I honestly wish I could tell you why someone made this, but I can't.

So on my morning scroll around the Internet, I found this. I know its not a person or a place so it is probably best to call it a thing. This thing sucks, as do genres. Myself and many other musicians know genres are created by labels. This makes it easier for consumers to find music. I would almost be willing to bet my entire bank account, that less than 5% of artists sit down and say let me write some dirty south hip hop this time instead of southern rap. I definitely know there aren’t people out there saying let me write some deep happy hardcore because last time my happy hardcore track just didn’t get in people’s feeling’s enough. By the way, I’m willing to bet my bank account because it may or may not be be very low at the moment. Shout out to Ultra Music Festival. Anyway, here is an interactive map of every music genre.

genre, interactive, map, gross, consumers


Just a note the term every is being used very loosely. First of all, it has a finite number on the map and people make up genres all the time.  Something doesn’t make sense there. Secondly, some genres are named for their marketability. For example, most teenagers and 20 somethings do not like jazz. However, tropical house was a huge deal for a while. Tropical house is really just jazz using completely synthesized sounds. (Not my words but when I really thought about it I knew the person who said it was right.) Lastly, I even had college professors, people who got a PhD in music (something i think is dumb, but that’s a rant for another day), tell me that subgenres were basically the same. Some differences came with time in history or who was prolific at that style. I can get really music nerdy here, but I am going to show a little restraint.

I am only showing restraint because for some reason you may want to play with this thing. So here, go ahead and click on the map. The Echo Nest said this about their creation.

This is an ongoing attempt at an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 1387 genres by The Echo Nest. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.

First of all I‘m not a rapper SO STOP RAPPING AT ME, how do you have a computer tell you what is categorized as what genre. Also, apparently the left side is denser and more atmospheric. I am not an expert on science or a wordsmith or anything like that. However, someone please tell me if something is dense, how is at the same time atmospheric? And can someone define spikier for me? Is it an uneducated way to say that the waveform has a lot of spikes? I would assume, that just means it was poorly recorded or produced. Does the bouncier music have sound waves that interact with matter differently and therefore are processed as having a different quality of sound or tone color?

Ok two more things and I’m done with The Echo Nest.

  1. This thing is dumb. I typed in Porter Robinson, an artist who’s style has changed greatly over his career and I dont even think he turned 24 yet. I got complextro, EDM, electro house, brostep, house, big room, progressive house. I will give them that before Worlds came out. If you can tell me “Sea of Voices” or “Natural Light” sounds like any of those genres (even EDM, since you can’t exactly dance to those songs) you are either missing ears or a brain. You should get that checked. Just a suggesstion.
  2. I clearly lied earlier. I said I won’t get too nerdy. I couldn’t help it. It was the heat of the moment. As the great Clayton Bigsby once said, “if you have hate in your heart, let it out.”

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