Tech Task No. 6 Lesson Plan

Lesson on Some of the Popular Music Genres

Designed for Grades 9 and up


At the end of the lesson, the students will:

  • gain a better understanding of the different genres of music
  • classify songs/artists into popular music genres
  • critique the sample clips given on each genre (chart)
  • identify the varying styles of performances/artists and their tendency on getting classified in more than one genre
  • evaluate the effects of mixed genres on performances
  • show appreciation on variety of music genres


Listening to, analyzing, and describing music
Evaluating music and music performances


Computer connected to the internet, chart papers, markers, old newspapers, pens/pencils and writing paper and printed definitions of some of the popular music genres or click on the link

On-line Resources

Prior Knowledge:

  • Students have a basic understanding of the different genres of music


  1. Game: “I Know That Tune” – If the space allows, ask the students to form one straight line in front of the class facing the back wall. Different music/song will be played one at a time. The students will advance one step if they follow on singing the song or humming the tune or can say a bit of information about it. The first student to reach the back wall or a marked finish line wins the game. Music samples:
  2. Recap the game and introduce the lesson and its objectives. Put the students in small groups of 4-5 and give each one a chart paper and markers.  They will be given 5 minutes to brainstorm and create a web on how they understand the different kinds of music. They can also name artists and song titles to give examples.
  3. Each group will report on the result of their group discussion. All words (genres) that are common to the groups will be written on the board.
  4. Open the link of Popular Music Chart

Popular Music Chart





Rock and Roll

Traditional Pop


Traditional Jazz


Bubblegum Pop


R&B (Rhythm and Blues)






Adult Contemporary

Hip Hop



  1. Ask the students to give an example (artists/songs) in each of the categories. Write the students’ answers on the board.
  2. Open the link on the definitions of Some Popular Music Genres. Distribute hard copies of the definition or ask them to click on the link. Assign different genre to different groups and allow them to explore the definitions while looking for examples online.
  3. Unfold the examples as the whole group discusses each music genre. The students can critique and offer better examples. They can also add more sub-genres.

Popular Music Chart





Rock and Roll

Led Zeppelin

Stairway to Heaven

Traditional Pop

Judy Garland & Bing Crosby

You’re Just in Love


Reid Wilson & His So-Called Friends

Girls With Tattoos

Traditional Jazz

New Orleans Hall Jazz Band

Last Mile of the Way


America –

Sister Golden Hair

Bubblegum Pop

Sonny & Cher

It’s the Little Things


Bluegrass Country Music on SmithMountainLake

R&B (Rhythm and Blues)


Ray Charles

(Night time is) The Right Time



Smells Like Teen Spirit


Samba Do Brasil

Ey Macalena


John Denver

Take Me Home, Country Roads


The Benny Goodman Orchestra

Sing Sing Sing

(With a Swing)


Black Sabbath

Iron Man

Adult Contemporary

Bruno Mars

The Lazy Song

Hip Hop

CAUTION – uses inappropriate language



I Wanna Be Well



Cleaning Out My Closet 

(Take caution with the language/lyrics)













  1. Answer/Discuss the following:

Are the categories themselves completely clear?  Are there more subcategories even within each subcategory?

How does style of artists strengthens or weakens performance?

How do incorporating older performers and songs with the new popular talent of today affect the performance?

Was any artist a clear fit into one category only?  Which artists could belong in several categories?

Do you think an artist wants to fit clearly into one category?  Does bringing in elements of other categories help an artist to create a unique sound?

  1. Ask the class to continue to complete the chart, while listening to clips on YouTube of artists recommended by the students for specific categories.
  2. Project: The students will create their Personal Music Genres Fave Chart. It has to be an online page to be posted/linked on the class website (supposing there’s one). They are to link the titles and names of artists on their list and add references to give credit on the online resources they used.
  3. Discuss in class Basic Netiquette: How to give credit on sources used. The class may read together and discuss: How Not to Steal People’s Content on the Web by Corey Eridon


The students will present their project in class and will be evaluated using designed rubrics (self-assessment and teacher’s assessment). Other assessments will be used to evaluate understanding, participation, groupwork and end result.


Summarize the key ideas that were presented to the students and explain that music genres and classifications are dynamic and therefore evolving.

