What are the main music genres?
Music. A most ubiquitous word—one that encompasses everything from Mozart to DaBaby to the 16-year-old kid with GarageBand and a newly established SoundCloud account. Although widely disputed and often with unclear boundaries, music genres are our best attempt at defining music. There are thousands of genres, subgenres, and microgenres. Some, we recognize immediately, like country or hip hop. Others take a more trained, esoteric-leaning ear to pick out, like Brega Funk or Russian Drill. Outside of the thousands of music genres that exist, there are many that the average music listener could pick out. These typically include country, rock music, hip hop, pop, jazz, classical, electronic dance music (also known as EDM), folk, R&B, Latin, reggae, punk, and many, many more. Although many music purists dislike the classification of music into genres, there are many benefits to this system of ostensibly random groupings. There is so much music available out in the world, and more music is released daily. One can easily overwhelm when deciding what to listen to or what to like. Separating music into categories allows for better organization of playlists, thoughts, and music journalism. On this note, it is essential not to stick to listening to one genre, even if you know you already like it. There are literally hundreds to explore! Suppose you’re curious about all the genres of music. In that case, you can head over to Every Noise At Once, a website that serves as “an ongoing attempt” to organize every genre of music on Spotify (as of right now, there are over 5,000 genres!).
A genre of popular music that originated in the 1950s and features electric guitars, drums, and a strong emphasis on melody and rhythm.
A genre of popular music that originated in the 1950s and typically features catchy, upbeat melodies and lyrics that are easy to sing along with.
A genre of music that originated in the 1970s and features rapping, beats, and electronic instrumentation.
A genre of music that originated in the southern United States and features acoustic guitars, fiddles, and lyrics about rural life and traditional values.
A genre of music that originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and features improvisation, syncopation, and complex harmonic structures.
A genre of music that originated in Europe in the 18th century and features orchestral instruments, complex compositions, and a focus on form and structure.
A genre of music that relies heavily on electronic instruments, such as synthesizers and drum machines, and often features repetitive beats and samples from other songs.
Short for rhythm and blues, this genre originated in the 1940s and features a blend of African American musical styles, including blues, jazz, and gospel. It often includes soulful vocals and a strong emphasis on rhythm.
A genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and features a distinctive rhythm and bassline. It often includes lyrics about social and political issues, as well as references to Rastafarian culture.
A genre of music that originated in the 1960s and features heavily distorted guitars, fast tempos, and aggressive vocals. It encompasses a wide range of subgenres, including heavy metal, thrash metal, and death metal.
A genre of music that features acoustic instruments, such as guitars, banjos, and fiddles, and often includes lyrics about traditional and historical events. It encompasses a wide range of subgenres, including traditional folk music and contemporary folk music.
A genre of music that originated in the United States in the early 20th century and features a distinctive 12-bar chord progression and lyrics that often express feelings of sadness or loss. It has influenced many other genres of music, including rock and roll and R&B.
What are the top five genres of music?
There is an abundance of genres, and there is an abundance of listeners. Naturally, some genres gain more traction over time compared to others. For example, avant-garde art house, although it may be a quality genre, will not reach a vast audience; and even if it does, it most likely won’t stick. Comparatively, most people are familiar with EDM, which does not take a musically trained ear to enjoy. What are the top five music genres? In this case,” top,” meaning “most popular,” is widely disputed. However, our best guesses are the following: pop music, hip hop, rock, electronic, and country.
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in the 1950s and typically features catchy, upbeat melodies and lyrics that are easy to sing along with. Some of the defining characteristics of pop music include:
- Catchy melodies and memorable hooks
- Emphasis on the chorus
- Simple and repetitive lyrics
- Use of electronic instruments and production techniques
Pop music has evolved over the years and encompasses a wide range of styles, from bubblegum pop to electro-pop. Some of the most popular pop artists of all time include Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé.
