Musical Genres

Music genres are a “music academic classification” according to certain aspects. The instrumentation and function of these works is valued. Later, criteria such as cultural characteristics, historical-geographical context or style are incorporated.

The classification divides the types of music, among other factors, according to instrumentation in vocal or instrumental music and according to the purpose of the work: religious, profane, dramatic music…

Classification criteria types of music (musical genres)

The industrialization of music in the 20th century classifies more deeply, elaborating the current genres. The classification is based on a duality:

  • classical music
  • or modern.

Within this branch another one is added:

  • cultured music
  • or traditional, depending on the mode of transmission, in written or oral form.

Another classification refers to the origin of music:

  • electronic
  • or instrumental.

Currently, these classifications have evolved towards a categorization by musical styles. The genres have some diffuse frontiers, although it is possible to elaborate a list of common aspects that categorize the different styles of music

Musical genres (types of music)

This classification is a first approach. Current music is a symbiosis of all these styles, normally having aspects of several genres.


Bachata is a dance music genre that originated in the Dominican Republic, and is derived from other styles such as bolero or merengue. The bachata musical style comes from the urban fringe of Santo Domingo, where it was disdained as music for the poor classes. The most commonly used instruments of bachata are the bongo, trumpet, guitar or maracas.


The ballads form a musical style whose origin is the decade of the 20’s of the last century, being the European immigrants to the United States their creators. A ballad is the result of mixing the bolero, with others like soul, pop or tango. The musical style ballads became very popular in Latin America and reached the general public thanks to the above-mentioned genres.


The meaning of this word, in English besides referring to the color blue, also indicates sadness or melancholy. This musical style has its origin in the black musicians of the United States who came from Africa.


The bolero music, the Latin bolero, dates from the 19th century and its origin is in Cuba. It follows a 4/4 measure that differs from the Spanish bolero, a dance born in the previous century whose rhythmic cell is 3/4. It is a type of music that stands out for its classic accompaniment of guitars and percussion.

Bosa Nova

The bossa nova belongs to the Brazilian popular music, it is derived from the samba and has an important influence from jazz. The fundamental instrument of this musical genre is the acoustic guitar with nylon strings, played with fingers without plectrums. The piano is also commonly used.


Celtic music is a musical genre that encompasses numerous registers. It is a type of music with a folkloric root and a common ethnological origin. You should know that the basic instruments used are the bagpipe, violin, bombarda, harp, bodhrán, tin whistle, low whistle, and flute.


The origins of classical or academic music go back to the 11th century. However, you should know that the period of greatest production is between 1550 and 1900. This musical genre is defined as a cultured style and differs from popular music in that it does not allow for improvisation. The piano, organ, harpsichord or violin are part of its main instrumentation.


The country music was a type of music that began to be forged at the beginning of the 20th century in North America (United States and Canada) and also in Australia. It was the origin of many other later musical styles. Although to interpret country music you can use many instruments, the most representative are the string instruments such as acoustic guitars, bass, violin, banjo or harmonica.


This music is completely generated in a virtual way, being developed since the 80’s in Germany, quickly taking over the world scene until today, where it is one of the predominant genres.

Electro Pop

Electropop, also known today as electronic pop, arises from the union of a typical pop base with elements related to electronics, achieving a more futuristic and synthetic style. Electropop songs are mainly characterized by their robotic sound. It emerged in the 70s with the aim of innovating in pop music, being Visage the maximum exponent of electropop at that time.


The funk or funky music is a type of music whose origin dates from the seventies. African-American musicians fused styles such as jazz, soul or other Latin to create this musical genre in which much more prominence is given to the rhythm (drums and electric bass) than to the melody.

Garage Rock

Garage rock is a type of music that, according to many theories, emerged in the 1960s in the United States. It originates as a movement by which some young musicians want to emulate their rock and roll references but with a more aggressive style of their own, with a simpler and rawer way.

Heavy Metal

It is a style that has its origin in a youth movement as being against the social and educational systems. It predominates the use of distortion in the electric guitars, a strong rhythmic base marked by the electric bass and drums, as well as the use of falsetto in the vocalists.


The same name you say, pop is popular music. It is a musical genre that also encompasses a lot of different styles and can be fused with many influences to achieve new styles quite refreshing and innovative. The structure of the compositions is what classifies this genre. It is eminently vocal and intended for the general public of mass society.


This genre emerged as a social movement of expression of oppressed classes such as African Americans and Latinos living in the United States, more specifically in New York City’s neighborhoods. It mixes elements of hip-hop with rather combative lyrics and singing.

Rap Rock

Rap rock is characterized by joining elements of hip-hop, mainly rapping, with various elements of rock, highlighting the samples of electric guitars and rock songs from other groups. The fusion of rap with different rock styles has given rise to sub-genres of rap rock such as rap metal or rapcore.