Listing of Musical Genres (UPDATED Jan 3rd, 2009)

Started by Harbinger, December 21, 2008, 16:08:51

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This is the current document that i've assembled describing the various musical genres, but let me describe my process and procedure....

I wanted to create a listing that describes each genre briefly enough to follow, but detailed enough for proper classification. I decided early on to ignore the historical reference of the genres, but to include comparative analyses. I also want to provide all the subgenres (if there can be found a thorough description) and let the user decide which label he wishes to use.

These labels are NOT mandatory or required to upload or create a heading in the Forum Downloads section. They only serve to let a target audience know the style of your music they can expect to hear if they download your piece of music. If you have multiple styles for a group of songs in one post, just use [Album] as the style, and announce the styles of each song in your post if you wish.

This document is not complete, and may never be, but the intention is to find the correct labels for our music (or as close as possible) for when we want others to know what we're sharing. I found myself many times when uploading my work wondering what label best describes my offering. That's the inspiration for this research. And i've learned a lot along the way, especially about music that i don't listen to or will probably never compose. And the origins of the different styles was also fascinating.
The examples of each genre are bands or performers that typify the music style, but i may change this in the future to individual recordings (song name and its performer). I have not entered any examples for some categories, either because they are a broad family of music (like EDM) or because i do not know which bands would best serve as representatives of that genre. It's best that we use examples of the most popular or "rememberable" bands/performers  so that as many users as possible can connect the band with the genre. Please PM me if you have ideas on what examples we can use in a particular genre, one that you may be more familiar with than i.

You may notice that i started with one branch of music and from there, explored the roots and branches of that one (starting with electronic dance music), but i plan to explore the whole tree and the many facets of compositional style. I have also tried to keep a rough order of timeline except where sub-genres stem from other genres.

My primary source is from the Wikipedia, but i've also included other Internet sources as shown. I don't want the document to read too technically, but formal enough to remind the reader of the serious research involved. Almost all of the document is a fine example of rampant Internet plagiarism, as all i've done is cut-and-pasted whole text blocks from the Wikipedia, with a reference to the page where i retrieved it, in case anyone wants to either verify the text or context, or wants to explore the genre further. There are very few additions on my part, and what i did add is a matter of editorial management. I make no claims to the originality, authenticity, or authority of these statements, but should be taken as an informal study of the various music families.

If you would like me to research a particular sub-family of styles, please PM me. Or if you've done research and would like me to include it in this document, PM me and let me edit it (so as to keep the same writing style and standards as this document) and we'll plug it in. If you have a SUPPLEMENTARY document of your own research (not an opposing view of a label) into particular genres that i haven't covered, feel free to post it into this thread  in a formal, proofread format (that'll save me some time!). Please reserve this thread for info purposes only, and direct questions regarding the validity or wording of a genre's description to the author of any articles here thru PM or email and we'll solve problems off the thread.


Starting Page:

All sources are from the directory unless otherwise noted

Avant-garde: modernist music not definable as experimental music, though sometimes including a type of experimental music characterized by the rejection of the tonal language

Serialism: twelve-tone technique, which uses a set of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale to form a row (a fixed sequence of the 12 tones of the chromatic scale) as the unifying basis for a composition's melody, harmony, structural progressions, and variations. When not used synonymously, serialism differs from twelve-tone technique in that any number of elements from any musical dimension (called "parameters"), such as duration, register, dynamics, or timbre, and/or pitches, may be ordered in sets of fewer or more than twelve elements,
Examples: Schoenberg, Webern, Berg
From: /Serial_music

Progressive Rock: pushed rock's technical and compositional boundaries by going beyond the standard rock or popular song structures, with arrangements often incorporating elements drawn from classical, jazz, and world music. Instrumental passages or songs are common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy, making use of "concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme." It avoids common popular music song structures of verse-chorus-bridge, or blur the formal distinctions by extending sections or inserting musical interludes, often with exaggerated dynamics to heighten contrast between sections. Classical forms are often inserted or substituted, sometimes yielding entire suites, building on the traditional medleys of earlier rock bands. Progressive rock songs also often have extended instrumental passages, marrying the classical solo tradition with the improvisational traditions of jazz and psychedelic rock, adding less typical instruments, such as flute, saxophone and violin, and exploring the capabilities of new electronic keyboards, synthesizers, and electronic effects, a variety of time signatures, syncopation, polyrhythms, and tempo changes uncommon to mainstream rock, explored atonal or dissonant harmonies, and a few have even worked with rudimentary serialism, Ambient soundscapes and theatrical elements are often used, avoiding typical rock/pop subjects such as love, dancing, etc. and focusing on the kinds of themes found in literature, elaborate lyrics combining introspection, social commentary, and poetic influences. Genesis often wrote surreal stories in their lyrics, while Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) combined social criticism with the personal struggles with greed, madness, and death. Literature, mythology, and folklore are also common themes and influences of progressive rock. Though fantasy and science-fiction themes are much less prevalent than some critics claim, they are part of the common stereotype of progressive rock
Examples: Jethro Tull, Rush, Queen
From: /Progressive_rock

