedic period. Over time, it was influenced by other traditions like Persian music brought into the country by the Mughals and evolved into what it is today. Chinese and Japanese music also has a rich tradition seeped in clear flute notes, deep drums and string instruments to ease your worries away.