This is a list of music genres and styles. Music can be described in terms of many genres and styles. Classifications are often arbitrary, and may be disputed and closely related forms often overlap. Larger genres and styles comprise more specific sub-categories.
Andalusian classical music
Indian classical music
Korean court music
Persian classical music
Western classical music
Medieval music (500–1400)
Ars antiqua (1170–1310)
Ars nova (1310–1377)
Ars subtilior (1360–1420)
Renaissance music (1400–1600)
Baroque music (1600–1750)
Galant music (1720–1770)
Classical period (1750–1820)
Romantic music (1780–1910)
20th and 21st-centuries classical music (1901–present):
Impressionism (1875 or 1890–1925)
High modernism (1930–present)
Postmodern music (1930–present)
Experimental music (1950–present)
Contemporary classical music (1945 or 1975–present)
Avant-garde and experimental
R&B and soul
Arabic pop music
Caribbean and Caribbean-influenced
Incidental music or music for stage and screen: music written for the score of a film, play, musicals, or other spheres, such as filmi, video game music, music hall songs and showtunes and others
Ballroom dance music: pasodoble, cha cha cha and others
Patriotic music: military music, marches, national anthems and related compositions
Regional and national music with no significant commercial impact abroad, except when it is a version of an international genre, such as: traditional music, oral traditions, sea shanties, work songs, nursery rhymes, Arabesque and indigenous music. In North America and Western Europe, regional and national genres that are not from the Western world are sometimes classified as world music.
These categories are not exhaustive. A music platform, Gracenote, listed more than 2000 music genres (included by those created by ordinary music lovers, who are not involved within the music industry, these being said to be part of a 'folksonomy', i.e. a taxonomy created by non-experts). Most of these genres were created by music labels to target new audiences, however classification is useful to find music and distribute it.
Genealogy of musical genres
This list is split into four separate pages:
List of styles of music: A–F
List of styles of music: G–M
List of styles of music: N–R
List of styles of music: S–Z
Borthwick, Stuart, & Moy, Ron (2004) Popular Music Genres: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Fabbri, Franco (1982) A Theory of Popular Music Genres: Two Applications. In Popular Music Perspectives, edited by David Horn and Philip Tagg, 52–81. Göteborg and Exeter: A. Wheaton & Co., Ltd.
Frith, Simon (1996) Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Holt, Fabian (2007) Genre in Popular Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Negus, Keith (1999) Music Genres and Corporate Cultures. London and New York: Routledge.
The genealogy and history of popular music genres
Genres of popular music - Interactive relationships diagram