Art Rock: "experimental or avant-garde influences" and emphasizes "novel sonic texture", appealing more intellectually or musically, that is, not formulated along pop lines for mass consumption; using "a long structure with several themes like classical music" or "a suite of individual songs," almost always featuring keyboards more than guitar. As well, art rock is "not so much for dancing as for listening and it often tells a story or has a philosophical theme to the lyrics."
Examples: Emerson Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, Yes, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson
From: /Art_rock
    Difference between Art Rock and Progressive Rock: Progressive rock eventually stuck as a label for a specific genre of rock music, while "art rock" was used to refer to a wider, more subjective and harder-to-categorize collection of bands. The "creation of the "art rock" sub-genre, whose members were identified by music played with artistic ideals (e.g., Roxy Music, 10cc)...was in many ways a response to prog rock's long-winded concepts, an attempt to condense progressive rock's ideas into shorter, self-standing songs."[/list]

    Rock: a loosely defined genre of popular music, that often revolves around the electric guitar or acoustic guitar, and it uses a strong back beat laid down by a rhythm section of electric bass guitar, drums, and keyboard instruments such as organ, piano, or, since the 1970s, synthesizers; along with the guitar or keyboards, saxophone and blues-style harmonica are sometimes used as solo instruments;
    From: /Rock_music

    Jazz: a broad genre of music "that includes qualities such as 'swinging', improvising, group interaction, developing an 'individual voice', and being 'open' to different musical possibilities"; jazz differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time, defined as 'swing'", "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role"; and "sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician". While in European classical music elements of interpretation, ornamentation and accompaniment are sometimes left to the performer's discretion, the performer's primary goal is to play a composition as it was written. In jazz, however, the skilled performer will interpret a tune in very individual ways, never playing the same composition exactly the same way twice. Depending upon the performer's mood and personal experience, interactions with fellow musicians, or even members of the audience, a jazz musician/performer may alter melodies, harmonies or time signature at will. European classical music has been said to be a composer's medium. Jazz, however, is often characterized as the product of democratic creativity, interaction and collaboration, placing equal value on the contributions of composer and performer, 'adroitly weigh[ing] the respective claims of the composer and the improviser'.
    In New Orleans and Dixieland jazz, performers took turns playing the melody, while others improvised countermelodies. By the swing era, big bands were coming to rely more on arranged music: arrangements were either written or learned by ear and memorized - many early jazz performers could not read music. Individual soloists would improvise within these arrangements. Later, in bebop the focus shifted back towards small groups and minimal arrangements; the melody (known as the "head") would be stated briefly at the start and end of a piece but the core of the performance would be the series of improvisations in the middle. Later styles of jazz such as modal jazz abandoned the strict notion of a chord progression, allowing the individual musicians to improvise even more freely within the context of a given scale or mode. The avant-garde and free jazz idioms permit, even call for, abandoning chords, scales, and rhythmic meters.

    Vocal Music: the following families of music are usually associated with singing and other vocal stylings

    Rock-and-Roll: usually played with one or two electric guitars (one lead, one rhythm), a string bass or (after the mid-1950s) an electric bass guitar, a drum kit, and a lead instrument, such as piano or sax; the beat is essentially a boogie woogie blues rhythm with an accentuated backbeat, the latter almost always provided by a snare drum
    From: /Rock_and_roll

    Folk Rock: combining elements of folk music and rock music, epitomized by tight vocal harmonies and a relatively "clean" (effects- and distortion-free) approach to electric instruments; the term is not usually applied to rock music rooted in the blues-based or other African American music, nor to rock music with Cajun roots, nor to music with non-European folk roots (which is more typically classified as world music)
    Examples: Bob Dylan, The Mamas & the Papas,
    From: /Folk_rock

    Soft Rock: lyrics tend to be non-confrontational, focusing in very general language on themes like love, everyday life and relationships. The genre tends to make heavy use of pianos, synthesizers and sometimes saxophones. The electric guitars in soft rock are normally faint and high-pitched [Ed. Note: Adult Contemporary has often been cited as a musical genre, but according to, this is actually a radio format, which rotates various pop and rock genres into a program.]
    From: /Soft_rock

