Music genre

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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 [2] [ not in citation given ] Recently, academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated.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 form of art using sound

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

Musical form overall structure or plan of a piece of music

In music, Form refers to the structure of a musical composition or performance. In "Worlds of Music", Jeff Todd Titon suggests that a number of organizational elements may determine the formal structure of a piece of music, such as "the arrangement of musical units of rhythm, melody, and or/ harmony that show repetition or variation, the arrangement of the instruments, or the way a symphonic piece is orchestrated", among other factors.

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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]

Genre is any form or type of communication in any mode with socially-agreed upon conventions developed over time. Genre is most popularly known as a category of literature, music, or other forms of art or entertainment, whether written or spoken, audio or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria, yet genres can be aesthetic, rhetorical, communicative, or functional. Genres form by conventions that change over time as cultures invent new genres and discontinue the use of old ones. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. Stand-alone texts, works, or pieces of communication may have individual styles, but genres are amalgams of these texts based on agreed-upon or socially inferred conventions. Some genres may have rigid, strictly adhered-to guidelines, while others may show great flexibility.

In western music, a motet is a mainly vocal musical composition, of highly diverse form and style, from the late medieval era to the present. The motet was one of the pre-eminent polyphonic forms of Renaissance music. According to Margaret Bent, "a piece of music in several parts with words" is as precise a definition of the motet as will serve from the 13th to the late 16th century and beyond. The late 13th-century theorist Johannes de Grocheo believed that the motet was "not to be celebrated in the presence of common people, because they do not notice its subtlety, nor are they delighted in hearing it, but in the presence of the educated and of those who are seeking out subtleties in the arts".

The canzona is an instrumental musical form of the 16th and 17th centuries that developed from the Netherlandish chanson. It differed from the similar forms of ricercare and fantasia in its livelier, markedly rhythmic material and separation into distinct sections.

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 art/popular/traditional distinction

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.

Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s to early 1990s, which includes modernist, postmodern, neoromantic, and pluralist music. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 musical forms.

Musical notation graphic writing of musical parameters

Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instruments or sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise-produced symbols.

Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.

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.[ citation needed ]

Christian music music with Christian theme

Christian music is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary widely across the world.

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:

Critics of the axiomatic triangle

Musicologist and popular music specialist Richard Middleton has discussed the blurred nature of these distinctions:

Neat divisions between 'folk' and 'popular', and 'popular' and 'art', are impossible to find ... arbitrary criteria [are used] to define the complement of 'popular'. 'Art' music, for example, is generally regarded as by nature complex, difficult, demanding; 'popular' music then has to be defined as 'simple', 'accessible', 'facile'. But many pieces commonly thought of as 'art' (Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus', many Schubert songs, many Verdi arias) have qualities of simplicity; conversely, it is by no means obvious that the Sex Pistols' records were 'accessible', Frank Zappa's work 'simple', or Billie Holiday's 'facile'. [13]

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. [14]

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. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

Folk music musical and poetic creativity of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

Musicology scientific discipline whose content is the practical and theoretical study of music

Musicology is the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music. Musicology departments traditionally belong to the humanities, although music research is often more scientific in focus. A scholar who participates in musical research is a musicologist.

Progressive music type of music that emphasizes form and stylistic variety

Progressive music is music that attempts to expand existing stylistic boundaries associated with specific genres of music. The word comes from the basic concept of "progress", which refers to development and growth by accumulation, and is often deployed in the context of distinct genres such as progressive country, progressive folk, progressive jazz, and progressive rock. Music that is deemed "progressive" usually synthesizes influences from various cultural domains, such as European art music, Celtic folk, West Indian, or African. It is rooted in the idea of a cultural alternative and may also be associated with auteur-stars and concept albums, considered traditional structures of the music industry.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music. It was named by Bill Monroe who named his band The Blue Grass Boys. The Bluegrass boys played a Mountain Music style that Bill learned in Asheville North Carolina from bands like Wade Mainer's and other popular acts on radio station WWNC. the 1939–1996 band of Kentucky mandolin player and songwriter Bill Monroe, who is considered "the father of bluegrass". It was further developed by musicians who played with him, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. It was then evolved by other musicians who admired the high-energy instrumental and vocal music Monroe's group created, and who carried it on into new bands, some of which created subgenres of bluegrass.

The music of the United States reflects the country's multi-ethnic population through a diverse array of styles. It is a mixture of music influenced by West African, Irish, Scottish and mainland European cultures among others. The country's most internationally renowned genres are jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, rock, rhythm and blues, soul, ragtime, hip hop, barbershop, pop, experimental, techno, house, dance, boogaloo, and salsa. The United States has the world's largest music market with a total retail value of 4,898.3 million dollars in 2014, and its music is heard around the world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some forms of American popular music have gained a near global audience.

