Know your genre

Not sure what the difference is between Black Metal or Death Metal? Looking for the quintessential nerdcore track? Confused about how 3rd wave ska relates to ska?  Check out  Know your Genre for all the answers.

Know your Genre is a website built by Sam Richardson that helps you better understand the world of music genres.  Type in the name of a genre, and Know Your Genre will bring you to a page devoted to the genre where you  listen to the best examples, see the most representative bands and discuss the genre with other fans.    There’s an interesting crowd sourcing component to Know Your Genre.  You can submit your favorite example of a song for a particular genre.  For example, I submitted Tales of Topographic Oceans by Yes to the Progressive Rock page.  It is now sitting at the end of a long list of examples (with my single vote), but if people decide that ToTO really is the pinnacle of the progrock movement, it will be voted up, reddit style to the top of the prog rock page. (Clearly, this needs to happen, currently there’s a song by Offspring on the top of the progrock heap.)

Know your genre is a well designed site, with lots of nice touches. Sam says he’s going to continue to build on the site, his ultimate plan being to build a timeline of music from pre history through to modern day music with examples of the evolution.   Imagine a version of Ishkur’s guide but for all music, or an updated version of Reebee Garofalo’s Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music, that  is hyperlinked to bios, audio and video.  I’m looking forward to seeing what Sam does with Know Your Genre.


  1. #1 by bobbym on January 7, 2011 - 10:08 am

    FWIW…I understand why people need genres to try and find more music they like and to give some structure to all of the music that is out there. But I believe trying to fit things into a genre is ultimately doomed. If genres had some absolute value that could be defined it would be easy. But, for me at least, they are labels and artificial rules that can be made up by anyone, can change greatly over time, and are something that an artist rarely sticks to and may even delight in changing even on the same recording. Genres also are a neat and tidy way to stereotype something so that it has qualities, positive or negative that can be abused and may not ever help in exposing music to listeners. But people need something to do with their time I guess.

  2. #2 by zazi on January 7, 2011 - 12:09 pm

    Oh, it seems that the pool of genres is unfortunately fixed. No 21st-Century-Beat-Music at all ;)

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