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Genres of Music

Last updated on the 29th September, 2014


Even if you’re not a musician, you always hear about musical genres from time to time. This is a list of some genres of music (and some terms that sometimes take the same names of the genres) and a little information about each one. This page just contains a few things you should know but there is a lot more and I would recommend for you to go deeper.


- Jazz

Originated in African – American communities

Originated during the late 19th to early 20th century

Originated in the 1890’s


- Folk

The term folk music was originated in the 19th century but applies to music much older than that

Folk music includes all traditional music

Traditional Folk Music has been defined by characteristic such as unknown authors, passed down by word of mouth, music performed as a custom for a long period time.


- Blues

Originated in African – American Communities

Characteristics include: blue notes, bass lines, lyrics

Originated around the end of the 19th century


- Classical

Classical Music is art music, not specifically a genre of a defined music.

Western Classical Music is rooted in the traditions of Western Culture

Classical Music is a lot of times used as a synonym for Western Art Music



- Rock steady

Originated in Jamaica around 1966

A successor to ska (a genre of music) and a precursor to reggae


- Reggae

Originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s

Its stylistic origins include rock steady and ska


- Soca

Originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1970s

Soca developed from the genres of Kaiso/Calypso, with influences from Funk and Soul


- Calypso

Originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-20th century

In Trinidad, it was the voice of the people, and was characterized by highly rhythmic and harmonic vocals, which was most often sung in a French creole (later changing to being sung in English)

Calypso played an important role in political expression, and also served to document the history of Trinidad and Tobago


- Rock and Roll

Originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s

It was originated primarily from a combination of African-American genres such as blues, jump blues, jazz, and gospel music together with Western swing and country music

Although elements of rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until the 1950s



- R&B (Rhythm and Blues)

Originated in the United States in the 1940s

Its stylistic origins include Blues, Jazz and Gospel



- Indie (both a genre and a term)

Indie is the shortened form of the actual term; Independent Music

Indie music is music produced independently from major commercial record labels or their subsidiaries

It is also used as a genre of music, for example; Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Indie Folk






All the information above was research not only from the listing of sites below, but in interviews, academic experiences (lectures, discussions, etc.).

- Although there has been a lot of controversy of the accuracy of the information on Wikipedia, my usage of this site has been very cautious, researched, followed through and also as a guideline.

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