Genre Classifications – Result of Innovation or Exercise In Waste?

Wikipedia lists

How did this happen?

  • Did experimentation and innovation result in so many different musical styles?
  • Is it due to the bands’ quest to package and market themselves as “different” from others?
  • Are people with too much time on their hands trying to affix a neat little label to define a musical style?

Probably all of the above. In my opinion, this level of classification is pointless. It takes the focus away from music and confuses music lovers.

We have a completely different scenario in India. Despite our significantly older musical tradition and larger variety of music, we have relatively fewer styles/genres. Is it because we have lesser experimentation and innovation in music? The West churned out a variety of musical styles over the last century. What new (I mean really new) musical style have we produced over the same period? The only one I can think of is the style popular in films – an amalgam of bunch of musical styles with a largely sugam sangeet base.

West – Stop splitting hairs. India – Innovate and experiment more.

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