Types of Music Genres in the World
This is a list of some of the world’s music genres and their definitions.
African Folk – Music that is considered the hallmark of a nation or ethnic group, is known by all segments of its society, and is usually preserved by oral tradition.
Afro jazz – Refers to jazz music which is heavily influenced by African music. His music takes elements of American marabi, swing and jazz and blends them into a unique blend. The first band to truly achieve this synthesis was the South African band Jazz Maniacs.
Afro-beat – A combination of Yoruba music, jazz, Highlife and funk rhythms, mixed with African percussion and vocal styles, popularized in Africa in the 1970s.
Afro-Pop – Afropop or Afro Pop is a term sometimes used to refer to contemporary African pop music. The term does not refer to a specific style or sound, but is used as a general term to describe African popular music.
Apala – Originally from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It is a percussion-based style that developed in the late 1930s, when it was used to wake worshipers after fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
Assiko – is a popular dance from Southern Cameroon. The band is usually based on a singer accompanied by a guitar, and a percussionist playing Assiko’s pulsating rhythm with a metal knife and fork over an empty bottle.
Batuque – is a genre of music and dance from Cape Verde.
Bend Skin – is a type of urban Cameroon popular music. Kouchoum Mbada is the most famous group associated with this genre.
Benga – Is a popular musical genre of Kenyan music. It flourished between the late 1940s and late 1960s, in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Biguine – is a style of music that originated in Martinique in the 19th century. By combining traditional bele music with polka, black musician Martinique created biguine, which consists of three different styles, biguine de salon, biguine de bal and biguine de rue.
Bikutsi – is a music genre from Cameroon. It evolved from the traditional style of the Beti people, or Ewondo, who lived around the town of Yaounde.
Bongo Flava – this has a mix of rap, hip hop and R&B for starters but this label doesn’t do it justice. It’s Tanzanian style of rap, hip hop and R&B: a great mix of taste, history, culture and identity.
Rhythm – is a specific series of intervals or chords that end a musical phrase, section or section.
Calypso – is an Afro-Caribbean style of music that originated in Trinidad around the beginning of the 20th century. The roots of this genre lie in the arrival of African slaves, who, not being allowed to talk to each other, communicated through song.
Chaabi – is Moroccan popular music, very similar to the Algerian Rai.
Chimurenga – is a Zimbabwean popular music genre created by and popularized by Thomas Mapfumo. Chimurenga is Shona’s word for struggle.
Chouval Bwa – featuring percussion, bamboo flute, accordion and wax/comb type kazoo. The music comes from rural Martinican circles.
Christian Rap – is a form of rap that uses a Christian theme to express the faith of the songwriter.
Coladeira – is a form of music in Cape Verde. The element goes up to the funacola which is a mix of funanáa and coladera. Famous coladera musicians include Antoninho Travadinha.
Contemporary Christian – is a genre of popular music whose lyrics focus on matters related to the Christian faith.
Country – is a fusion of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. It has its roots in traditional folk music, Celtic music, blues, gospel music, law, and old music and flourished in the 1920s.
Dance Hall – is a type of Jamaican popular music that developed in the late 1970s, with such exponents as Yellowman and Shabba Ranks. It is also known as bashment. This style is characterized by an announcer singing and toasting (or rapping) over raw music and music that can dance.
Disco – is a dance-oriented pop music genre that was popularized in dance clubs in the mid-1970s.
Folk – in the most basic sense of the term, is music by and for the common people.
Freestyle – is a form of electronic music heavily influenced by Latin American culture.
Fuji – is a popular Nigerian music genre. This arose from the improvisation of the Ajisari musical tradition, which is a type of Muslim music performed to wake believers up before dawn during the fasting season of Ramadan.
Funana – is a mixed Portuguese and African music and dance from Santiago, Cape Verde. It is said that the lower body movements are African, and the upper body Portuguese.
Funk – is an American style of music that originated in the mid to late 1960s when African-American musicians blended soul music, soul jazz, and R&B into a new, rhythmic, danceable form of music.
Gangsta rap – is a subgenre of hip-hop music that developed during the late 1980s. ‘Gangsta’ is a variation of the spelling ‘gangster’. After the popularity of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992, gangsta rap became the most commercially profitable subgenre of hip-hop.
Genge – is a genre of hip hop music that originated in Nairobi, Kenya. The name was coined and popularized by Kenyan rapper Nonini who started out at California Records. It is a style that combines hip hop, dancehall and traditional African musical styles. It is usually sung in Sheng (slung), Swahili or the local dialect.
