Lab Cat

15 Aug 2006

Music Genres

Filed under: Music — Cat @ 10:00 am

When I work in the lab a lot I like to have music to listen to, so I download CDs to the lab computer. I have three different music programs I use – iTunes, Win-Amp and Windows Media Player. I probably also have Real-Player somewhere too. And on my laptop, which typically resides at home, I have Creative’s management software. I typically use the Windows Media Player to rip from CDs.

I get frustrated with the different music genres that the different players use to categorize my music. My frustration isn’t helped by the fact that music is classified differently in the US than in Britain. I had never heard of Celtic music (really) before I moved over the pond. In Britain, folk music includes Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English music. In the US, I even found Richard Thompson in the rock and pop section of one store!

Why, oh why, is Peggy Seeger classified as Contemporary Folk, Pete Seeger as General Folk, Clannad as World Music, Libana as New Age, Yma Sumac as Easy Listening, Cherish the Ladies as Irish Celtic, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck and OFST as Country, and Olympia’s Daughters as Vocal. I thought that Wikipedia might help, but the article on music genres is not very helpful for a non-musicologist. It doesn’t explain to help me classify my music collection.

So the Lab Cat school of music genres is:

Music by Dead White mostly European men (DWEM) – traditionally called classical music and is typically remembered mostly by the composer rather than the performer.
Music known by the band’s name (KBN) includes folk rock, pop, jazz – music typically known by the performer as opposed to the composer. Admitedly the performer and composer can quite often be the same person. This is how I would classify all of those musicians listed above.
Christmas Music – music I only play in December.
Compilations – anything with more than one composer or more than one band; may also include “early music”

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Musical Interludes – Bluegrass Earlier this year I attended a local weekly Bluegrass Jam. I only went once, as my choral commitments took over.  I hope to go again, I even bought the recommended book Amazon. The jam was not ideal for some one who only sings, perhaps that is bluegrass? I do not have time or desire to learn another instrument.  Attending the jam made me realize that I did not really know anything about this style of music. For example, what makes it bluegrass as opposed to folk or country? After all many of the musicians I enjoy, including Old School Freight Train, Tony Trischka, Bela Fleck and the Mammals [links on blogroll] are influenced by bluegrass music even that was not what they were only playing. So which bits were which? This goes back to my argument against music genres. […]

    Pingback by Musical Interludes - Bluegrass « Lab Cat — 15 Mar 2007 @ 6:01 pm


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