    Blues Rock: a hybrid musical genre combining bluesy improvisations over the 12-bar blues and extended boogie jams with rock and roll styles. The core of the blues rock sound is created by the electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit, with the electric guitar usually amplified through a tube guitar amplifier, giving it an overdriven character;
    Examples: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton
    From: /Blues-rock

    Smooth jazz: a combination of jazz with easy-listening pop music and lightweight R&B, layering a lead, melody-playing instrument (like saxophone or guitar) over a backdrop that tends to consist of programmed rhythms and various pads and/or samples. Though much of what is played under the banner of the "smooth jazz" radio format contains vocals, this is not usually the case for music recorded with the intent of categorization as smooth jazz (smooth jazz with vocals is generally called "R&B"). Smooth jazz is generally considered background music, whereas "straight-ahead" jazz is seen as demanding the listener's undivided attention.
    Examples: Spyro Gyra, George Benson, David Sanborn, Kenny G
    From: /Jazz_fusion, /Smooth_jazz

    Pop: a broad genre of rock music (a lighter alternative to rock) that incorporates a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, melodies and hooks, a mainstream style and conventional structure; customarily less than five minutes in duration, and with instrumentation that can range from an orchestra to a lone singer; the most common structure is strophic in form, using the verse-chorus-verse arrangement, with the chorus sharply contrasting the verse melodically, rhythmically and harmonically; the most common themes in pop music are romantic love and feelings, although lyrics about life experiences are also common
    From: /Pop_music

    Disco: a genre of dance music with influences from funk and soul music; with a steady "four-on-the-floor" beat (an eighth note (quaver) or sixteenth note (semi-quaver) hi-hat pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat), a prominent, syncopated electric bass line (with heavy use of octaves), the music tended to layer soaring, often-reverberated vocals, which are often doubled by horns, over a background "pad" of electric pianos and wah-pedaled "chicken-scratch" (palm muted) guitars; orchestral instruments such as the flute often used for solo melodies, and unlike in rock, lead guitar is rarely used; strings, horns, electric pianos, and electric guitars create a lush background sound, and other backing keyboard instruments include the piano, string synth, and electro-acoustic keyboards such as the Fender Rhodes piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, and Hohner Clavinet; synthesizers were also fairly common in disco, especially in the late '70s; other Latin rhythms such as the rhumba, the samba and the cha-cha-cha are also found in disco recordings, and Latin polyrhythms, such as a rhumba beat layered over a merengue, are commonplace; the quaver pattern is often supported by other instruments such as the rhythm guitar and may be implied rather than explicitly present; often involving syncopation, rarely occurring on the beat unless a synthesizer is used to replace the bass guitar.
    Examples: Donna Summer, the BeeGees
    From: /Disco

    Post-Disco: early 1980s movement of disco music into more stripped-down electronic funk influenced sounds, mainly brought on by DJs, who remixed and added new experimental sounds.
    Examples: Patrice Rushen
    From: /Post-disco

    Hi-NRG: only somewhat disco-like, reflecting a highly polished aesthetic and stylistic trends beyond just tempo and instrumentation; typified by an energetic, staccato, sequenced synthesizer sound, where the bass often takes the place of the hi-hat, alternating a more resonant note with a dampened note to signify the tempo of the record, also often heavy use of the clap sound found on drum machines; "melodic, straightforward dance music that's not too funky."
    Examples: Laura Branigan, Stacy Q, EG Daily

    Punk: fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs that eschewed the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock with stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics; instrumentation includes one or two electric guitars, an electric bass, and a drum kit, along with vocals that were characterized by a lack of variety, shifts in pitch, volume, or intonation; guitar solos are considered self-indulgent and unnecessary, although basic guitar breaks are common, using highly distorted power chords or barre chords, creating a "buzzsaw drone;" production tends to be minimalistic and "lo-fi", where the typical objective is to have the recording sound unmanipulated and "real", reflecting the commitment and "authenticity" of a live performance, thus recordings may contain dialogue between band members, false starts, and background noise; lyrics are typically frank and confrontational, frequently commenting on social and political issues, anti-sentimental depictions of relationships and sex, or a nihilistic outlook combined with radical leftist utopianism
    Examples: The Sex Pistols, The Ramones
    From: /Punk_rock

      Hardcore Punk: a branch of punk, generally thicker, heavier, and faster than punk rock; songs are usually short, fast, and loud, covering topics such as politics, personal freedom, violence, social alienation, straight edge, war, and the hardcore subculture itself; lyrics are often shouted instead of sung; drumming tends to be especially fast; perceived by some as anti-intellectual, overly violent, and musically limited
      From: /Punk_rock, /Hardcore_punk[/list]
      Pop Punk: vocal music that combines elements of punk rock with pop music, to varying degrees. a post-grunge strand of alternative rock that combines power-pop melodies and chord changes with speedy punk tempos and loud guitars
      Examples: Bad Religion, The Clash, Green Day, Blink-182
      From: /Pop_punk,

