10 Music Genres List

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Music is something which eases, sets all of us free from stress and tiredness. For there are the kinds of music to accompany situations, feelings, moods and everything else. This art expresses through its different styles – the moments of love, the happiness, and the gloomy days, dancing feet, driving down the lonely highways or the humming hearts of separation, aesthetic pleasures. It communicates in the forms of rhythmic words, instruments, and story-telling. It has been divided into genres and sub-genres. It’s the kind of art which is performed soundly, and not only is played or heard, but also is felt with soundness.

Music lovers find themselves familiar to the kind of music that makes them jump off their bed or tap their feet or clap their hands depending upon their choice of music genre. Music, which is divided into different genres are named and defined by the musical techniques, the styles, the context, content and spirit of the themes. Also, sometimes geographical origin too identifies a music genre, some geographical categories often include a wide variety of sub-genres and some of the genres may also overlap. Out of innumerable music genres, here is the list of 10.

10. Indian Classical

indian classical

This music genre may particularly be of Indian subcontinent, but is one of the oldest forms of art music. This oldest music tradition of India has been found in Vedas too which proves its existence from the pre-historic times. The two sub-genres of Indian classical music are Hindustani (the North Indian style) and the Carnatic music (the south Indian style). It is often believed, and is true, that Indian classical is the basic learning of music. This genre of music includes ghazals, bollywood songs, bhangra, jugalbandhi, qawwali and even bhajan-kirtans too. It has both instrumental as well as vocal forms of music. The reason why it is still popular is because of its history. It is one of the first forms of music.

M S Subbulakshmi, Bismillah Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain are some of the legendaries who made a major contribution in popularizing Indian classical music.

9. Latin

Latin Music

This category includes music from Latin America and other Caribbean countries, and shares the cultural elements of Africa, native America and Europe.  The percussion instruments included in this type of genre music are Clave, maracas, cowbells, congas, bongos, timbales, tambora, bombo, guiro, cajones, cascara, shekere, tres, marimbula. Latin music is influenced from the Spanish, who introduced the string instruments. It is vocal as well as instrumental music, which earlier was played for religious purposes, but now is considered as dance music. With strong beats, it is naturally syncopated dance music and is highly rhythmic.

Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Selena, Belinda are some of the highlighted Latin artists.

8. Trance


This music genre is the electronic form which originated in Germany, during the 1990s. Trance songs are soft melodious rhythm tracks and are repeated endlessly which induce an emotional high feeling. It touches the emotions of an individual who is deeply into it, trance is a state of mind which indulges it perfectly. What sets trance apart from the other styles of music is the high rate of BPM i.e. beats per minute that ranges from the mid 120s up to the 160s. The amount of synthesized sound in this genre tends to be melodic and progressive too, while the beats remain static.

Some of the Trance lovers’ favorite artists are Tomcraft, Tosch, Tiesto and Skazi.


7. Rap


This is a genre of Afro-American style of music which originated during the 1970s. The form of emceeing/ deejaying is such that the rhyming lyrics (rhythm and poetry)are chanted to musical accompaniment. It is more like a poetry which is spoken; the only difference is, it is performed with beats. The dancing style of this genre is called hip-hop. It was part of the Afro-American style of music in the 1960s which meant “to converse”, and after that, presently it is used as a term denoting the musical style. The term “rap” is closely associated with hip hop music and the terms are often used interchangeably. Rap, stylistically, occupies a gray area between speech, poetry, prose and singing. The word, originally means “to hit”, is used to describe quick speech or predates the musical form. And the attitude is rebellious in a lyrical expressing form.

Some of the famous rappers are Eminem, Lil Wayne, Usher, Flo rida, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dog and 50 Cent

6. Country music

country music

Country music is another genre of American popular music which originated in the rural regions of southern United States in the 1920s. The roots basically have been taken from the south-eastern genre of American folk music and western music. Country music consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple in forms and harmonies accompanied by instruments, mostly strings such as, electric guitars, steel guitar, drums,  fiddles, banjos and mandolin or mouth organ. The term country music, now, is used to describe many genres and sub-genres. It is more like a vital form of rustic music which has been derived from European styles of folk and dance music.

Few country music singers who have left a mark are Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash (remember these are just few !!).

5. Rock


Rock music is a popular one which actually originated as “rock & roll” in the United States, 1950s. During this period, the sound of rock traditionally centred around string instruments, which emerged in its modern form and became popular then. Rock is a song-based music, usually with the help of verse-chorus form, which is a predominant musical form in rock since the 1960s, but the genre has become diversely common and difficult to define.  It’s a harder and loud form of music or in easier words, is a form of music with strong beats.  Some of the earliest rock stars are Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard who led to the popularization of rock music and culture in the history.

The rockband are uncountable but some who took the world of this particular genre by storm are Pink Floyd, Metallica, Nirvana, The Doors, Black Sabbath and Megadeth.

4. Opera


Opera is a genre in form of art in which singers and musicians perform in a dramatic way combining text and music, usually in theatrical settings. Traditional opera, consisted of two modes of singing. One is dialogue based, in which the plot-driving passages are sung in a style designed to imitate and emphasize the inflections of speech,and the other is ,an “air” or formal song  in which the characters express their emotions in a more structured melodic style. In some forms of opera, the recitative is mostly replaced by dialogues. Melodic or semi-melodic passages occur in the midst of dramatization and are sung with a free rhythm dictated by the accent of the words.Orchestral music,acting, stage, supporting the stories through music is what unites opera.

Maria Callas, Anna Netrebko, Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Nicolai Gedda are some remarkably acclaimed opera singers.


3. Pop

pop music

The term “pop” is originally derived from an abbreviation of “popular”. Pop music, thus, is a genre of popular music which originated in its modern form in the 1950s, deriving from rock & roll style. The description of pop music includes any style as this genre is very eclectic. It borrows elements from other styles which include urban, dance, Latin, rock and country and these are actually the core elements which define pop. These are generally short-to-medium length songs which are written in a format, often in which chorus is highlighted and contrasted with the verse, as well as the common employment of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and catchy-hooks.  Typical instruments which are featured are vocals, electric guitars, drums, bass, and synthesizer.  The main concern for such music is usually being pleasurable to listen to, rather than having much artistic depth or meaningful themes.

Singers who are primarily known for singing pop musics are Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Beyonce and  Michael Jackson, who is still referred as the “King of Pop”

2. Folk

folk music

The term, folk music, originated in the 19th century but is applied to music which is older than that which means it has existed since long before but became popular in this century and made a mark in the lists of music genres. Some types of folk music are also called world music which includes traditional music.

The music is often related to national culture. It is either from a particular region or culture. Apart from instrumental music that forms a part of folk music, much folk music is performed vocally, since the instrument which is played is usually handy. As such, most of the traditional folk music has meaningful lyrics and themes (tells stories) with or without instrumental accompaniment.

Artists who contributed to this music genre are Laura Marling, Marissa Nadler, Josh Ritter, James Taylor.

1. Dubstep


This one is a genre of electronic music, generally instrumental and the feeling is darker. It emerged late in the 1990s in UK, featuring elements of bass and drum. Though it started as an underground genre – a fusion of dub and 2- step music. Gradually, with time, this genre made its place in the music chart and became one of the successful styles commercially. It is not only likeable because of the sound, but also because of its rhythm and the feeling of bass sounds.

This genre list divulges some of the names like Skrillex, Caspa, Nero, DeadMau5 along with many others who too provided to the beat of dubstep.

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