Hip hop is a genre of music that originated in the South Bronx in the 1970s and features rapping, beats, and electronic instrumentation. It has since become a global phenomenon and has influenced many other genres of music. Some of the key characteristics of hip hop include:
- Use of spoken word poetry and rap vocals
- Sampling of other songs and sounds
- Emphasis on rhythm and beats
- Often includes lyrics about social and political issues
Hip hop has spawned many subgenres, including gangsta rap, conscious hip hop, and trap music. Some of the most popular hip hop artists of all time include Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, and Eminem.
Rock music is a genre of popular music that originated in the 1950s and features electric guitars, drums, and a strong emphasis on melody and rhythm. Some of the defining characteristics of rock music include:
- Use of distorted guitars and other effects
- Strong emphasis on rhythm and percussion
- Often includes lyrics about rebellion, love, and other universal themes
- Influenced by blues, country, and other genres of music
Rock music has evolved over the years and encompasses a wide range of styles, from classic rock to alternative rock. Some of the most popular rock bands of all time include The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Nirvana.
Electronic music is a genre of music that relies heavily on electronic instruments, such as synthesizers and drum machines, and often features repetitive beats and samples from other songs. Some of the defining characteristics of electronic music include:
- Use of synthesizers and other electronic instruments
- Emphasis on rhythm and beats
- Often includes samples from other songs or sounds
- Has influenced many other genres of music, including pop and hip hop
Electronic music encompasses a wide range of styles, from ambient to techno. Some of the most popular electronic artists of all time include Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, and Aphex Twin.
Country music is a genre of music that originated in the southern United States and features acoustic guitars, fiddles, and lyrics about rural life and traditional values. Some of the defining characteristics of country music include:
- Use of acoustic instruments, such as guitars and banjos
- Often includes lyrics about love, heartbreak, and other universal themes
- Has strong roots in folk and blues music
- Often associated with cowboy culture and the American West
Country music has evolved over the years and encompasses a wide range of styles, from traditional country to modern country-pop. Some of the most popular country artists of all time include Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Garth Brooks.
How to pick the best music genre for your business?
An interesting fact about music genres is that most of them typically have a dedicated fanbase. These often are all very similar types of people with similar interests and ideologies. When you know your audience and your target market, picking up the right soundtrack for your business will be easier and help grow brand recognition. It is, however, essential to align the music with the vibe of your business. If your business is a retail store with high-end products and your audience is both young and old, playing a Hip-Hop and Oldies mix will not be the right choice. The music should be sophisticated yet appealing to both generations.
First, ask yourself what your customers are there to do? What service are you providing? Are they coming to read or to have a conversation with friends? Are they going to spend a lot of money on clothes or furniture? Start with these questions, and Jukeboxy can help you with the rest. You can always consult with one of our music design team members to fine-tune your business’s soundtrack. Remember; the right background music at your business can lead to increased sales and brand recognition.
Here are some examples of business types and ideas for respective playlists if you are still having difficulty narrowing down what to play at your business.
What to play at coffee shops?
Coffee shops are a part of the daily lives of many people. Whether they are in and out for their morning coffee or linger for hours, working on their laptops, consumers are looking for coffee shops to fit their criteria.
For many, this criteria includes music that fits “the vibe.” If you run a warm and cozy coffee shop with brown couches and vintage picture frames on the walls, you want to pick a genre or two that will match that softness.
Indie folk, chillwave, and jazz all perfectly go along with that kind of ambiance. Popular indie-folk artists include Bon Iver, The Head and The Heart, Edward Sharpe, and the Magnetic Zeros. If you want to go with the electronic chillwave route, some good artists to start with are Tame Impala, M83, and MGMT. Finally, some classic jazz artists are John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong.
Bonus: Get 14 days FREE trial of Music for Coffee Shops, Click here
Music Type for Healthcare
When people go to the hospital, pharmacy, or emergency room, it’s pretty safe to say that they are not in their best mood. Knowing this, picking the music to play at these healthcare establishments is very important as the wrong music genre could quickly worsen someone’s mood or anxiety.