      Funk: blended soul music, soul jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground. Unlike R&B and soul songs, which had many chord changes, funk songs are often based on an extended vamp on a single chord; an intense groove by using strong bass guitar riffs and bass lines; the bass to have a drum-like rhythmic role; utilized the same extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths. However, unlike bebop jazz, with its complex, rapid-fire chord changes, funk virtually abandoned chord changes, creating static single chord vamps with little harmonic movement, but with a complex and driving rhythmic feel; chords used in funk songs typically imply a dorian or mixolydian mode, as opposed to the major or natural minor tonalities of most popular music; Melodic content was derived by mixing these modes with the blues scale;
      Examples: James Brown, George Clinton, Earth Wind & Fire
      From: /Funk

      Post-Punk: roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental, broadening the range of punk and underground music, incorporating elements of Krautrock (particularly the use of synthesizers and extensive repetition), Jamaican dub music (specifically in bass guitar), American funk, studio experimentation, and even punk's traditional polar opposite, disco
      Examples: Public Image, Ltd.; The Psychedelic Furs; Velvet Underground
      From: /Post-punk

      British New Wave: Music that followed the anarchic garage band ethos was distinguished as "punk", while music that tended toward experimentation, lyrical complexity, with anti-corporate and experimental messages, or more polished production, was categorised as "New Wave" (implying a less noisy, more pop sound), while the term "post-punk" was coined to describe the darker, less pop-influenced groups.
      Examples: Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, The Squeeze
      From: /New_Wave_music

      Bubblegum Pop: appealing mostly to pre-teens, songs typically have singalong choruses, seemingly childlike themes and a contrived innocence, occasionally combined with an undercurrent of sexual double entendre, a catchy melody, simple chords, simple harmonies, danceable beats, and repetitive riffs or "hooks". The song lyrics often concern romantic love or other light themes
      Examples: Jackson 5, Debbie Gibson, Miley Cyrus
      From: /Bubblegum_pop

      New Wave: the term "New Wave" was used in America in the 80s to describe nearly every new pop or pop rock artist that largely used synthesizers and featured an electronic rather than an acoustic style

        Electropop (Technopop): pop songs at heart, often with simple, catchy hooks and dance beats, but differing from those of electronic dance music genres which electropop helped to inspire — techno, house, electroclash, etc. — in that strong songwriting is emphasized over simple danceability; different from synthpop because it is often characterised by a cold, robotic, electronic sound, which was largely due to the early limitations of the analog synthesizers used to make the music. The alienated deadpan lyrics usually have a science-fiction edge to them, and do not use the "boy meets girl, boy loses girl" theme that was so common among mass-market chart-topping new wave artists from about 1981 onwards
        From: /Electropop

        Synthpop: dominating the pop music of the early 80s as well as replacing 70s Disco in dance clubs, Synthpop song structures are generally the same as in other popular music, but included the exploitation of artificiality (the synthesizers are not used to imitate acoustic instruments), the use of mechanical sounding rhythms, vocal arrangements that served as a counterpoint to the artificiality of the instruments, and ostinato patterns as an effect.
        Examples: Missing Persons, Human League, Animotion
        From: /Synthpop[/list]

        Eurodance: a vocal subgenre of EDM, heavily influenced by the utilization of rich melodic vocals (and to a lesser extent, rap), combined with synth, strong bass rhythm, and melodic hooks; characterized by synthesizer riffs, female vocals with simple chorus, male rap parts, sampling, and a strong beat, often a noticeable use of rapid synthesizer arpeggios (a very distinctive feature of Eurodance that separates it from Hi-NRG disco); often very positive and upbeat; the lyrics often involve issues of love and peace, dancing and partying, or expressing and overcoming difficult emotions; percussion is generally a "kick" bassdrum (usually synthesized) with some variations on a 4/4 time signature, and with a sound more typical of dance music and not the "beat box" sound typical of rap

        Instrumental Music: the following families of music are primarily non-vocal, unless the vocal tone is used as a sound rather than a carrier of melody or motif

        Fusion: a musical genre that merges jazz with elements of other styles of music, particularly funk, rock, R&B, ska, electronic, and world music, but also pop, classical, and folk music, or sometimes even metal, reggae, country, hip hop; typically instrumental, often with complex time signatures, metres, rhythmic patterns, and extended track lengths, featuring lengthy improvisations; rather than being a codified musical style, fusion can be viewed as a musical tradition or approach.
        Examples: Dave Brubeck, Weather Report,
        From: /Jazz_fusion

