How Many Genres of Music Are There?

There are approximately 41 primary genres that are commonly recognized, with over 1200 recognized sub-genres. However, it’s important to note that these genres are not fixed categories and are constantly evolving over time.

Within each genre, there are many sub-genres that can be defined based on various characteristics such as instrumentation, rhythm, and cultural origins.With the rise of music streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music, categorizing music has become increasingly important.

These platforms have algorithms that analyze music and categorize it into various genres and subgenres. However, the accuracy of these categorizations is subject to debate, and different platforms may categorize the same music differently.

Primary Genres of Music

There are numerous genres of music, each with its unique sound and history. Some of the well-known primary genres of music include Pop, Hip-hop, Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Reggae, Country, Funk, Folk, Middle Eastern music, Jazz, Disco, Classical, Electronic, Latin American, Blues, Music for children, New-age, Vocal, African, Christian, Asian, Ska, Traditional, and Independent music.

Sub-Genres of Music

The number of sub-genres is constantly evolving, and there is no accurate way to measure the exact number. Sub-genres are more specific categories that stem from the primary genres. For example, rock music has given rise to sub-genres such as alternative, punk, grunge, metal, and more. 

Hip-hop has seen sub-genres like trap, drill, and conscious rap emerge. Electronic music has spawned sub-genres such as techno, house, trance, and dubstep.

How Many Genres Are Available On Spotify?

Spotify reportedly has more than 5,000 genres that it uses to classify its vast music library. This is a staggering number of genres, which highlights the diverse range of music available on the platform.

As new artists emerge and create music that doesn’t fit into traditional genres, and as existing genres continue to evolve and blend with one another, the number of genres on Spotify is still constantly growing. 

Spotify’s “algorithmic playlists” and “mood-based playlists” also contribute to this growth, as the streaming service categorizes music based on mood and other non-genre factors.

Genres are just a categorization

It’s also important to recognize that the categorization of music into genres is a human construct and is subject to personal interpretation and cultural biases.

Therefore, while genres can be useful for organizing and describing music, they do not necessarily capture the full complexity and diversity of musical expression.