Some genres that most people find easy to listen to are 70s folk-rock like Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, or Simon & Garfunkel. Most of these genres are lowkey yet upbeat—the perfect mood for healthcare businesses.
Like coffeeshops, you might want something that sounds warm and inviting to help relax patients.
Music Type for High-end fashion stores
In regard to retail businesses, you want to play something that will give the guest enough energy to sort through all your racks and put them in a good enough mood to make that impulsive $400 purchase.
For high-end fashion stores, you’ll want genres with a little more sophisticated energy, like electronic music or disco. However, when it comes to electronic music, you don’t want to make your establishment a rave; you also don’t want to put your clientele to sleep with ambient music. Try artists like Kelly Lee Owens, Four Tet, and Tirzah for music that makes you want to dance without distracting from the clothing.
If you want a genre with more vocals, disco is always a great option. Artists like Prince, Sylvester, and even legendary high fashion model Grace Jones all have music that fits every mood.
Music Types for Hotels
When selecting music for hotels, there are a variety of music types that can be considered. The right type of music can create the perfect atmosphere for guests, making them feel relaxed and comfortable during their stay.
One popular type of music for hotels is instrumental music. This type of music is often used in lobbies, elevators, and other common areas, as it can create a calm and relaxing atmosphere without being distracting or overpowering. Instrumental music can include classical, jazz, or even new age music.
Another type of music that can be considered for hotels is ambient music. This type of music is often used in spas and wellness centers, as it can create a soothing and peaceful atmosphere. Ambient music can include natural sounds, such as waves or birdsong, or electronic sounds, such as drones or pads.
For hotels that cater to a younger audience or those looking for a more energetic atmosphere, pop music can be a great choice. Pop music is often upbeat and catchy, making it a good choice for restaurants, bars, and other social spaces.
For hotels with a more sophisticated vibe, jazz music can be a great choice. Jazz music is often associated with class and elegance, making it a good choice for high-end restaurants or lounges.
In addition to these music types, hotels can also consider using music from specific regions or cultures, such as traditional music from the country or region where the hotel is located. This can help to create a unique and authentic atmosphere for guests.
Ultimately, the choice of music type for hotels will depend on the type of hotel, the target audience, and the desired atmosphere. By carefully selecting the right type of music, hotels can create the perfect atmosphere for their guests, making their stay more enjoyable and comfortable.
Type of music for spa
When it comes to selecting music for spas, it’s important to choose music that is calming and soothing, and helps to create a relaxing atmosphere. The right music can help guests to unwind, de-stress, and fully immerse themselves in their spa experience.
One popular type of music for spas is ambient music. This type of music is often used to create a peaceful and calming atmosphere, and can include natural sounds such as water, birdsong, or wind chimes, or electronic sounds such as drones or pads. Ambient music can help to create a sense of tranquility and relaxation, making it a popular choice for many spas.
Another type of music that can be considered for spas is classical music. Classical music has been found to have a calming effect on the mind and body, and can help to reduce stress and anxiety. The slower tempo and gentle melodies of classical music can help to create a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making it a great choice for spas.
For spas that want to create a more modern or contemporary atmosphere, new age music can be a good choice. This type of music often combines elements of ambient and classical music with modern instrumentation, creating a unique and relaxing sound that is perfect for a spa environment.
In addition to these music types, spas can also consider using music that incorporates sounds of nature, such as birdsong or ocean waves. This can help to create a connection to the natural world, and promote a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
Ultimately, the choice of music for spas will depend on the specific atmosphere that the spa wants to create, as well as the preferences of the spa’s clientele. By selecting the right type of music, spas can create a peaceful and relaxing environment that helps guests to unwind and fully enjoy their spa experience.
No matter what type of business you are trying to find music for, Jukeboxy can help. It is essential to get to know the genres to keep your clientele engaged and keep you from listening to the same old thing over and over again. Happy music hunting!