        Acid Jazz: combines elements of jazz, funk and hip-hop, particularly looped beats
        From: /Acid_Jazz

        New Age: peaceful music of various styles, which is intended to create inspiration, relaxation, and positive feelings; the harmonies are generally modal, consonant, or include a drone bass, while the melodies are often repetitive, to create a hypnotic feeling, and sometimes recordings of nature sounds are used as an introduction to a track or throughout the piece. Songs of up to 30 minutes duration are common; includes both electronic forms (frequently relying on sustained pads or long sequencer-based runs) and acoustic forms (featuring instruments such as flutes, piano, acoustic guitar and a wide variety of non-western acoustic instruments). In many cases, high-quality digitally sampled instruments are used instead of natural acoustic instruments. Vocal arrangements were initially rare in New Age music but as it has evolved vocals have become more common, especially vocals featuring Sanskrit, Tibetan or Native American-influenced chants, or lyrics based on mythology such as Celtic legends or the realm of Faerie. There is a significant overlap of sectors of New Age music, Ambient music, electronica, World music, Chillout, spacemusic and others.
        From: /New_Age_music

          Space Music: a sub-category of New Age, music that evokes a feeling of contemplative spaciousness. Space music can be found within a wide range of genres, but it is particularly associated with ambient, New Age, and electronic music, with the inclusion of styles from the western classical, world, Celtic, traditional, experimental; ranges from simple to complex sonic textures, often lacking conventional melodic, rhythmic, or vocal components, typically evoking a "continuum of spatial imagery and emotion", beneficial introspection, attentiveness for deep listening, subtle trance and psychoacoustic spatial perceptions, particularly sensations of flying, floating, cruising, gliding, or hovering; "contemplative music, broadly defined," spanning "historical, ethnic, and contemporary styles", combining elements from many cultures and genres, blended with varieties of acoustic and electronic ambient music, "woven into a seamless sequence unified by sound, emotion, and spatial imagery."
          Examples: Steve Roach, Jonn Serrie
          From: /Space_music[/list]

          Ambient: a genre in which sound is more important than notes; generally identifiable as being broadly atmospheric and environmental in nature; Brian Eno is generally credited with coining the term "ambient music" in the mid-1970s to refer to music that, as he stated, can be either "actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener", and that exists on the "cusp between melody and texture."
            Dark Ambient: ambient music with a "dark" or dissonant feel, but often involves extensive use of digital reverb to create vast sonic spaces for frightening, bottom-heavy sounds such as deep drones, gloomy male chorus, echoing thunder, and distant artillery[/list]
            From: /Ambient_music

            Drone: a minimalist musical style that emphasizes the use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tones-clusters – called drones; typically characterized by lengthy audio programs with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout each piece compared to other musics; ethnic or spiritual music which contains drones and is rhythmically still or very slow; most often utilizing electronic instruments or electronic processing of acoustic instruments, they typically create dense and unmoving harmonies and a stilled or "hovering" sense of time. "Drone music is about as far away from music as you can get before it stops being music."

            Chiptunes: consist of basic waveforms, such as sine waves, square waves, and sawtooth or triangle waves, and basic but synthesized percussion, often generated from white noise going through an envelope–controlled synthesizer; the classic chiptune 8-bit sound can be recognised from its synthesised square or pulse wave instruments, simple white noise percussion, and heavy use of ultra-fast arpeggios to emulate chords of three or four notes on a single channel (due to hardware limitations, several notes must be placed on the same channel).

            Electronic Dance Music (EDM): A broad genre of electronic music that is produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment, produced with the intention of it being heard in the context of a continuous DJ set; wherein the DJ progresses from one record to the next via a synchronized segue or 'mix'.
            From: /Electronic_dance_music
              House: a branch of EDM, uptempo music for dancing with a live-music feel and Black or Latin music influences, generally mimicking disco's percussion, especially the use of a prominent bass drum on every beat, but sometimes featuring a prominent synthesizer bassline, electronic drums, electronic effects, funk and pop samples, and reverb- or delay-enhanced vocals; bass lines tend to favor notes that fall within a single-octave range
              From: /House_music

                Acid House: a branch of house, emphasizes a repetitive, hypnotic and trance-like style, with samples or spoken lines usually used rather than sung lyrics. starkly minimal, being very light or absent of instrumentation and generally harder or trancier sounding than these, a result of the discovery of the strange sounds that the Roland 303 bass line synthesizer produced when tweaked and the straight 4/4 rhythm which though shared by much of house and techno music was programmed into much harder and more pounding rhythms than pop or electro, repeated sound sequences that were shifted and warped by electronic modulation
                From: /Acid_house