Some Popular Music Genres: Short Definitions and Links

Rock Music is a genre of popular music that originated as “rock and roll” in the United States in the 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States.[1][2][3] It has its roots in 1940s’ and 1950s’ rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazzclassical and other musical sources.

Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with bass guitar and drums. Typically, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature utilizing a verse-chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse and common musical characteristics are difficult to define. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political in emphasis. The dominance of rock by white, male musicians has been seen as one of the key factors shaping the themes explored in rock music. Rock places a higher degree of emphasis on musicianship, live performance, and an ideology of authenticity than pop music.

By the late 1960s, referred to as the “golden age”[1] or “classic rock”[2]period, a number of distinct rock music sub-genres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rockfolk rockcountry rock, and jazz-rock fusion, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock influenced by the counter-cultural psychedelic scene. New genres that emerged from this scene included progressive rock, which extended the artistic elements; glam rock, which highlighted showmanship and visual style; and the diverse and enduring major sub-genre of heavy metal, which emphasized volume, power, and speed. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock both intensified and reacted against some of these trends to produce a raw, energetic form of music characterized by overt political and social critiques. Punk was an influence into the 1980s on the subsequent development of other sub-genres, including New Wavepost-punk and eventually the alternative rock movement. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break through into the mainstream in the form of grungeBritpop, and indie rock. Further fusion sub-genres have since emerged, including pop punkrap rock, and rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock’s history, including the garage rock/post-punk and synth-pop revivals at the beginning of the new millennium.

Rock music has also embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major sub-cultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. Similarly, 1970s punk culture spawned the visually distinctive goth andemo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race, sex and drug use, and is often seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity.


Rock and Roll (often written as rock & roll or rock ‘n’ roll) is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s,[1][2] primarily from a combination of African-American genres such as bluesjump bluesjazz, and gospel music,[3] together with Western swing and country music.[4] Though elements of rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s[5] and in country records of the 1930s,[4] rock and roll did not acquire its name until the 1950s.[6][7]

The term “rock and roll” now has at least two different meanings, both in common usage: referring to the first wave of music that originated in the mid-1950s and later developed into the more encompassing international style known as “rock music“, and as a term simply synonymous with rock music in the broad sense.[8] For the purpose of differentiation, this article uses the first definition.

In the earliest rock and roll styles of the late 1940s and early 1950s, either the piano or saxophone was often the lead instrument, but these were generally replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late 1950s.[9] The beat is essentially a blues rhythm with an accentuated backbeat, the latter almost always provided by a snare drum.[10] Classic rock and roll is usually played with one or two electric guitars (one lead, one rhythm), a string bass or (after the mid-1950s) an electric bass guitar, and a drum kit.[9] Beyond simply a musical style, rock and roll, as seen in movies and on television, influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. It went on to spawn various sub-genres, often without the initially characteristic backbeat, that are now more commonly called simply “rock music” or “rock”.

 Classic rock is a radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format features music ranging generally from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, primarily focusing on hard rock popularized in the 1970s.[1] Although the format appeals mainly to adults, many classic rock acts consistently attract new generations of fans.[2][3] Some classic rock stations also play a limited number of current releases which are stylistically consistent with the station’s sound, or from established classic rock artists who still produce new albums.[2]

The classic rock format evolved from AOR radio stations that were attempting to appeal to an older audience by including familiar songs of the past with current hits.[4] In 1980, AOR radio station M105 in Cleveland, Ohio began billing itself as “Cleveland’s Classic Rock”, playing a mix of rock music from the mid-1960s to the present.[5] In 1982, radio consultant Lee Abrams developed the “Timeless Rock” format which combined contemporary AOR with hits from the 1960s and 1970s.[6]By 1986, the success of the format resulted in oldies accounting for 60–80% of the music played on album rock stations.[7] Although it began as a niche format spun off from AOR, by 2001 classic rock had surpassed album rock in market share nationally.[8]

KRBE-AM, Houston was another early classic rock radio station. In 1983 program director Paul Christy designed a format which played only early album rock, from the 1960s and early 1970s, without any current music or Top 40 material at all. KRBE was the first station to use the term “classic rock” on the air.[9] Classic rock soon became the widely used descriptor for the format, and became the commonly used term for early album rock music by the general public.

