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List of music genres and styles

List of music genres and styles

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.

Art (classical)

  • Andalusian classical music
  • Indian classical music
  • Korean court music
  • Persian classical music
  • Western classical music
    • Early 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):
      • Modernism (1890–1930)
      • Impressionism (1875 or 1890–1925)
      • Neoclassicism (1920–1950)
      • High modernism (1930–present)
      • Postmodern music (1930–present)
      • Experimental music (1950–present)
      • Contemporary classical music (1945 or 1975–present)
      • Minimal music

Avant-garde and experimental

  • Crossover music
  • Danger music
  • Drone music
  • Electroacoustic
  • Instrumental
  • Lo-fi
  • Musical improvisation
  • Musique concrète
  • Noise
  • Outsider music
  • PC Music
  • Industrial music
  • Progressive music
  • Psychedelic music
  • Underground music




Easy listening


Contemporary folk

Hip hop



R&B and soul







North American

Eastern Europe


Middle Eastern

  • Arabic music
    • Arabic pop music
  • Fann at-Tanbura
  • Fijiri
  • Khaliji
  • Liwa
  • Sawt

Caribbean and Caribbean-influenced



  • Buddhist music
  • Christian music
    • Church music
    • Spirituals
    • Gregorian chant
  • Islamic music
  • Hymn
  • Liturgical music

Traditional folk

  • Latin folk
    • Fado
    • Huayno
    • Son mexicano
    • Música criolla


  • Children's music
  • Dance music
  • 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.
  • Yodeling

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.

See also

  • 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.

External links

  • The genealogy and history of popular music genres
  • Genres of popular music - Interactive relationships diagram

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: List of music genres and styles by Wikipedia (Historical)