Gnawa – is a mix of African, Berber and Arabic religious songs and rhythms. It combines acrobatic music and dance. Music is both prayer and celebration of life.
Gospel – is a genre of music characterized by dominant vocals (often with the use of strong harmonies) in reference to lyrics of a religious, particularly Christian nature.
Highlife – is a music genre that originated in Ghana and spread to Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the 1920s and other West African countries.
Hip-Hop – is a popular style of music, usually consisting of a rhythmic, rhythmic vocal style called rap (also known as emceeing) over backing beats and scratching performed on a turntable by a DJ.
House – is a style of electronic dance music developed by dance club DJs in Chicago in the early to mid-1980s. House music was heavily influenced by elements of soul and funk disco-style dance music in the late 1970s.
Indie – is a term used to describe genres, scenes, subcultures, styles, and other cultural attributes in music, characterized by their independence from major commercial record labels and their autonomous, do-it-yourself approach to recording and publishing.
Instrumental – Instrumental is, in contrast to a song, a musical composition or recording without lyrics or any other type of vocal music; All music is produced by musical instruments.
Isicathamiya – is a style of acapella singing originating from the South African Zulus.
Jazz – is a Native American musical art form that originated around the beginning of the 20th century in African-American communities in the Southern United States from the confluence of African and European musical traditions.
Jit – is a popular style of Zimbabwean dance music. It features a fast rhythm played on drums and accompanied by guitar.
Juju – is a popular Nigerian style of music, derived from the traditional Yoruba percussion. It flourished in the 1920s in urban clubs across the country. The first jùjú recordings were made by Tunde King and Ojoge Daniel from the 1920s.
Kizomba – is one of the most popular dance and music genres from Angola. Sung mainly in Portuguese, it is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythms.
Kwaito – is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa in the early 1990s. It is based on house beats, but usually at a slower tempo and contains African samples of looped melodies and percussion, deep basslines and often vocals, generally male, shouted or sung rather than sung or rapped.
Kwela – is a happy street music, often pennywhistle based, from south Africa with a jazzy undertone. It evolved from the marabi sound and brought South African music to international prominence in the 1950s.
Lingala – Soukous (also known as Soukous or Congo, and formerly as African rumba) is a musical genre that originated in the two neighboring countries of Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1930s and early 1940s.
Makossa – is the most popular type of music in urban areas of Cameroon. It is similar to a soukous, except that it includes a strong bass rhythm and a prominent horn section. It originates from a type of Duala dance called kossa, with significant influences from jazz, ambasse bey, Latin music, highlife and rumba.
Malouf – a type of music imported to Tunisia from Andalusia after the Spanish conquest in the 15th century.
Mapouka – also known as Macouka, is a traditional dance from southeast Ivory Coast in the Dabou area, sometimes performed during religious ceremonies.
Maringa – is a genre of West African music. It developed among the Crew peoples of Sierra Leone and Liberia, who used Portuguese guitars brought by sailors, combining local melodies and rhythms with Trinidadian calypso.
Marrabenta – is a form of Mozambican dance music. It was developed in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, formerly Laurenco Marques.
Mazurka – is a Polish folk dance in three meters with a lively tempo, containing a heavy accent on the third or second beat. It is always found to have a triplet, a trill, an eighth point, or a regular eighth pair before the two quarter notes.
Mbalax – is Senegal’s national popular dance music. It is a mix of popular dance music from the West such as jazz, soul, Latin and rock combined with patience, traditional drums and Senegalese dance music.
Mbaqanga – is a South African style of music with rural Zulu roots that continues to influence musicians around the world today. This style dates back to the early 1960s.
Mbube – is a South African vocal musical form, made famous by the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The word mbube means “lion” in Zulu
Merengue – is a lively and fun type of music and dance originating from the Dominican Republic
Morna – is a Cape Verdean musical genre, related to Portuguese fado, Brazilian modinha, Argentine tango, and Angolan lament.
Museve – is a popular Zimbabwean music genre. Artists including Simon Chimbetu and Alick Macheso
Oldies – a term commonly used to describe a radio format that typically concentrates on Top 40 music from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Oldies are usually from the R&B, pop and rock genres.
Pop – is a broad and imprecise category of modern music defined not by artistic considerations but by its potential audience or prospective market.
Quadrille – is a historic dance performed by four couples in a square formation, a precursor to the traditional square dance. It is also a style of music.
R&B – is a popular music genre that combines jazz, gospel and blues influences, which was first performed by an African-American artist.