In 1995, the format’s widespread proliferation came on the heels of Jacobs Media’s (Fred Jacobs) success at WCXR, Washington, D.C., and Edinborough Rand’s (Gary Guthrie) success, at WZLX, Boston. Between Guthrie and Jacobs, they converted more than 40 major market radio stations to their individual brand of Classic Rock over the next several years.

Typically, classic rock stations play rock songs from the mid-1960s through the 1980s. Some of the songs overlap with those played on oldies stations, but classic rock also focuses on bands and artists that are less radio friendly and therefore are usually not played on oldies stations. Classic rock stations have historically been hesitant to add 1990s rock such as alternative rock and grunge to their playlists, due in part to the drastic difference in style, but (mirroring a similar trend in classic country, where a similar 1990-era divide also exists) a small number of classic rock stations began adding 1990s music in the early 2010s.[10] Unlike AOR radio stations, which played all tracks from albums, classic rock plays a much more limited playlist of charting singles and popular album tracks from artists and bands. The classic rock format is mainly tailored to the adult male demographic, primarily ages 25–34, but also has a significant base in the 18–24 and 35–44 year old demographics as well.


Heavy Metal (often referred to as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and in the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo.[3]

The first heavy metal bands such as Led ZeppelinDeep Purple and Black Sabbath attracted large audiences, though they were often derided by critics, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre’s evolution by discarding much of its blues influence;[4][5] Moorhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal such as Iron Maiden followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as “metal heads” or “head bangers“.

During the 1980s, glam metal became a commercial force with groups like Mötley Crüe and PoisonUnderground scenes produced an array of more extreme, aggressive styles: thrash metal broke into the mainstream with bands such as MetallicaMegadethSlayer, and Anthrax, while other styles of the most extreme subgenres of metal like death metal and black metal remain sub cultural phenomena. Since the mid-1990s, popular styles such as nu metal, which often incorporates elements of grunge and hip hop; and metal core, which blends extreme metal with hardcore punk, have further expanded the definition of the genre.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United StatesUnited Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as proto punk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produced recordings and distributed them through informal channels.

The term “punk” was first used in relation to rock music by some American critics in the early 1970s, to describe garage bands and their devotees. By late 1976, bands such as Television and the Ramones in New York City and the Sex Pistols and The Clash in London were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement. The following year saw punk rock spreading around the world, and it became a major cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom. For the most part, punk took root in local scenes that tended to reject association with the mainstream. An associated punk subculture emerged, expressing youthful rebellion and characterized by distinctive styles of clothing and adornment and a variety of anti-authoritarian ideologies.

Alternative rock (also called alternative musicalt rock or simply alternative) is a genre of rock that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s. Although the term was most commonly associated in its commercial heyday with a loud, distorted guitar sound, its original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style, or simply the independent, D.I.Y. ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music.[2]At times, “alternative” has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, that is seen to be descended from punk rock (including some examples of punk itself, as well as new wave, and post-punk).

Alternative rock is a broad umbrella term consisting of music that differs greatly in terms of its sound, its social context, and its regional roots. By the end of the 1980s magazines and zinescollege radio airplay, and word of mouth had increased the prominence and highlighted the diversity of alternative rock, helping to define a number of distinct styles such as gothic rockjangle popnoise pop,C86Madchesterindustrial rock, and shoe gazing. Most of these subgenres had achieved minor mainstream notice and a few bands representing them, such as Hüsker Dü and R.E.M., had even signed to major labels. But most alternative bands’ commercial success was limited in comparison to other genres of rock and pop music at the time, and most acts remained signed to independent labels and received relatively little attention from mainstream radio, television, or newspapers. With the breakthrough of Nirvana and the popularity of the grunge and Britpop movements in the 1990s, alternative rock entered the musical mainstream and many alternative bands became commercially successful.


