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Genre noun \ˈzhän-rə, ˈzhäⁿ-; ˈzhäⁿr; ˈjän-rə\

Definition of GENRE

1: a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.       2: kind, sort.                                                                                                                                                 3: painting that depicts scenes or events from everyday life usually realistically.


Music genres

  • Middle Ages: Music composed from around the middle of the 5th century to the middle of the 15th century, largely characterized by monophonic and polyphonic music.
  • Renaissance: Music largely composed from the middle of the 15th century to around 1600.
  • Baroque: Music composed from around 1600 to the middle of the 18th century.
  • Classical: Music that was composed from around the middle of the 18th century until the early 19th century. Also includes some more recently-written music (neo-classical) that contains many of the same musical elements.
  • Romantic: Music composed from the early 19th century to about 1900. Also includes more recently-written music (Neo-romantic) that contains similar musical elements.
  • 20th century: A wide classification of music composed in the 20th century. This music deals largely with sound experimentation and moving away from the traditional tendencies of tonality.
  • Opera, Operette and Zarzuela
  • Folk: Musical adaptations of old stories that were passed from generation to generation. Considered somewhat more niche now. Also see Neofolk, Folk Noir, Pagan Folk.
  • Rock: Music that originated from Folk and Blues. It used newer electrical instruments instead of relying solely on the classical woodwinds and stringed instruments. It first became popular in the mid-20th century because of famous bands like The Beatles.
    • Heavy metal: Similar to Rock, and generally considered a subgenre of it. It usually uses the same electrical instruments, but the music is more intense and less "pop" in style (see below) such as Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden.
    • Punk rock: a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Includes work by The Adverts, the Sex Pistols and The Clash.
  • Pop: "Pop music" once referred to any popular music during the time period, though the term has slowly gained use as a more specific (yet still somewhat vague) genre descriptor for music with a catchy, relatively consistent melody, among other aspects. It is commonly placed as having started in the mid-20th century, alongside Rock music. Much dance music falls under this genre, and much modern Rock music is considered to include elements of it as well, since bands such as the Beatles were a significant stylistic influence on what is now considered Pop.
  • Rhythm and blues (R&B) - an evolving range of genres that first began to develop in the early 20th century.
    • Blues: A somewhat somber, quieter style of music whose name refers to the unhappiness of the performer, and which gained popularity in the early 20th century alongside Jazz, and influenced the early development of Rock music. A major genre within R&B, and one of its earliest genres as well.
    • Hip hop - more rhythmically-based, mostly urban-derived genres, with a wide array of subgenres between them.
    • Jazz - Jazz originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. Jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and late 1980s developments such as acid jazz, which blended jazz influences into funk and hip-hop.
  • Electronic music - music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. It consists of a number of separate genres, many of which are still evolving. One major category within this form of music is electronic dance music (EDM) which consists of a multitude of genres and sub-genres and is primarily associated with the dance and club scene.
  • Reggae - a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is based on a rhythmic style characterized by accents on the off-beat, known as the skank. Reggae is normally slower than ska. Reggae usually accents the second and fourth beat in each bar. Reggae song lyrics deal with many subjects, including religion, love, sexuality, peace, relationships, drugs, poverty, injustice and other social and political issues.
  • Calypso: A music form that developed in the mid-20th century out of Kaiso music. The genre became a worldwide hit in the 1950s when the 1956 album titled Calypso was the first full-length record to sell more than a million copies. Calypso's most notable and popular subgenre is Soca music.

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