Rai – is a form of folk music, originating in Oran, Algeria from Bedouin shepherds, mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arabic musical forms, originating in the 1930s and mainly developed by women in the culture.
Ragga – is a sub-genre of dancehall or reggae music, in which the main instrumentation consists of electronic music; sampling often plays an important role in raggamuffin music as well.
Rap – is the rhythmic singing of rhymes and puns, one of the elements of hip hop music and culture.
Rara – is a form of festival music used for street processions, usually during Easter Sunday.
Reggae – is a music genre that was first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. A particular style of music that originated following the development of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is based on a rhythmic style characterized by a regular chop on the off-beat, known as skank.
Reggaeton – is a form of urban music that became popular among Latin American youth in the early 1990s. Originally from Panama, Reggaeton combines Jamaican musical influences from reggae and dancehall with Latin American influences, such as bomba, plena, merengue, and bachata as well as hip hop and electronica.
Rock – is a popular form of music with a prominent vocal melody accompanied by guitar, drums and bass. Many styles of rock music also use keyboard instruments such as organs, pianos, synthesizers.
Rumba – is a family of musical rhythms and dance styles originating in Africa and introduced to Cuba and the New World by African slaves.
Salegy – is a popular type of Afropop style exported from Madagascar. This Sub-Saharan African folk music dance comes from the Malagasy language of Madagascar, South Africa.
Salsa – is a diverse and Spanish-dominated Caribbean genre popular throughout Latin America and among Latinos abroad.
Samba – is one of the most popular forms of music in Brazil. It is widely seen as Brazil’s national style of music.
Sega – is a growing combination of traditional Seychelles Music, Mauritius and Réunionnais music with European dance music such as polka and quadrilles.
Seggae – is a musical genre invented in the mid-1980s by Rasta Mauritian singer Joseph Reginald Topize who is sometimes known as Kaya, after the title song by Bob Marley. Seggae is a fusion of the island nation’s sega, Mauritius, and reggae.
Semba – is a type of traditional music from the country of Angola, South Africa. Semba was the precursor to various musical styles originating in Africa, three of which are the most famous being Samba (from Brazil), Kizomba (Angolan music derived directly from Zouk music) and Kuduro (or Kuduru, the energetic, fast-paced Angolan music). Techno, so to speak).
Shona Music – is the music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. There are several types of traditional Shona music including mbira, singing, hosho and drumming. Very often, this music will be accompanied by dancing, and audience participation.
Ska – is a musical genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was a precursor to rocksteady and reggae. Ska combines elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues.
Slow Jam – usually a song with an R&B-influenced melody. Slow jam is usually an R&B ballad or just a slow tempo song. This term is most often used for soft-sounding songs with highly emotional or romantic lyrical content.
Soca – is a form of dance music originating in Trinidad from calypso. It combines the lilting sound of calypso melodies with insistent percussion (usually electronic in today’s music).
Soukous – is a musical genre that originated in the two neighboring countries of Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1930s and early 1940s, and which has gained popularity throughout Africa.
Soul – is a musical genre that combines rhythm and blues and gospel music, originating in the United States.
Taarab – is a popular music genre in Tanzania. It is influenced by music from cultures with a historical presence in East Africa, including music from East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Taarab rose to prominence in 1928 with the emergence of the genre’s first star, Siti bint Saad.
Tango – is a style of music originating from European immigrant populations in Argentina and Uruguay. It is traditionally played by a sextet, known as an orquesta tipica, which includes two violins, a piano, a doublebass, and two bandoneons.
Waka – is a popular Islamic-oriented Yoruba music genre. It was pioneered and popularized by Alhaja Batile Alake of Ijebu, who brought the genre into mainstream Nigerian music by playing it at concerts and parties; Also, he is the first waka singer to record an album.
Wassoulou – is a genre of West African popular music, named after the Wassoulou region. It is performed mostly by women, using lyrics that address women’s issues of childbearing, fertility and polygamy.
Ziglibithy – is a popular style of Ivory Coast music that developed in the 1970s. It was the first major musical genre from Ivory Coast. The first major pioneer of this style was Ernesto Djedje.
Zouglou – is a dance-oriented musical style from the Ivory Coast (Ivory Coast) that first developed in the 1990s. Starting with students (les Parents du Campus) from the University of Abidjan.
Zouk – is a rhythmic style of music originating from the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. It has its roots in compa music from Haiti, rhythmic music from Dominica, as popularized by Grammacks and Exile One.