- EARLY JAZZ – Ragtime, Dixieland, big band, swing, etc.
- MAINSTREAM JAZZ – Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, etc.
- VOCAL JAZZ –
- BOP –
- COOL –
- HARD BOP –
- POST-BOP –
- AVANT-GARDE JAZZ – Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, etc.
- FUSION – Miles Davis. The man. The legend.
- AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ –
- BOSSA NOVA –
- WORLD FUSION – Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Tito Puente, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Buena Vista Social Club, etc.
- ROCK EN ESPANOL –
These genres reach far enough back that much of them weren’t captured on record when they were performed.
- BLUES – More than any other genre, the blues informed what became American music.
- FOLK, SINGER/SONGWRITER & SOFT ROCK – Passed down from generation to generation, folk songs also formed a significant portion of the core of early American music.
- REGGAE – The legend goes that Africans brought what became the blues to America and developed it while working the fields as slaves; reggae is what evolved from what slaves brought to the Caribbean and developed.
- ROCK & ROLL, BRITISH INVASION & AM POP – In the 1940s and 1950s, blues music finally crystalized into a punchier form that had lots of commercial potential.
- ALBUM ROCK, BLUES-ROCK & COUNTRY-ROCK – When things got less weird but not necessarily less interesting.
- ART ROCK, PROG-ROCK & POST-ROCK – When things got weird. And then they got weirder.
This is the album era of rock & pop (specifically, the vinyl era).
- PSYCHEDELIC – Yay for drugs and hippies.
- CONTEMPORARY POP/ROCK – From the ’80s onward, pop music became much easier to segment; these artists transcended genre and became superstars.
- HARD ROCK, HEAVY METAL & ARENA ROCK – When lots of artists began pushing the boundaries of how loud and noisy they could make their music sound.
- ALTERNATIVE METAL, INDUSTRIAL METAL, DEATH METAL & BLACK METAL –
- EXPERIMENTAL ROCK, PROTO-PUNK & GLAM ROCK –
- PUNK & POST-PUNK – When rock & roll got torn down and rebuilt into something else.
- NEW WAVE – The portion of the punk crowd that had larger pop ambitions with their music.
- COLLEGE ROCK – As new wave went mainstream and then faded out, a new crop of talent surfaced in the underground.
- ALTERNATIVE ROCK & ADULT ALTERNATIVE – When everything is alternative, nothing is.
- MADCHESTER, BRITPOP, GRUNGE & PUNK-POP –
- INDIE ROCK & INDIE POP – After alternative went mainstream with Nirvana, those who remained indie redefined the scene.
- INDIE ELECTRONIC – More rock than electronic in form and structure, but more electronic than rock in sound and feel.
- GARAGE ROCK REVIVAL –
- BLUEGRASS – Bring on the banjos.
- TRADITIONAL COUNTRY – A more roots-y, organic version of what the genre would later bring, a vast number of great albums were made in this distinctly American genre.
- BAKERSFIELD SOUND –
- COUNTRY-POP –
- OUTLAW COUNTRY –
- CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY – From the ’80s onward, country became more corporate and slickly produced like the rest of pop music.
- PROGRESSIVE COUNTRY –
- AMERICANA –
- EARLY R&B –
- SOUL – Essentially, black pop music during the rock & roll and album rock eras.
- FUNK –
- QUIET STORM –
- NEW JACK SWING –
- CONTEMPORARY R&B – Still black pop music, beginning with the disco era that put dance elements first.
- KRAUT ROCK, NEW AGE & AMBIENT –
- TECHNO & JUNGLE/DRUM’N’BASS –
- HOUSE & GARAGE –
- ELECTRONICA & CLUB/DANCE – When electronic music started incorporating pop sensibilities.
- IDM –
- JUNGLE/DRUM’N’BASS –
- CLUB/DANCE – Welcome to the electronic underground.
- GARAGE –
- OLD-SCHOOL RAP, GOLDEN AGE, POP-RAP & PARTY RAP – Early, sample-heavy hip-hop.
- POLITICAL RAP, GANGSTA RAP & HARDCORE RAP – When rap started landing on the pop charts and incorporating more live instrumentation.
- JAZZ-RAP, ALTERNATIVE RAP & UNDERGROUND RAP – As rap became tougher and more hardcore, some went another direction.