Types of Genres in Music With Examples

Types of Genres in Music

There are numerous ways to categorize music into different genres. These classifications are frequently subjective and controversial, and some may overlap. Also, there are many types of genres in music existing in the world today.

From the rhythms of dance music to the soul-stirring melodies of classical music, each genre offers a distinct sound journey that resonates with various emotions and experiences.

Let’s look at the types of genres in music with examples. Continue reading to learn more!

What Does Music Genre Mean?

A music genre is a type of music that has common characteristics, themes, and musical elements. Genres allow listeners, musicians, and the music industry to navigate the vast and diverse world of musical expression by classifying and categorising music based on shared characteristics.

Each genre has its distinctive sound, instrumentation, rhythms, and, in many cases, cultural or historical associations.

How Many Types of Genres of Music Are There?

Due to the vast diversity of musical styles and the industry’s constant evolution, categorising music into distinct genres is a complex and subjective task. There is no fixed number of music genres because new styles always emerge, and existing genres frequently give rise to subgenres.

The music industry’s dynamic nature guarantees that new genres and subgenres will continue to emerge, reflecting evolving artistic expressions and cultural influences.

10 Popular Types of Genres in Music With Examples

1. Heavy Metal 

Heavy metal music, or “metal,” is rock music that employs more serious guitar and drum sounds. Typically, the vocalist is more aggressive, yelling and screaming into the microphone rather than singing.

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Metallica, Korn, Disturbed, and Avenged Sevenfold are examples of bands that use the genre name to promote a more aggressive musical style to reach a wider audience.

An example of a more popular heavy metal music song is “Chop Suey!” by System of a Down, where you hear more of the aggressive tone and vocal timbre.

2. Jazz Music

Jazz music has generated numerous musical subgenres, including swing or big band, funk music, and R&B. It was formed in the 20th century.

The purest form of jazz sets itself apart with several key elements: complex piano chord progressions, sophisticated harmonies, and above all, improvised playing and singing.

Many jazz bands feature piano, bass, drums, and a few horns. At times, jazz bands will include the violin or guitar.

The fantastic ability to be innovative and creative with improvising (free jazz) on stage is one of today’s standout jazz influences.

3. Rhythm and Blues (R&B Music)

Rhythm and Blues is a type of music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s (early 20th centuries). R&B incorporates elements from various genres such as rap music or hip-hop, funk, jazz, and doo-wop. It also includes pop and rock elements.

It has a sound recognized by well-known African-American musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and Ray Charles. Artists like Little Richard and James Brown elevated the R&B sound by incorporating a rock element.

4. Hip Hop

Most people associate hip-hop with rap music, but hip-hop is much more. It’s frequently classified because it has a strong back “beat,” usually performed in a loop.

Some artists, like the Beastie Boys, prefer to create beats or use their instruments. Other characteristics include rhythmic chanting and rhyming.

Early hip-hop artists included Jurassic Five and A Tribe Called Quest, but the music style evolved into rap with famous hip-hop musicians such as Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eminem.

The song “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg, featuring Pharrell Williams, is an excellent example of a more modern-day hip-hop vibe.

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5. Classical Music

Emerging from the European tradition between 1750 and 1830, classical music features complex harmonies and melodies. Typically performed by a full orchestra, this style is often referred to as “symphonic

Many pianists or pianists learn classical-style songs. It has a distinct style that distinguishes it from folk and jazz music. Film scores have a more modern sound that is similar to classical-style music.

Ludwig van Beethoven, J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and Juan Strauss II are among the most famous classical musicians. “Spring” by Antonio Vivaldi, part of an epic concerto titled “The Four Seasons,” is an example of classical-style music still heard today.

6. Folk Music 

Folk songs are distinguished by the distinctive sound of strummed or picked guitars.

Today, it is more commonly referred to as coffeehouse music or indie rock. It has acoustic elements and is influenced by bluegrass at its core. To be more specific, it is a subgenre of rock music and country music.

Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger, and Simon & Garfunkel are well-known folk and traditional music artists. For example, Bob Dylan’s song “Like a Rolling Stone” is a good example of folk music.

7. Electronic Dance Music (EDM)

The electronic dance genre appears to be a new style, but it has existed since the 1970s disco music era and it is mostly played in the United States. EDM music is also known as “club music,” heavy beat machines or double beats distinguish it. Techno, trap, and house are subgenres of electronic dance music.

Electronic dance music musicians such as DJ Snake, David Guetta, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, and Tiesto are now more well-known. “Levels” by Avicii is an excellent example of an electronic musical form heard in the EDM genre.

8. Pop Music

People have always thought of pop music as more “bubblegum” pop than what it stands for, popular music. By that definition, pop music can be any musical genre, from punk rock to classical.

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Pop music has evolved; in the 1960s, it was more rock-oriented. Wave, synthpop, and hair metal (power ballads) were popular styles in the 1970s and 1980s.

Elton John, Nirvana, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, Mariah Carey, and today’s new age artists like Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Post Malone are among the genre’s most famous artists.

9. Rock and Roll & Alternative Rock

Rock isn’t just popular music, though “pop” literally means “popular.” Unlike pop music, rock music often features driving beats and a wider range of instruments, like drums, bass, and electric guitars. Other instruments used in rock include keyboards and horns.

The sound of rock music has evolved. The Beatles, Queen, and Led Zeppelin were early rock bands that used simple chord progressions with a distinct structure.

Rock has guitar riffs or solos and versatile singers, and it is constantly begging to be more creative in its delivery. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns and Roses is an example of a timeless rock song, with an opening guitar solo and some innovative singing by Axel Rose.

10. Country Music

The country music genre distinguishes itself by having a distinct “twang” to its singing and instrumental delivery. The music is upbeat and catchy and more prevalent in the South. Country music is often associated with cowboy boots and two-step or line dancing.

Hank Williams, the late Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and Johnny Cash are well-known country music artists. Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and Blake Shelton are examples of contemporary country music stars.

Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line,” written for his first wife, is an excellent example of the twangy guitar sound and voice.


What are the four main music genres?

Classical, Folk, Pop, and Rock music.

Why is music categorized into genres?

To help us organize a large mass of music so that it’s easier to locate and identify music we don’t know.

What genre is 7 years?

7 Years by Lukas Graham is most commonly classified as pop music.


Music’s various genres vividly depict human creativity and cultural expression. From classical compositions to punk rock’s spirit, each genre provides a unique lens through which we can experience and appreciate the beauty of sound.

This is a small sample of the vast and vibrant world of music genres. Each genre has a rich history, subgenres, and iconic artists just waiting to be discovered.

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