Pop Music (a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of “popular”) is a genre of popular music which originated in its modern form in the 1950s, deriving from rock and roll.[1] The terms popular music and pop music are often used interchangeably, even though the former is a description of music which is popular (and can include any style).[1]

As a genre, pop music is very eclectic, often borrowing elements from other styles including urban, dancerockLatin and country;[1]nonetheless, there are core elements which define pop. Such include generally short-to-medium length songs, written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), as well as the common employment of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and catchy hooks.[1]

So-called “pure pop” music, such as power pop, features all these elements, using electric guitars, drums and bass for instrumentation;[1] in the case of such music, the main goal is usually that of being pleasurable to listen to, rather than having much artistic depth.[1] Pop music is generally thought of as a genre which is commercially recorded and desires to have a mass audience appeal.[1]


Bubblegum pop (also known as bubblegum rockbubblegum music, or simply bubblegum) is a genre of pop music with an upbeat sound contrived and marketed to appeal to pre-teens and teenagers, that may be produced in an assembly-line process, driven by producers and often using unknown singers. Bubblegum’s classic period ran from 1967 to 1972.[1] A second wave of bubblegum started two years later and ran until 1977 when disco took over and punk rock emerged.

The genre was predominantly a singles phenomenon rather than an album-oriented one, the presumption being that teenagers and pre-teens had less money to spend on records and were thus more likely to buy singles than albums. Also, because many acts were manufactured in the studio using session musicians, a large number of bubblegum songs were by one-hit wonders. Among the best-known acts of bubblegum’s golden era are 1910 Fruitgum CompanyThe Ohio Express and The Archies,[2] an animated group which had the most successful bubblegum song with “Sugar, Sugar“, Billboard Magazine’s No. 1 single for 1969. Singer Tommy Roe, arguably, had the most bubblegum hits of any artist during this period, notably 1969’s “Dizzy


Traditional Pop (also classic pop or pop standards) music consists of Western (and particularly American)popular music that generally predates the advent of rock and rollin the mid-1950s.


Traditional/classic pop music is generally regarded as having existed between the mid-1940s and mid-1950s. All music defines traditional pop as “post-big band and pre-rock & roll pop music.” This definition is disputed by many scholars, however, as many of the most enduring and popular standards predate World War II, as for example most of the work of Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin — and in some cases, as with Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern, even World War I. The most popular and enduring songs from this style of music are known as pop standards or (where relevant) American standards. More generally, the term “standard” can be applied to any popular song that has become very widely known within mainstream culture.

Traditional pop music is often regarded as having enduring appeal, possessing certain ineffable qualities, including but not limited to an ease and memorability of melody, as well as wit and charm of lyric. The greatest of the classic pop songwriters achieved this with regularity. Many, if not most, of these songs and songwriters are part of the Great American Songbook. Classic pop embraces the song output of the BroadwayTin Pan Alley, and Hollywood show tune writers from approximately World War I to the 1950s, such as Irving BerlinVictor HerbertHarry WarrenHarold ArlenJerome KernGeorge Gershwin and Ira GershwinRichard RodgersLorenz HartOscar Hammerstein, Johnny MercerDorothy FieldsHoagy CarmichaelCole Porter and a host of others. The works of these songwriters and composers are usually considered part of the canon known as the “Great American Songbook“.

The Swing Era is often regarded as the most influential precursor to traditional pop music because it contributed greatly to the nationwide popularity of classic American “pop standards.”

Following the swing era, many of the bands and vocalists became part of the period’s popular music. Two notable differences were the addition of string sections to many of these orchestras and more emphasis on the vocal performance. The addition of lush strings can be heard in much of the popular music throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Popular singers during this period include a young Frank Sinatra, Bing CrosbyDinah ShoreJo StaffordPerry ComoPatti Page, etc.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, rock became a very prominent musical style. However, pop singers whom had been popular during the swing era or traditional pop music period were still big stars (i.e. Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, and DinahShore).

Some of these vocalists faded with traditional pop music, while many vocalists became involved in 1960s’ vocal jazz and the rebirth of “swing music”; the swing music of the 1960s is sometimes referred to as easy listening and was, in essence, a rebirth of the swing music that had been popular during the swing era, however with more emphasis on the vocalist. Like the Swing Era, it too featured many songs of the Great American Songbook. Much of this music was made popular by Nelson Riddle, and television friendly singers like Rosemary Clooney,Dean Martin, and the cast of Your Hit Parade. Many artists made their mark with pop standards, particularly vocal jazz and pop singers like Ella FitzgeraldBillie HolidayFrank SinatraDoris DayFrankie LaineNat King Cole (originally known for his jazz piano virtuosity), Lena HorneTony BennettVic DamoneJohnny MathisBobby DarinBarbra StreisandPeggy LeeSammy Davis, Jr.Mel TorméSarah VaughanEydie GorméAndy WilliamsNancy WilsonJack JonesRita ReysSteve Lawrence and Cleo Laine.

