How Many Types Of Rock Music Are There?

Posted by Mike Schuck

We listen to music for many different reasons, sometimes for fun, sometimes to get inspiration, and often for practical purposes. It is very versatile!

Music can be categorized into several types according to how it is structured and what styles it belongs to. Technically, there are infinite number of ways to organize songs into these genres, but most people agree that there are five major ones.

These are called Neuronal Theory, Psychological Theory, Folk Theories, Chromatic Theory, and Structural Theory. Each one applies to separate type of music and each one teaches us something new about the song and the artist who wrote it.

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This article will go more in depth about the first two theories: Neural Theory and Psychological Theory.

Modern rock

how many types of rock music are there

Recent developments in music are called ‘modern rock’ or just 'rock'.

Pop rock

how many types of rock music are there

What is pop music? Well, that’s not an easy question to answer! Technically speaking, anything with lyrics and a beat is considered music, so all songs are technically pop if you consider them music.

However, it seems like there’s a standard definition for what makes something be labeled as “pop.” It has to have a catchy melody and rhythm, and its melodies and rhythms need to appeal to most people.

This brings us to our next type of music — pop rock. A lot of bands fit into this genre, such as The Beatles, One Direction, or even Ariana Grande!

Some more defining traits of pop rock include lyrics about love, happiness, and/or romantic relationships. Some examples of lyrical content could be about how much your loved one means to you, or about how great their personality is.

The drums in these songs usually have a steady beat, making the song feel continuous and almost seamless. Artists use instruments such as guitars, pianos, and bass to contribute to the sound as well.

Hip hop

how many types of rock music are there

Rap is usually categorized as hip hop music, but some people feel that it should be grouped into its own type or genre. Technically speaking, though, anything with lyrics and melodies is considered to have lyrics and/or music. Therefore, any style of music with vocals is technically hip hop.

Many consider rap to be a sub-genre of hip hop because of how often rappers refer to themselves as hip hoppers and how their songs are typically made up of short rhyme verses and catchy beats.

However, there’s no formal definition for what makes something hip hop other than “it sounds like hip hop!” Some say that only true hip hop artists use rhymes and that instrumental tracks are not considered authentic hip hop. Others believe that if you can’t understand the lyrics then the song isn’t very good and doesn’t belong in the hip hop category.

Whatever the case may be, most agree that rapper Kanye West probably coined the term ‘hip hop’ when he mentioned it during an interview back in 2004. Since then, almost every artist has incorporated some sort of hip hop element into their music and it has become one of the biggest genres in America and around the world.

Dance music

how many types of rock music are there

What is dance music? That is, what type of music belongs in here! Technically, any song with lyrics and melodies that contain elements such as drums, guitar, bass, or vocals can be considered part of the genre. Songs like “Rock Me Sexy” by Ariana Grande are an example of this!

Dance songs typically have very upbeat and infectious melodies and rhythms, lots of energy, and lyrics about love and relationships. Some examples of popular dance genres include dubstep, house, electro, hip hop, funk, and pop. Artists who play their own style of dance music often get credit for creating their own sub-genre. The best known artists playing today to make a big splash in the dance world are referred to as EDM (electronic dance music) musicians.

Some say that EDM has too much influence from other types of music, making it difficult to clearly identify what makes a song belong to the genre. Others argue that since there are no clear definitions for what makes something fit under the term ‘dance’, then why not just call everything that isn't classical music dance music?!

Overall though, most people agree that EDM contains enough unique characteristics to remain a separate genre. Let us look at some reasons why.

Electronic music

how many types of rock music are there

Technically, anything that uses electricity to create sound is considered electronic music. Some use analog technology, some digital, but they’re all influenced by electro-music!

If you listen to any type of EDM like trance or house, these songs contain very familiar sounds that have become associated with this genre. A lot of bass, lots of drums, and (usually) catchy melodies and lyrics.

Trance and house are two types of music that originated in Europe. They were later adapted and mixed into other genres such as dub step, which was just called “dub” before incorporating the rest of the ingredients.

Dubstep eventually died out, but its influence can still be heard in newer forms of EDM. Techno and house remain popular styles within the genre.

Another style is something called electronica, which comes from the Greek word for 'devil'. That doesn't make too much sense until you hear it, though!
Electronica usually has more emphasis on creating hypnotic rhythms than either dance or rock music.

Some artists who fit into this category include The Prodigy, Daft Punk, and LCD Soundsystem.

Country music

how many types of rock music are there

Country is often described as being about relationships, but that doesn’t mean it lacks inspiration for other themes. Songs can be about anything from love to life to death, hope or happiness, family, fear, freedom, sacrifice, security, etc.

Country songs are usually written by one writer who then gets help in bringing their lyrics to life from the rest of the writers and vocalists they work with.

That means there are a lot of voices contributing to the final product which helps make every song unique. Part of the appeal of country music is its diversity, not just in what types of stories it tells, but also how those stories are told.

The genre has very fluid boundaries and definitions which makes it hard to place it into specific categories like some others. This is part of its charm!

Some say that country music is only allowed to use two chords, the ones under the diatonic scale (the ones we learned back in chapter three). Others argue that twelve-bar blues is considered a type of country music since both genres use this structure.

These discussions show how subjective the definition of “country music” is. What kind of music you enjoy and what styles inspire you is an important factor when defining your personal country music canon.

There are many great countries musicians out there so don’t feel that you must include only people of color or women in your collection.

80s music

how many types of rock music are there

The term ‘80s’ has become almost synonymous with ‘pop’ these days, which can be tricky to define clearly. Some say the 1980s ended in 1989 (the year before 1990), while others argue that it didn’t end until at least 2009! Either way, we know that the decade was characterized by big hair, flashy clothes and hard bass lines.

But what made this era so memorable? And how many types of rock music are there anyway?

We’ll look into all those questions here! So put your headphones on and get ready to dive in.

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