This is a list of some of the world’s music genre and their definitions.
African Folk – Music held to be typical of a nation or ethnic group, known to all segments of its society, and preserved usually by oral tradition.
Afro jazz – Refers to jazz music which has been heavily influenced by African music. The music took elements of marabi, swing and American jazz and synthesized this into a unique fusion. The first band to really achieve this synthesis was the South African band Jazz Maniacs.
Afro-beat – Is a combination of Yoruba music, jazz, Highlife, and funk rhythms, fused 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 derived from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It is a percussion-based style that developed in the late 1930s, when it was used to wake worshippers after fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Assiko – is a popular dance from the South of Cameroon. The band is usually based on a singer accompanied with a guitar, and a percussionnist playing the pulsating rhythm of Assiko with metal knives and forks on an empty bottle.
Batuque – is a music and dance genre from Cape Verde.
Bend Skin – is a kind of urban Cameroonian popular music. Kouchoum Mbada is the most well-known group associated with the genre.
Benga – Is a musical genre of Kenyan popular music. It evolved between the late 1940s and late 1960s, in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi.
Biguine – is a style of music that originated in Martinique in the 19th century. By combining the traditional bele music with the polka, the black musicians of Martinique created the biguine, which comprises three distinct styles, the biguine de salon, the biguine de bal and the biguines de rue.
Bikutsi – is a musical genre from Cameroon. It developed from the traditional styles of the Beti, or Ewondo, people, who live around the city of Yaounde.
Bongo Flava – it has a mix of rap, hip hop, and R&B for starters but these labels don’t do it justice. It’s rap, hip hop and R&B Tanzanian style: a big melting pot of tastes, history, culture and identity.
Cadence – is a particular series of intervals or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music.
Calypso – is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad at about the start of the 20th century. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of African slaves, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song.
Chaabi – is a popular music of Morocco, very similar to the Algerian Rai.
Chimurenga – is a Zimbabwean popular music genre coined by and popularised by Thomas Mapfumo. Chimurenga is a Shona language word for struggle.
Chouval Bwa – features percussion, bamboo flute, accordion, and wax-paper/comb-type kazoo. The music originated among rural Martinicans.
Christian Rap – is a form of rap which uses Christian themes to express the songwriter’s faith.
Coladeira – is a form of music in Cape Verde. Its element ascends to funacola which is a mixture of funanáa and coladera. Famous coladera musicians includes Antoninho Travadinha.
Contemporary Christian – is a genre of popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith.
Country – is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. It has roots in traditional folk music, Celtic music, blues, gospel music, hokum, and old-time music and evolved rapidly in the 1920s.
Dance Hall – is a type of Jamaican popular music which developed in the late 1970s, with exponents such as Yellowman and Shabba Ranks. It is also known as bashment. The style is characterized by a deejay singing and toasting (or rapping) over raw and danceable music riddims.
Disco – is a genre of dance-oriented pop music 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 that is heavily influenced by Latin American culture.
Fuji – is a popular Nigerian musical genre. It arose from the improvisation Ajisari/were music tradition, which is a kind of Muslim music performed to wake believers before dawn during the Ramadan fasting season.
Funana – is a mixed Portuguese and African music and dance from Santiago, Cape Verde. It is said that the lower part of the body movement is African, and the upper part Portuguese.
Funk – is an American musical style that originated in the mid- to late-1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, soul jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music.
Gangsta rap – is a subgenre of hip-hop music which developed during the late 1980s. ‘Gangsta’ is a variation on the spelling of ‘gangster’. After the popularity of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992, gangsta rap became the most commercially lucrative subgenre of hip-hop.
Genge – is a genre of hip hop music that had its beginnings in Nairobi, Kenya. The name was coined and popularized by Kenyan rapper Nonini who started off at Calif Records. It is a style that incorporates hip hop, dancehall and traditional African music styles. It is commonly sung in Sheng(slung),Swahili or local dialects.
Gnawa – is a mixture of African, Berber, and Arabic religious songs and rhythms. It combines music and acrobatic dancing. The music is both a prayer and a celebration of life.
Gospel – is a musical genre characterized by dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) referencing lyrics of a religious nature, particularly Christian.
Highlife – is a musical genre that originated in Ghana and spread to Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the 1920s and other West African countries.
Hip-Hop – is a style of popular music, typically consisting of a rhythmic, rhyming vocal style called rapping (also known as emceeing) over backing beats and scratching performed on a turntable by a DJ.
House – is a style of electronic dance music that was developed by dance club DJs in Chicago in the early to mid-1980s. House music is strongly influenced by elements of the late 1970s soul- and funk-infused dance music style of disco.
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 – An instrumental is, in contrast to a song, a musical composition or recording without lyrics or any other sort of vocal music; all of the music is produced by musical instruments.
Isicathamiya – is an a cappella singing style that originated from the South African Zulus.
Jazz – is an original American musical art form which originated around the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States out of a confluence of African and European music traditions.
Jit – is a style of popular Zimbabwean dance music. It features a swift rhythm played on drums and accompanied by a guitar.
Juju – is a style of Nigerian popular music, derived from traditional Yoruba percussion. It evolved in the 1920s in urban clubs across the countries. The first jùjú recordings were by Tunde King and Ojoge Daniel from the 1920s.
Kizomba – is one of the most popular genres of dance and music from Angola. Sung generally in Portuguese, it is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythm.