One thing that our world has been richly blessed with is the existence of music. From the blaring sounds in the barbing salon to the mother singing to her crying child and then the great sounds from a traditional festival, all music has offered is relativity to its listeners. Rumored to be as old as language itself, music has proven to stand the test of time as it can never go extinct, instead it has continued to evolve and get even better across the different societies of the world.
As technology rapidly gains grounds in the world, the production and dissemination of music has become much easier as people now have unlimited access to diverse forms of music from across the world. Therefore, there is no doubt that music has become a global language and a lingua franca of the world at large.
Simply defined as the arrangements of sounds having melody, rhythm and harmony, music is widely known to affect the human health positively. It has been scientifically proven that music causes the release of endorphins and dopamine which are hormones released by the brain in response to pain and stress. These hormones act as natural anti depressants, mood lifters and stress relievers. How wonderful it’d be for one who cannot afford anti depressants to have daily doses of good music!
Scientific research also shows that when we listen to music, blood flows more easily from our hearts to other parts of our bodies. This in turn lowers blood pressure and decreases the stress hormone level. Music generally helps to elevate our mood, relieve us of symptoms of depression and sharpens our memories. Let us not also forget that feeling of emptiness we have when we workout or do house chores without the soft support of a song playing somewhere at the background.
Due to the diversity in its kinds, music has been grouped into different genres.
Genre is simply the act of categorizing art using style, form or content. Music genres can therefore be defined as the classification system that classifies music into different styles. There are several music genres grouped according to individual opinions but generally, there are thirteen major genres of music. They include the following:
1. Art Music:
sometimes called classical music, art music is one written by a composer rather than passed on by oral tradition. It is very different from popular music and requires the listener to pay subtle attention to the lyrics. Examples include; Aaron Copeland’s old American songs and “The seven Spanish folks” song by Manuel de Falla.
2. Popular Music:
As the name goes, this type of music appeals to a large heterogeneous audience. It thrives in technologically advanced societies influenced by urbanization. Anytime you hear that popular song come up in the radio again, just know you heard a popular music!
3. Country Music:
This is also known as western music. It has its origin in southern united states in the early 1920s (published source). A good example is “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers.
4. Electronic music
This is a music which makes use of electronic music instruments. If it involves electronic processes such as recording and editing on tape and the use of loudspeakers then it is definitely an electronic music.
This type of music has its roots in African American communities in the mid 1960s (published source). It is simply a combination of soul, jazz, rhythm and blues. A good example of this form of music is suspension by Steve wonder.
6. Hip hop music:
Hip means trendy or fashionable and hop signifies a leaping movement, it is usually attributed with rap, melody and rhythm. It started among black people in the United States. The popular artist known as Snoop Dogg is a good example of one who produces hip hop music.
These types of music originate from blues and ragtime. It is characterized by strong notes which often come before the beat and have a forceful kind of rhythm. Instruments like piano and guitar are used to produce such music. A good example of the jazz music is “Fly me to the moon” by Frank Sinatra.
This type of music was founded by Jamaicans in the late 1960s (published source). The music most times talks about freedom, faith, love and general life issues. Bob Marley is said to be the father of reggae music. Popular contemporary artist Rihanna also sang a song known as “man down” in this genre of music.
9. Rock Music:
This type of music is also referred to as “rock and roll”. It is associated with instruments like the bass guitar, piano and classical drums. It produces a rocky form of energy which propels one to dance and vibe to the beat. A good example is Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.
10. Soul music/R&B:
Rhythm and blues, abbreviated as R&B, is a song which expresses deep emotions and longings of one’s soul. It is usually accompanied by slow beats and soft rhythm. Most love songs are found under this genre of music.
11. Religious Music:
Otherwise known as sacred music, these forms of songs are created solely for religious/spiritual use. They include gospel or Christian music. Mercy Chinwo is an example of a religious artist.
12. Traditional/Folk Music:
This type of music is passed from one generation to another. They may not be written down, but they are expressed through folktales and traditional festivals. They explain rich cultures and lifestyle of the people who sing them and sometimes express universal truths about life. Some traditional songs are also used to tell fictional or nonfictional stories. Every tribe has traditional/folk music. A good example is the “highlife” music generally sang by the Igbo tribe in Nigeria.
13. Afro Beat Music:
Majorly found in the African continent, the afro beat music is a music genre that combines West African music with American funk and Jazz. The afro beat music has recently seemed to be noticed by the world due to its richness. A popular artist that majored in Afro beat music is the late Fela Kuti. This form of music has constantly evolved and taken several new forms. Other contemporary artist in this field includes Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy and so on.
Although, language barrier prevents people from getting totally acquainted with foreign music, rhythm and harmony, both of which are components of good music, still have important roles to play in bringing satisfaction and therapeutic effects to the hearts of its listeners. There are definitely no boundaries to the power of music as where words fail, music speaks!
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