                Deep House: a style of house music which fuses elements of Chicago house, 80's soul, jazz-funk and Detroit techno. The Jazz influences of deep house are most frequently brought out by chords using more complex than simple triads (7ths, 9ths, 13ths, suspensions, alterations) which are held for many bars, which give the tracks a slightly dissonant feel. The use of vocals is also more common in deep house than in many other forms of house music.
                From: /Deep_House

                Ambient house: a sub-genre of house music, combining elements of acid house and ambient music, typically featuring four-on-the-floor beats, synth pads, and vocal samples integrated in an atmospheric style; generally lack a diatonic center and feature much atonality along with synthesized chords.
                From: /Ambient_house[/list][/list]
                  Trance: a branch of EDM, trance is a combination of many forms of electronic music, such as ambient, techno, and house, generally characterized by melodic synthesizer phrases and anthemic bass lines, and a musical form that builds up and down throughout a track, known as layering. (Another example of layering is to slowly alter the cutoff and/or resonance parameters of a synthesized arpeggio or motif.) Trance has been described as "classical melodies with Jungle rhythms," containing incremental changes (progressive structures), sometimes composed in thirds; somewhat faster than house music but usually not as fast as rave music. Often, a kick drum is placed on every downbeat and a regular open hi-hat is often placed on the upbeat, known as "four-to-the-floor," reminiscent of disco music; extra percussive elements are usually added, and major transitions, builds, or climaxes are often foreshadowed by lengthy "snare rolls." Unlike house music, trance tends to add interest to tracks not through complexity of rhythm but through complexity of melody and harmony; as a result trance tracks tend to have a simple, non-varying beat which acts as a foundation for complex chordal and melodic structures which are further emphasized by the heavy use of synthesizers, samplers, and effect units (most notably Reverb and Delay). Flangers, phasers and other effects are also commonly used at extreme settings but these settings can be (and often are) applied and layered over time, creating further interest by adding cycles of emotional tension and release. Also unlike house music, a synthetic sound is important, but trance tracks sometimes make use of pianos and other orchestral and acoustic instruments.
                  From: /Trance_music

                    Goa Trance: has an energetic beat, almost always in common time (4/4), tending to focus on steadily building energy throughout, using changes in percussion patterns and more intricate and layered synth parts as the music progresses in order to build a hypnotic and intense feel. The music very often incorporates many audio effects that are often created through experimentation with synthesisers. The kick drum often is a low, thick sound with prominent sub-bass frequencies. A well-known sound that originated with Goa Trance and became much more prevalent through its successor, psytrance, is the organic "squelchy" sound (usually a saw-wave which is run through a resonant low-pass filter).
                    From: /Goa_Trance[/list]
                    Jungle: fast tempos (150 to 170 bpm) with breakbeats, other heavily syncopated percussive loops, samples, and synthesized effects; long, computer-generated snare rolls are also common, slower, deep basslines and simple melodies, Jungle shares a number of similarities with Hip Hop. First, both genres have a large audience in the black community. Secondly, when Jungle first gained popularity, it received many of the same complaints that Hip Hop music first did: "too dark" and downbeat, glorified violence and gangs, and not musical enough. Additionally, both genres of music are produced using the same types of equipment: samplers, drum machines, microphones and sequencers. Furthermore, the music contains the same sort of components such as "rhythmic complexity, repetition with subtle variations, the significance of the drum, melodic interest in bass frequencies and breaks in pitch and time."
                    Subgenres of oldskool jungle include:
                      Ragga jungle; more Jamaican-Reggae influenced styles and lyrics, which often features an MC who recites dancehall-style lyrics
                      Darkside jungle/Darkcore; instrumental jungle with a dark and more minimal focus,
                      Intelligent jungle; a more ambient sound, focusing on mood, synthesis and production methods. [/list]
                      From: /Oldschool_jungle

                      Dub: characterized as a distinct version or "double" of an existing song, often instrumental, using B-sides of 45 RPM records and typically emphasizing the drums and bass for a sound popular in local sound systems; tracks are typically drenched in sound processing effects such as echo, reverberation, part vocal and extra percussion, with most of the lead instruments and vocals dropping in and out of the mix; massive low-pitched bass guitar. The music sometimes features processed sound effects and other noises, such as birds singing, thunder and lightning, water flowing, and producers shouting instructions at the musicians or otherwise further augmented by live DJs. The many-layered sounds with varying echoes and volumes are often said to create soundscapes, or sound sculptures, drawing attention to the shape and depth of the space between sounds as well as to the sounds themselves. There is usually a distinctly organic feel to the music, even though the effects are electronically created; often these tracks are used for "toasters" rapping heavily-rhymed and alliterative lyrics.

                      Techno: branch of EDM, clean and precise relative to the weird UFO sounds featured in psychedelic music; emphasizes the role of rhythm over other musical parameters, but the design of synthetic timbres and the creative use of music production technology in general, are more important in comparison to house music; drum part is almost universally in common time (4/4) in the basic disco-type pattern; use of motivic development (though relatively limited) and the employment of conventional musical frameworks; adding or removing layers of material; cleverly programmed rhythmic sequences and looped motifs combined with signal processing
                      Examples: Devo, Gary Numan, danceable selections from Kraftwerk
                      From:  /Techno

                        Powernoise: instrumental, based upon a distorted kick drum from a drum machine using militaristic 4/4 beats. Sometimes a melodic component is added, but this is usually secondary to the rhythm. Power noise tracks are typically structured and danceable, but are occasionally abstract
                        From: /Industrial_techno

                        Industrial Techno: hybrid between power noise and hard-techno, but it should be noted that the style rarely falls in the middle, and could be described as either noisey techno or softer highly-rhythmic power noise
                        From: /Industrial_techno[/list]
                        Industrial: loose term for a number of different styles of experimental music, especially but not necessarily electronic music; fatalist-but-realistic, slightly misanthropic and often intensely dehumanized or mechanical; the utilization of gritty, hands-on technologies and techniques, rather than any concrete compositional detail; the blending of electronic synthesisers, guitars, and early samplers, creating an aggressive and abrasive music fusing elements of rock with experimental electronic music, with shock tactics like explicit lyrical content, graphic art and Fascistic imagery

                        Electronic Body Music (EBM) : hard and often sparse danceable electronic beats, clear undistorted vocals, shouts, or growls with reverberation and echo effects, and repetitive sequencer lines, based on 4/4 beats, mainly with some minor syncopation to suggest a rock music rhythm structure;
                        From: /Electronic_body_music

                          Electro-Industrial: a branch of EBM, a deep and layered sound, incorporating elements of ambient industrial; harsher beats and raspy, distorted, or digitized vocals, avoiding guitars, in contrast to industrial rock
                          Examples: Skinny Puppy
                          From: /Electro-industrial

                          Dark Electro: a branch of Electro-industrial; horror soundscapes, and grunts or distorted vocals
                          From /Electro-industrial[/list]
                          Alternative Rock: defined by its rejection of the commercialism of mainstream culture, guitar music first of all, with guitars that blast out power chords, pick out chiming riffs, buzz with fuzztone and squeal in feedback. Sounds range from the dirty guitars of grunge to the gloomy soundscapes of gothic rock to the guitar pop revivalism of Britpop to the shambolic performance style of twee pop. More often than in other rock styles, alternative rock lyrics tend to address topics of social concern, such as drug use, depression, and environmentalism
                          Examples: REM, They Might Be Giants, The Sugarcubes
                          From:  /Alternative_rock

                            Grunge: branch of alternative rock; based around a sludgy, murky guitar sound that synthesized heavy metal and punk rock, that conceal catchy tunes with noise and hide craftsmanship behind nonchalance
                            Examples: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, SoundGarden
                            From:  /Alternative_rock

                            Gothic rock: the "darkest and gloomiest form of underground rock," gothic rock utilizes a synthesizer-and-guitar based sound drawn from post-punk to construct "foreboding, sorrowful, often epic soundscapes," and the genre's lyrics often address literary romanticism, morbidity, religious symbolism, and supernatural mysticism."
                            Examples: The Cure, Siouxsie & the Banshees
                            From: /Alternative_rock

                            Alternative Dance: combining elements of dance-pop (or other forms of electronic house or techno) and alternative rock genres, typically predominantly electronic, with programmed beats from drum machines or sampled drum loops and sequenced synthesizer melodies, and thus musically very similar to commercial dance-pop, unlike much dance music, alternative dance typically contains lyrics, and, as in indie pop or indie rock, these are often more thematically complex and/or less polished than those of commercial pop
                            "Alternative Dance marries the underground sensibility and melodic song structure of alternative and indie rock with the electronic beats, synths and/or samples, and club orientation of post-disco dance music. While many pop-based alternative artists have experimented with dance and/or electronic music over the years, alternative dance goes a step beyond flirtation, drawing on club culture for inspiration and making it an indispensable part of the overall sound. Although alternative dance music doesn't seem out of place at a dance club, it also works just as effectively outside of that environment, because of its pop accessibility and willingness to incorporate other styles of music. Those qualities put a more human face on alternative dance, as opposed to the more mechanized feel of much standard club/dance music; as a result, the performers are much more closely identified with their music, which often possesses a signature style, texture, or fusion of specific musical elements." []
                            Examples: New Order
                            From: /Alternative_rock

