Learn about a new genre every day

The Echo Nest knows about 800 genres of music (and that number is growing all the time). Among those 800 genres are ones that you already know about, like ‘jazz’,’rock’ and ‘classical’. But there are also hundreds of genres that you’ve probably never heard of. Genres like Filthstep,  Dangdut or Skweee.  Perhaps the best way to explore the genre space is via Every Noise at Once (built by Echo Nest genre-master Glenn McDonald).  Every Noise At Once shows you the whole genre space, allowing you to explore the rich and varied universe of music.  However, Every Noise at Once can be like drinking Champagne  from a firehose – there’s just too much to take in all at once (it is, after all, every noise – at once).  If you’d like to take a slower and more measured approach to learning about new music genres, you may be interested in Genre-A-Day.

Genre-A-Day is a web app that presents a new genre every day.  Genre-A-Day tells you about the genre,  shows you some representative artists for the genre,  lets you explore similar genres, and lets you listen to music in the genre.

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If you spend a few minutes every day reading about and listening to a new genre, after a few months you’ll be a much more well-rounded music listener, and after a few years your knowledge of genres will rival most musicologists’.

An easy way to make Genre-A-Day part of your daily routine is to follow @GenreADay on twitter. GenreADay will post a single tweet, once a day like so:

Under the hood – Genre-A-Day was built using the just released genre methods of The Echo Nest API. These methods allow you to get detailed info on the set of genres, the top artists for the genres, similar genres and so on. It also uses the super nifty genre presets in the playlist API that allow you to craft the genre-radio listener for someone who is new to the genre (core), for someone who is a long time listener of the genre (in rotation), or for someone looking for the newest music in that genre (emerging).  The source code for Genre-A-Day is on github.

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  1. #1 by A. Musicologist on January 16, 2014 - 11:56 am

    Shall we have the classical-is-not-a-genre debate? Or should I take it elsewhere?

    • #2 by Paul on January 16, 2014 - 12:07 pm

      by all means, go for it, would love to hear what you have to say. You’ll note that we have lots of non-traditional genres in our set of genres. We don’t approach genres from a strictly musicologist perspective, but instead approach it very pragmatically. If there are people using a word as a music genre we are likely to incorporate it into our set, even if it is not strictly a genre. For instance, we’ve had extensive and bloody internal debates about whether ‘world music’ should be included in our set of genres. It is not a genre but we still include it in our set because there are lots of people who use it as one.

  2. #3 by Bob L. Sturm on January 29, 2014 - 12:13 pm

    Not to incite more bloody violence, but I would like some elucidation. :)

    “You’ll note that we have lots of non-traditional genres in our set of genres.”
    1. What is a non-traditional genre as opposed to a traditional genre, and how is that decided?

    “We … approach genres … very pragmatically.”
    1. That is great to hear, but how? What is your practical definition of genre?

    “If there are people using a word as a music genre we are likely to incorporate it into our set, even if it is not strictly a genre.”
    1. How does one “use a word as a music genre”?
    2. When is a word “strictly a genre”?
    3. When is a word not “strictly a genre”?
    4. Upon what criteria does one decide when a word is or is not strictly a genre?
    5. And that “likely” bit makes me wonder: what pushes a word into being included?

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