Rhythm 'n' Roots

Musical Explorations.

Mapping Music 1

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A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or “basic musical language” (van der Merwe 1989, p.3). Music may also be categorised by non-musical criteria such as geographical origin though a single geographical category will often include a wide variety of sub-genres (Music News Review)

I was thinking recently what with this global exchange of music that it would be interesting to create some kind of chart, a comprehensive guide to music and it's roots. Plotting influences, genres, movements etc. I imagine it would consist of lots of arrows and names. I started to dig around google and try out with different search terms.
There is Ishkur's Guide to Electronic music but it is all tongue in cheek and now feels a bit outdated. Then I found this chart (Wikipedia) which resembles more or less what I had in mind, it is a graph of cuban music with extras added in.

I then found this blog:
Digital Music Collector who is in the process of constructing a music genre map, a very comprehensive one by the sounds of things.

Obviously it should be merely a guide which traces the evolution of music but does not constrain or attempt to define artists etc. But for example the evolution of cumbia, the roots of Reggaeton, tango's Italian/spanish/folkloric influences. The possibilities are endless and especially if it was user friendly or possibly Wikipedia-ish, in that users could update information, provide descriptions, new genres (all monitored, to an extent.) Also sites like
LastFm could link into the information for users listening, music players could use the genre tag and link to the site. Etc etc. If anyone is interested or would like to offer support to the programmer behind the Music Genre Tree site contact here: Contact

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1 Reply to "Mapping Music"

kokoloko on 30 March 2010 at 04:32

did your project proceed?
Do you know this map of the eveolution of pop/rock by Reebee Galofaro:


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