It is also worth noting that in addition to the vocal jazz and/or 1960s swing music, many of these singers were involved in “less swinging,” more traditional, vocal pop music during this period as well, namely Sinatra and Cole.

Dance Music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are live dance music and recorded dance music.

Folk dance music is music accompanying traditional dance and may be contrasted with historical/classical and popular/commercial dance music. An example of folk dance music in the United States is the old-time music played at square dances and contra dances. Brazilian dance music includes Samba, Pagode and Forró.

While there exist attestations of the combination of dance and music in ancient times (for example Ancient Greek vases sometimes show dancers accompanied by musicians), the earliest Western dance music that we can still play with a degree of certainty are the surviving medieval dances such as carols and the Estampie. The earliest of these surviving dances are almost as old as Western staff-based music notation. The Renaissance dance music was written for instruments such as the luteviol, taborpipe, and the sackbut.

In the Baroque period, the major dance styles were noble court dances (see Baroque dance). Examples of dances include the French courantesarabande minuet and gigue. Collections of dances were often collected together as dance suites.

In the Classical music era, the minuet was frequently used as a third movement in four-movement non-vocal works such as sonatasstring quartets, and symphonies, although in this context it would not accompany any dancing. The waltz also arose later in the Classical era, as the minuet evolved into the scherzo(literally, “joke”; a faster-paced minuet).

Both remained part of the Romantic music period, which also saw the rise of various other nationalistic dance forms like the barcarollemazurka, and polonaise. Also in the Romantic music era, the growth and development of ballet extended the composition of dance music to a new height. Frequently dance music was a part of Opera. Modern popular dance music initially emerged from late 19th century’s Western ballroom and social dance music.

By genre

Dance music works often bear the name of the corresponding dance, e.g. waltzes, the tango, the bolero, the can-canminuetssalsa, various kinds of jigs and the breakdown. Other dance forms include contradance, the merengue (Dominican Republic), and the cha-cha-cha. Often it is difficult to know whether the name of the music came first or the name of the dance.

Ballads are commonly chosen for slow-dance routines. However ballads have been commonly deemed as the opposite of dance music in terms of their tempo. Originally, the ballad was a type of dance as well (hence the name “ballad,” from the same root as “ballroom” and “ballet“). Ballads are still danced on the Faeroe Islands.

Adult contemporary music (AC) is a style of music, ranging from 1960svocal and 1970s soft rock music[2] to predominantly ballad-heavy music of the present day, with varying degrees of easy listeningsoulrhythm and blues, and rock influence.[3][4][5] Adult contemporary is rather a continuation of the easy listening and soft rock style that became popular in the 1960s and 1970s with some adjustments that reflect the evolution of pop/rock music.[6]

Adult contemporary tends to have lush, soothing and highly polished qualities where emphasis on melody and harmonies is accentuated. It is usually melodic enough to get a listener’s attention, and is inoffensive and pleasurable enough to work well as background music. Like most of pop music, its songs tend to be written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), as well as the common employment of repeated choruses.[7]

Adult contemporary is heavy on romantic ballads which mostly use acoustic instruments (though bass guitar is usually used) such as acoustic guitarspianos, saxophones, and sometimes an orchestral set. The electric guitars are normally faint and high-pitched. However, recent adult contemporary music may usually feature synthesizers (and other electronics, such as drum machines).[8]

AC radio may play mainstream music, but they will exclude hip hopdance trackshard rock and some forms of teen pop, as they are less popular amongst the target demographic of these radio stations, which is intended for an adult audience. The AC Radio stations will often target the 25–44 age groups [9] and also the demographic that has received the most attention from advertisers since the 1960s. Many adult contemporary stations play less newer music because they also give ample airtime to hits of the past, so the de-emphasis on new songs slows the progression of the AC chart.[10]

Over the years, AC has spawned numerous sub-genres: “hot AC“, “soft AC” (also known as “lite AC”), “urban AC“, “rhythmic AC“, and “Christian AC” (i.e., a softer type of Contemporary Christian music). Some radio stations play only “hot AC”, “soft AC”, or only one of the varieties of sub-genres. Therefore, it is not usually considered a specific genre of music; it is merely an assemblage of selected tracks from musicians of many different genres.

