Author Topic: Genres and Sub-genres: A Practical List for Digital Music Players/Managers  (Read 1411 times)

smann

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@smann (or other interested metalheads)

I'm doing a last check on my sheet

Mathcore and Metalcore...

Taking the restrictions and intentions of my sheet into consideration, should they be under Heavy Metal, or should I put them one level up, besides Heavy Metal?
(I am tilted towards the latter myself)

edit:
The same about Progressive metal (Prog-metal)
It looks like a mix (fusion genre) of rock and metal, so it may also be a candidate to take out from under Heavy Metal?

I'm of the mindset that once a subgenre becomes so prominent, then it becomes a legit genre. For example Metal stemming from Rock, but it's so huge that I consider Metal its own genre. Or else everything would technically be a super-subgenre going back to some pre-historic human making sounds and using the bones of their enemies to bang on stuff. And last time I checked, Grunting and Pre-historic Tools isn't exactly a genre people tend to list hahaha.

Metalcore is so massive and one of the most popular styles, that I would 100% put it as its own genre. No doubt on that one. Mathcore is less popular, but it is involved in a lot of more technical metal bands. Your call. Progressive Metal should be included in my opinion even though it's a fusion genre, but to me it's like Digital Hardcore where it's a fusion but it tends to fall way more on the metal side as the very backbone of the song structures.
Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 03:27:19 AM by smann

hiccup

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... I'm of the mindset that once a subgenre becomes so prominent, then it becomes a legit genre ...
... Metalcore is so massive and one of the most popular styles, that I would 100% put it as its own genre ...

It looks like we share thoughts on these matters.
The latest iteration:


hiccup

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I am using the Genre field for genres.... and for a good percentage of the music I am interesting in, location is a genre/sound defining factor.  But, for many others, it is not.
As locale shapes the musics' sound design & structure in many important cases for me, I want to treat it as such as well within a genre taxonomy system that attempts to categorize musical structure & sound traditions.

For me, everything under genre-category, genre, and sub-genre should aim to be strictly genre related.
So, no locations, no keywords, no styles, etc.
There are dedicated tags for those.

Hm, I'll have to retreat from taking that strict position on locations.
Well, probably not with regards to popular music, but now I'm struggling with Folk, Traditional, Country, Indigenous, Ethnic, etc., I find it is going to be impossible not use names of continents, countries and regions.
(some specific geographic, and some variations of cultural/ethnic/geographic)

I was hoping to be able to complete this this weekend and be done with it.
Not going to happen.

alec.tron

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Hm, I'll have to retreat from taking that strict position on locations.
Well, probably not with regards to popular music, but now I'm struggling with Folk, Traditional, Country, Indigenous, Ethnic, etc., I find it is going to be impossible not use names of continents, countries and regions.
(some specific geographic, and some variations of cultural/ethnic/geographic)

Aye, folk/regional/traditional is quite complex, and often, up until the 1990s at least (before the interwebs...), once a genre/tradition forms, a few years/decades later it forms more sub genres, that might overshadow the parent in 'pop' appeal and therefore global recognition...
Best illustrated imo with the Jamaican popular genres, where Mento & US Soul/R&B formed the foundation for what became known as Ska in the 50s/60s, which then spawned Rocksteady in the late 60s, and resulting in multiple styles that established themselves as full genres, i.e. Reggae, Dub & Dancehall, shortly after, all of which spawning multiple more children in later/other periods and/or places...

All the best for the effort with your genre sheet - but, don't be too hard on it/yourself. Especially if you have not much use for regional/traditional yourself...!

c.
Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 05:20:30 PM by alec.tron

hiccup

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Exactly, or a genre that started out as a traditional genre in one country, and remained that way, but developed itself in another country to a modern version of it.
Or a genre that remained 'traditional, but spread over two different countries in completely different continents due to exploring/colonizing.
Is that still 'ethnic', or 'regional'?
Or something like 'latin' music. What sorts are still traditional and regional, which ones have become more contemporary and international.
Which are still 'Latin', or perhaps South American Folk, or Pop/Rock, or even EDM...
I could go on for a while  ;-)

It's quite a puzzle to say the least.
Especially since it is not going to be some dynamic database, but the equivalent of a simple sheet of paper.

Still, I have some confidence I am going to tame this erratic crazy bull.

hiccup

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All the best for the effort with your genre sheet - but, don't be too hard on it/yourself. Especially if you have not much use for regional/traditional yourself...!

Thanks, but luckily my taste can be considered rather eclectic, so not much is completely out-from-space or wasted on me.
And since I started this, I now want it to be good. Leaving it a bit sloppy and unfinished is not an option.
And I am convinced as soon as it's ready, it is going to save me a lot of time in the future.
(this genre stuff has been bothering me for too many years now)

I also hope to believe that when it's done, it won't need much maintenance for a long time...

hiccup

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I updated the list with a lot of changes and additions.

To offer some insights in some decisions and compromises I made:

In a flat 3-level music genre sheet like this, it is not possible to have all hierarchies being of the same nature. (class)
By that I mean that as a starting point you may want to use actual genres.
But for e.g. classical music, you may want to be able to initially filter on period/era category.
For some traditional music you may want to filter on region of origin.
For music having similar ancestry or sounding similar, you may want to have categories on cultural region, or perhaps language families.
Or perhaps you prefer using exact geographic locations and countries.
So using the same class for everything is not realistic or even doable.

Also,
Music genres can not always be split up in simply a main genre and a subgenre.
Some genres are quite solitaire and won't even have a subgenre variant. Others may have a lot of offspring, and need much more levels, or much better, a relational database to organise and name them.

Note that due to these restrictions the headers 'Genre' and 'Subgenre' should not be taken too literal.
It will often be more something like 'child of' or 'similar to'.

It should be clear that biassed decisions and compromises have been made.
You will probably spot them when you analyse the sheet…

---

I should probably also elaborate on the 'Ethnic' categories a bit.
They aim to contain genres that:
- are still in some authentic shape or form
- are performed on authentic original instruments
- haven't spread around the world much
- are mainly performed and appreciated in a limited region

As soon as one or more of these criteria don't apply any more to a certain level, the genres become candidates for non-ethnic categories.
But how to do that and where they then should end up exactly is quite a brain-breaker.

For now a couple of them ended up in 'African' and 'Asian'.
But I am not completely happy and satisfied about how all of that has turned out.
I'll probably put my thinking cap on again this weekend.

- - -

Suggestions for improvements are welcome.
But please do consider the—most likely unavoidable—domino effect of a proposed change to the structure very well.

And do consider if it would be a substantial general improvement on practical use of the map in MusicBee (which is my main objective with it), or if it would only make it more 'correct'.


download Genre-Subgenre sheet



Note that in the download link I also added a custom genre grouping list you can copy/paste into MusicBee.
It is an exact representation of the genre map.
It is appreciated if some of you could test it and report possible issues.
Update: Don't import and test  it yet. It seems MusicBee has a problem with it's size and won't load it's contents somewhere after line 1260.

For now the grouping list exclusively contains all genres and subgenres that are in the genre map.
If all seems to be working well, I will later probably also add some genres to this grouping list that didn't pass my rather strict criteria for the map.

Those will probably be the genres that are curated and used by Discogs and MusicBrainz. So for users auto-tagging their music using these sources, that music will then also show-up when using MusicBee's Genre category features.
Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 08:30:35 AM by hiccup