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How Many Musical Genres Are There?

How Many Musical Genres Are There?

“How many musical genres are there?” This is an age-old question which may still evoke some confusion in today’s world. With the huge number of ways we listen to music, it’s no longer enough to ask ourselves “What are my favorite four chords?” Anymore.

Nowadays, it seems that anything that comes from the mouth of a musician can be called a ‘genre.’ We even have whole categories of these as outlined by the National Audio Society (ANS). They range from contemporary and mainstream to’UFO’ and so on. So which musical genres are the most popular?


Top-ranking hits in the last decade or so include hits from the Beatles, David Bowie, Oasis, Nirvana, Radiohead, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. These artists all have something in common: they’re all known as rock and roll’men. That means that unlike other genres, they’ve managed to capture the imagination of music fans everywhere, regardless of age, race, or background. And they’ve done it with songs that people of all ages can enjoy – which makes them the most successful, in terms of sheer numbers, among any type of music that has ever been made.


The reason rock remains such a large genre is because there are simply so many ways you can play it. Rock songs are versatile and are often used in dance music, on stage, in videos, in movies, on television, in commercials… you get the idea. The great thing about it is that no matter where you play it, you’re never going to run out of options if you’re a fan of rock.


But how many kinds of rock have there been? Well, before we answer that question, let’s take a look at some other genres that predate rock and roll. Do you know how many of those genres existed? Probably not. But they all came about in the 20th century, and all have come to shape and define much of the music that we listen to today.

Rock covers a lot of musical genres, but some of the first rock songs to hit the radio were penned by someone who didn’t even know what rock was. That artist was Merle Shea. He wrote for a number of country and western singers, but his biggest hit was with the group Little River Band. They covered hits by everyone from Elvis to Chuck Berry. Their songs are some of the most recognizable in the history of rock and roll.


The guys who wrote “Walk The Line” took their love of rock and country music and blended both of them into their masterpiece “Hells Back In Hell.” It is probably the single most famous song in rock history. Other songs that belong in this band’s repertoire include “Dirty Laundry,” “Tainted Love,” “Hound Dog” and “I’m A Bronco.” Some other great bands that came before “The Beatles” were Black Sabbath, Queen, Cream, and The Yardbirds. The list could go on.

So the answer to the original question is… how many musical genres can you name? It could be a lot, or it could be just a few. Whichever group you choose, you’ll be able to tell your friends that you were part of something special when you were young. And if you ever need to redo your song lyrics to fit a different genre, you won’t have to worry about how many words are allowed. Just keep changing the words around.


How many musical genres are there? Luckily, if you were a kid in the eighties, you would never have to ask this question. But for the rest of us, the answer is… we don’t know.


There are plenty of music genres out there, so don’t feel like you have to stick to the tried and true favorites. Choose something you’ve always liked and explore it further. If you’re not into country music, maybe you’ll have an interest in pop music instead. Just take it in stride and don’t be afraid to explore your inner feelings about what you like.

There are certainly more than enough types of music out there that you will never run out of options. Remember to stay honest with yourself about your musical tastes. Who knows, you just might end up the next big thing! !

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