Country Music is a genre of American popular music that originated in the rural regions of the Southern United States in the 1920s.[1] It takes its roots from southeastern American folk music and Western musicBlues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history.[2]Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitarsfiddles, and harmonicas.[3] [4] [5]

The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. In 2009 country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute in the United States

Bluegrass Music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of Appalachia.[1] It has mixed roots in ScottishWelshIrish and English[2]traditional music, and also later influenced by the music of African-Americans[3] through incorporation of jazz elements.

Immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland arrived in Appalachia in the 18th century, and brought with them the musical traditions of their homelands. These traditions consisted primarily of English and Scottish ballads—which were essentially unaccompanied narrative—and dance music, such as Irishreels, which were accompanied by a fiddle.[4] Many older Bluegrass songs come directly from the British Isles. Several Appalachian Bluegrass ballads, such as Pretty SaroBarbara AllenCuckoo Bird and House Carpenter, come from England and preserve the English ballad tradition both melodically and lyrically.[5] Others, such as The Twa Sisters, also come from England; however, the lyrics are about Ireland.[6] Some Bluegrass fiddle songs popular in Appalachia, such as “Leather Britches”, and “Pretty Polly“, have Scottish roots.[7] The dance tune Cumberland Gap may be derived from the tune that accompanies the Scottish ballad Bonnie George Campbell.[8] Other songs have different names in different places; for instance in England there is an old ballad known as “A Brisk Young Sailor Courted Me“, but exactly the same song in North American Bluegrass is known as “I Wish My Baby Was Born”.[9]

In Bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment; this is especially typified in tunes called breakdowns. This is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Breakdowns are often characterized by rapid tempos and unusual instrumental dexterity and sometimes by complex chord changes.

Bluegrass music has attracted a diverse following worldwide. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: “Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound.

Alternative country (sometimes alt-country),[1] insurgent country,[2] or Americana[3] is a loosely defined sub-genre of country music, which includes acts that differ significantly in style from mainstream or pop country music. It has been used to describe country music bands and artists that have incorporated influences ranging from roots rockbluegrassrockabilly, honky-tonkalternative rockfolk rock, and sometimes punk.

Folk Music includes both traditional music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th century folk revival. The term originated in the 19th century but is often applied to music that is older than that. Some types of folk music are also called world music.

Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. One meaning often given is that of old songs, with no known composers; another is music that has been transmitted and evolved by a process of oral transmission or performed by custom over a long period of time.

Starting in the mid-20th century a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process and period is called the (second) folk revival and reached a zenith in the 1960s. This form of music is sometimes called contemporary folk music or folk revival music to distinguish it from earlier folk forms.[1] Smaller similar revivals have occurred elsewhere in the world at other times, but the term folk music has typically not been applied to the new music created during those revivals.[citation needed] This type of folk music also includes fusion genres such as folk rockfolk metalelectric folk, and others. While contemporary folk music is a genre generally distinct from traditional folk music, in English it shares the same name, and it often shares the same performers and venues as traditional folk music. Even individual songs may be a blend of the two.


Jazz is a music that originated at the beginning of the 20th century, arguably earlier, within the African-American communities of the Southern United States. Its roots lie in the adoption by African-Americans of European harmony and form, taking on those European elements and combining them into their existing African-based music. Its African musical basis is evident in its use of blue notesimprovisation, polyrhythmssyncopation and the swung note.[1] From its early development until the present day, jazz has also incorporated elements from popular music especially, in its early days, from American popular music.[2]

As the music has developed and spread around the world it has, since its early American beginnings, drawn on many different national, regional and local musical cultures, giving rise to many distinctive styles: New Orleans jazz dating from the early 1910s, big band swing, Kansas City jazz and Gypsy jazz from the 1930s and 1940s,bebop from the mid-1940s on down through Afro-Cuban jazz, West Coast jazzska jazzcool jazzIndo jazzavant-garde jazz, soul jazzmodal jazzchamber jazzfree jazzLatin jazz in various forms, smooth jazzjazz fusion and jazz rockjazz funk, loft jazzpunk jazzacid jazz, ethno jazzjazz rap, cyber jazz, M-Basenu jazz and other ways of playing the music.

