A guide to modern music genres

Modern music is musical works mainly of the XX and XXI centuries, which, unlike classical works, are aimed at mass audience (as “mass product”).

In a larger sense, this is a trend that appeared from the contradiction between the classics and folk motives.

What is modern music?

Here are some popular genres:

  • beat;
  • rock;
  • heavy metal;
  • punk;
  • rap;
  • r n b;
  • techno;
  • house;
  • rave;
  • dubstep;
  • pop.


Although electronic music has many subgenres, it is sometimes considered an independent genre. This is actually a bit confusing as many people use the term “electronic” to refer to the songs they hear on the charts – David Guetta, Calvin Harris, etc.

In fact, this genre should be treated as a general term for any kind of works produced mainly with the electronic instruments.


Hip-hop traditionally consists of four main elements: rap (MC-ing), DJs, dance (such as break dance, funky, locking, etc.), and graffiti.

There is also a fifth element – beat-box (creating musical accompaniment without instruments, only through the mouth).

What modern music style “rock” means

Rock is a musical movement that tried to take place between jazz and classical music. The movement began in Europe with such bands as Pink Floyd and Genesis in the 1960s and peaked in the 1970s with the release of Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) and Tubular Bells. The main characteristics were long compositions, complex lyrics and a wide range of used instruments.

Punk rock

Punk rock was originally a hard rock style with high play speed, with simple words, and less than three chords. Such bands as Television, Ramones and Sex Pistols were punk rock style ancestors. Later such styles as hardcore punk (faster tempo), new wave (influenced by pop), post-punk, grunge (fusion of hardcore and alternative rock) were developed.

Heavy metal

Heavy metal is a musical form characterized by aggressive, energetic rhythms and amplified electric guitars with distortion, huge lyrics and virtuoso instrument playing. The centerpiece is riffs as melodic and narrative elements.

Heavy metal originated in such bands as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.


The essence of modern music is targeting the widest possible audience. Pop songs usually consist of puzzles and choruses with a predictable structure. The texts are undemanding and the themes are repetitive.

What does modern music mean? Disputes about which musical genre is better have been going on for a long time and often lead to disagreements and contradictions. Folk or opera, jazz or pop, rock or hip-hop? In fact, a good composition doesn’t depend on its style.