                            Alternative Metal: a style of rock music which is considered a unique approach to Grunge music, but still play heavy metal (which is not an essential component of the music, but is very different from the thrash underground); characterized by some heavy metal trappings (most notably heavy riffs), but usually with a pronounced experimental edge, including unconventional lyrics, odd time signatures, more syncopation than typical metal, unusual technique, a resistance to conventional approaches to heavy music and an incorporation of a wide range of influences outside of the metal music scene.
                            Examples: Jane's Addiction, Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine
                            From: /Alternative_metal

                              Nu Metal: a branch of alternative metal, with downtuned riffs and aggressive dissonance, emphasizes mood, rhythm, and texture over melody; rhythmic, syncopated riffs played on distorted with strings detuned to lower pitches to create a dark and thick sound; aggressive vocals that range from melodic singing similar to pop and rock, guttural screaming and shouting from various forms of metal, hardcore punk and, like Funk metal, rapping is occasionally used, as well as profanity and distorted vocals. Riffs often consist of only a few different notes or power chords played in rhythmic, syncopated patterns, with liberal use of palm muting, a technique inherited from thrash metal that is often widely spaced out and blend easily into the surrounding riffs, in a manner similar to grunge and hip hop; sometimes feature a DJ for additional rhythmic layering
                              Examples: Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park
                              From: /Nu_metal[/list][/list][/list]


                              [This space reserved for extra info that should remain outside of the article but serve as annotations or other notes...]

                              Thanks, admin, for your cooperation....


                              thank you for this informative list.  I think you have it dead on in the electronic music department.



                              Well, it's a little helpful. The technical differences are not very detailed, but enough to go on. The big help though is the different performers that represent a particular genre.

                              Thanks for the link Zaphoid! :wink:


                              Hey, what about Dubstep? That isn't listed, is it?

                              Saga Musix

                              Two possible answers:
                              a) Dubstep didn't exist yet in 2009.
                              b) He's just listing musical genres.

                              8) 8) 8)
                              » No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.


                              Since there's no d'n'b on the list, I assume b. :)
                              "Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
                              "yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

                              Saga Musix

                              » No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.


                              "Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
                              "yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs


                              Dubstep is a valid genre, but it's new, like within-the-past-year new. I've listened to a couple of tracks, and i can't get a good fix on its style, except to say that it's sort of a hybrid of Crunk and Progressive Trance. Not my cup of tea, but definitely a new branch in EDM. I'm also given the impression that the video component is an important part of the listening/dancing experience, which may be a trend in the next generation of Electronic Dance Music....

                              If someone can provide a link to a proper (official) description of Dubstep and its history, i would gladly consider adding it to the original post in the thread. However, the original post was never completed, as i spent more time researching than tracking -- which is NO FUN! :P

                              Saga Musix

                              Actually, dubstep has been around for more than a decade now (Option a was just joking *), it was just not as prominent and mainstream as it is now.

                              * Option b was also joking, but still more serious than Option a :P
                              » No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.


                              People often classify Dubsteb as a submixture of Drum and Base and Rhythm and Blues (dnb and rnb) and I think thats one of the best ways to describe DubStep.

                              In addition, a typical dubsteb song has this wobbling bass, which is from the rnb genre, except that in rnb its not that "detailed".
                              "Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
                              "yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs


                              I will at some point include this and other descriptions in the above article, but for now, for those interested, the wikipedia page that describes the sound and history of dubstep can be found here. You're right Jojo, it's been around since the late 90s, but, like early rap, stayed underground till it got "discovered." It's starting to find its way into modern FM stations now...

                              I got a friend to let me listen to a couple of generic stererotypical dubstep tracks while on break at work, and jotted down some notes as i listened. Here's the general impression i get:

                              • Multiple influences using different styles in short sections
                              • Non-standard riffs (transitions between musical phrases)
                              • Abrasive timbres over soft pads
                              • Often a lack of melodic/chord progressions but not necessarily
                              • Rife with one-shots, sample loops, and breakbeats
                              • Unorthodox often filter-twisted instrumentation
                              • Ongoing repeated loops with innovative transitional loops
                              One of the first things i noticed about the sound is that it could be EASILY created with ModPlug Tracker, if you include a big varied set of one-shot and looped samples that really open up your musical inventiveness.

                              Lo Bellver

                              Posting examples of songs for each classification would help.  :)