Talking of swingLouis Armstrong, one of the most famous musicians in jazz, said to Bing Crosby on the latter’s radio show, “Ah, swing, well, we used to call it syncopation, then they called it rag time, then blues, then jazz. Now, it’s swing. White folks – yo’all sho is a mess!”[3][4]

In a 1988 interview, trombonist J. J. Johnson said, “Jazz is restless. It won’t stay put and it never will”

Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B and RnB, is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s.[1] The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular.[2]

The term has subsequently had a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, the term rhythm and blues was frequently applied to blues records.[3] Starting in the mid-1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term “R&B” became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. By the 1970s, rhythm and blues was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as “Contemporary R&B“.

Swing Music, or simply Swing, is a form of American music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1940. Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar, medium to fast tempos, and a “lilting” swing time rhythm. The name swing came from the phrase ‘swing feel’ where the emphasis is on the off–beat or weaker pulse in the music (unlike classical music). Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement.

The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, a period known as the Swing Era.

The verb “to swing” is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong rhythmic “groove” or drive.

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop,[1][2] rap music,[2][3][4] or hip-hop music,[2][5] is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted.[2] It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing / rapping, Jing /scratchingbreak dancing, and graffiti writing.[6] [7] [8] other elements include sampling (or synthesis), and beat boxing.

While often used to refer to rapping, “Hip hop” more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture.[9][10] The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music,[2][5] though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing and scratching, beat boxing, and instrumental tracks.

Introduction of rapping

Rapping, also referred to as MCing or emceeing, is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically, in rhyme and verse, generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats, almost always in 4/4 time signature, can be created by sampling and/or sequencing portions of other songs by a producer.[24] They also incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and live bands. Rappers may write, memorize, or improvise their lyrics and perform their works a cappella or to a beat.

Hip hop music predates the introduction of rapping into hip hop culture, and rap vocals are absent from many hip hop tracks, such as “Hip Hop, Be Bop (Don’t Stop)” by Man Parrish; “Chinese Arithmetic” by Eric B. & Rakim; “Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)” and “We’re Rocking the Planet” by Hashim; and “Destination Earth” by Newcleus. However, the majority of the genre has been accompanied by rap vocals, including female rappers. Bronx artist MC Sha Rock, member of the Funky Four Plus One is credited with performing the first female hip hop rap. [25] The Sequence, a hip hop trio signed to Sugar Hill Records in the early ’80’s, were the first all female group to release a rap record, Funk You Up.

The roots of rapping are found in African-American music and ultimately African music, particularly that of the griots of West African culture.[26] The African-American traditions of signifyin’the dozens, and jazz poetry all influence hip hop music, as well as the call and response patterns of African and African-American religious ceremonies. Soul singer James Brown, and musical ‘comedy’ acts such as Rudy Ray Moore and Blowfly are often considered “godfathers” of hip hop music. [Citation needed]

Within New York City, performances of spoken-word poetry and music by artists such as The Last PoetsGil Scott-Heron[27] and Jalal Mansur Nuriddin had a significant impact on the post-civil rights era culture of the 1960s and 1970s, and thus the social environment in which hip hop music was created.

DJ Kool Herc and Coke La Rock provided an influence on the vocal style of rapping by delivering simple poetry verses over funk music breaks, after party-goers showed little interest in their previous attempts to integrate reggae-infused toasting into musical sets.[18] [28] DJs and MCs would often add call and response chants, often consisting of a basic chorus, to allow the performer to gather his thoughts (e.g. “one, two, three, y’all, to the beat”).

Later, the MCs grew more varied in their vocal and rhythmic delivery, incorporating brief rhymes, often with a sexual or scatological theme, in an effort to differentiate themselves and to entertain the audience. These early raps incorporated the dozens, a product of African American culture. Kool Herc & the Herculoids were the first hip hop group to gain recognition in New York, [28] but the number of MC teams increased over time.


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