Worldbeat is a music genre that blends pop music or rock music with world music or traditional music. Worldbeat is similar to other cross pollination labels of contemporary and roots genres, and which suggest a rhythmic, harmonic or textural contrast between its modern and ethnic elements.

Music of the United Kingdom overview of music traditions of the UK

Throughout its history, the United Kingdom has been a major producer and source of musical creation, drawing its artistic basis from the history of the United Kingdom, from church music, Western culture and the ancient and traditional folk music and instrumentation of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Music of Egypt

Music has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since antiquity. The Bible documents the instruments played by the ancient Hebrews, all of which are correlated in Egyptian archaeology. Egyptian music probably had a significant impact on the development of ancient Greek music, and via the Greeks was important to early European music well into the Middle Ages. The modern music of Egypt is considered as a core of Arabic music and Oriental music as it has been a source for or a main influence on other regional styles. The tonal structure of Oriental Arabic music is defined by the maqamat, loosely similar to Western modes, while the rhythm of Arabic music is governed by the iqa'at, standard rhythmic modes formed by combinations of accented and unaccented beats and rests.

Art music serious music, as opposed to popular or folk music

Art music is music that implies advanced structural and theoretical considerations or a written musical tradition. The terms "serious" or "cultivated" are frequently used in relation to music in order to present a contrast with ordinary, everyday music. At the beginning of the 20th century art music was divided into "serious music" and "light music".

Music of Kazakhstan refers to a wide range of musical styles and genres deriving from Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is home to the Kazakh State Kurmangazy Orchestra of Folk Instruments, the Kazakh State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kazakh National Opera and the Kazakh State Chamber Orchestra. The folk instrument orchestra was named after Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly, a well-known composer and dombra player from the 19th century.

20th-century music Period of mass proliferation of genres and styles

During the 20th century there was a huge increase in the variety of music that people had access to. Prior to the invention of mass market gramophone records and radio broadcasting, people mainly listened to music at live Classical music concerts or musical theatre shows, which were too expensive for many lower-income people; on early phonograph players ; or by individuals performing music or singing songs on an amateur basis at home, using sheet music, which required the ability to sing, play, and read music. These were skills that tended to be limited to middle-class and upper-class individuals. With the mass-market availability of gramophone records and radio broadcasts, listeners could purchase recordings of, or listen on radio to recordings or live broadcasts of a huge variety of songs and musical pieces from around the globe. This enabled a much wider range of the population to listen to performances of Classical music symphonies and operas that they would not be able to hear live, either due to not being able to afford live-concert tickets or because such music was not performed in their region.

High culture includes cultural achievements that are accepted especially valuable by opinion-elites

High culture encompasses the cultural products of aesthetic value, which a society collectively esteem as exemplary art. It may also include intellectual works considered to be of supreme philosophical, historical, or literary value, as well as the education which cultivates such aesthetic and intellectual pursuits. In popular usage, the term high culture identifies the culture of an upper class or of a status class ; and also identifies a society’s common repository of broad-range knowledge and tradition that transcends the social-class system of the society. Sociologically, the term high culture is contrasted with the term low culture, the forms of popular culture characteristic of the less-educated social classes, such as the barbarians, the Philistines, and hoi polloi.

Parlour music is a type of popular music which, as the name suggests, is intended to be performed in the parlours of middle-class homes by amateur singers and pianists. Disseminated as sheet music, its heyday came in the 19th century, as a result of a steady increase in the number of households with enough surplus cash to purchase musical instruments and instruction in music, and with the leisure time and cultural motivation to engage in recreational music-making. Its popularity waned in the 20th century as the phonograph record and radio replaced sheet music as the most common method of dissemination of popular music. This is the middlebrow and lowbrow music from which European classical music began to gradually and eventually self-consciously distance itself beginning around 1790.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period. The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows:

Progressive folk was originally a type of American folk music that pursued a progressive political agenda, but in the United Kingdom the term became attached to a musical subgenre. The latter describes a substyle of contemporary folk that draws from post-Bob Dylan folk music and adds new layers of musical and lyrical complexity, often incorporating various ethnic influences.

References

  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. 1 2 3 4 "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 8 August 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. 1 2 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. Middleton, Richard (1990). Studying Popular Music. Open University Press. ISBN   978-0-335-15275-9.
  13. 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.
  14. 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