Top 10 Best Music Genres

Music is more than just sound. It's a way of expressing yourself, connecting with others, and experiencing the world. Music can make you feel happy, sad, angry, or inspired. It can transport you to another time and place, or help you stay in the moment. And with so many different types of music out there, there's something for everyone.

With your help, we've compiled a list of the best music genres of all time, based on popularity, influence, and innovation. Whether you're into classical or rock, jazz or hip hop, country or EDM, you'll find something that will blow your mind.
The Top Ten
1 Heavy Metal Heavy Metal music is a sub-genre of rock music that originated in the late 1960s-70s, featuring more distorted and heavier instrumental work and darker lyrical themes. Heavy Metal broke into mainstream success with bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica... read more

No matter how much the media, pop, and rap fans trash it, metal will never die. The combination of low-tuned, heavy, distorted guitars, drumming that doesn't sound as if a human is playing but rather a machine, dark bass lines, and strong, gritty vocal delivery makes metal so great. Metal is so huge, and the fans are so passionate, that there are over 50 different subgenres, each unique in its own way.

From the fast and influential thrash metal to the brutality and extremity of death and black metal, the diversity and compassion in the world of metal is astounding. Pop and rap have nothing on metal. Nothing can kill it. Fans will always be passionate about this incredible genre.

2 Alternative Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music.

Alternative does deserve number 4 (or possibly even higher) on this list, but not for bands that most people here seem to mention (Linkin Park, Coldplay, Evanescence, My Chemical Romance, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, etc.). I'm not saying those bands are bad (quite the contrary) or that they are not alternative (I personally would classify them as such). I'm saying those are not the essential alternative bands.

The essential alternative bands are bands like R.E.M., U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, The Smiths, The Cure, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, Green Day, Weezer, Rage Against the Machine, and Nine Inch Nails. The thing is, alternative already gained worldwide recognition in the '80s and was at its peak in the '90s, not as late as the 2000s. If you do like the 2000s alternative that is mostly mentioned here, I highly recommend you check out the '80s and '90s alternative.

3 Rock n' Roll

Rock and Roll/Rock, Rhythm and Blues/Soul, Blues, Hip Hop, Pop, Heavy Metal, Psychedelia, Jazz, Classical, Electronic, Folk, Country, Progressive, Experimental, Reggae, Disco, Orchestral, Opera, Christian, Gospel, and Art are the only original genres here, and they can all be good. The rest are subgenres or fusion genres. For me, Rock and Roll will always be the best. It was derived from Rhythm and Blues, which is derived from the Blues, a genre invented by African-American slaves as a way of communicating their "blues" through song.

Classical is music that is fancy and organized, like Orchestral, Opera, etc. Folk is music made among people. It isn't fancy, but it is real. Country (and few people know this) is just the Southern white people's adaptation of the Blues. So without Black people, Country wouldn't exist. Disco is a more danceable version of R&B, made as a genre for everyone to enjoy.

Hip-hop is derived from Disco. It was originally about just telling stories until Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five made the genre and the ghetto African American synonymous with one another, even though their intent was the exact opposite of the way it was perceived. Heavy Metal is a heavier form of rock music with Blues influence, and metalcore is just really insane heavy metal. Psychedelia is weird music that is influenced by drugs and was popular in the 60s.

Psychedelia gave birth to art rock - rock music turned into a form of art instead of something to jam to - and progressive - pioneered by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, etc., as a more advanced genre of rock. Christian and Gospel... well, you know. Reggae is a more Latin adaptation of American R&B or something like that. Pop music used to pretty much be another word for rock music, but now it's a genre made to attract teens.

There are more genres, most of which are regional takes on the above, but these are pretty much it, and I'm pretty sure most of us can agree that rock and roll... more

4 Hard Rock Hard Rock is a subgenre of rock music known for having heavier guitar riffs/solos. It originated around 1964-1965 with various Garage Rock bands.

This music makes you feel good and makes you just want to rock out. Rock music is awesome for multiple reasons. One of the best parts about rock music is the guitar riffs. Let's name a few that are awesome:

1. Panama - Van Halen
2. Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin
3. Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
4. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
5. Time - Pink Floyd

Not only the riffs, but the drums too. The drums make up the beat of the music. They are one of the most important parts of rock because they give it that rock "vibe." Just look at John Bonham. Oh my God, is he amazing? The groove and the feel-good tone of rock make you feel better when sad or make you feel even better when happy.

Some of my favorite rock bands are Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Jet, Def Leppard, and Queen, just to name a few. Rock music is amazing and should get more recognition in this day and age.

5 Pop

Why are people instantly criticizing those who put pop as a good music genre? I agree with many on this site that a lot of pop music is not good. However, we are forgetting other points. Good artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, Adele, and OneRepublic sing pop.

Also, some of these site visitors did not view the lists made by these people. The same people who put this as a good genre also put Michael Jackson and Adele on the best singer list. We should not say "all pop" is bad. There are bad singers in every genre.

Pop music singers get the most flak simply because everyone knows them. In addition, there is good music in the pop genre, like "Where Is the Love?" and "The Man." Generalizing an entire genre is stupid. You don't and won't hear me saying all metal is satanic or all rap is ghetto because I know those are lies.

This genre definitely has bad musicians in it. Justin Bieber and Miley should both go on a plane to Siberia and never come back. Not all pop singers use autotune or mime during concerts. Look at Sam Smith or Prince during their concerts. Auto-tune should not be used by singers, and sex should not be used as a first basis to sell records or CDs.

So we should stop criticizing everyone who likes pop music. Not all pop is bad, and many good songs have been in the pop genre.

6 Classical

I actually think that classical is not inherently a better genre than rock and roll, but classical music is old enough that if you are going to listen to it, you are going to listen to what hundreds of years of listening have picked out as the best of hundreds of years of music. We haven't even had a century to pick out what is truly the best of only a half-century's worth of music. I truly think that if Mozart had written rock and roll instead of classical, rock and roll would be just as good as the classical he did write. Rock and roll has its geniuses - The Beatles, David Bowie, and Queen, to name my personal favorites.

7 Rock Rock music is a music genre that was created in the 1940s. The genre was popular during the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. Rock bands generally consists of a guitar player, a drummer, bass player and singer. There are many rock subgenres - such as heavy metal, alternative, hard rock, grunge, and more... read more

I love rock. I used to shy away from it due to my inexperience with it, but I was listening to some rock with my dad on a two-hour car ride, and I was jamming! It took me back to when I used to play the drums. Good times. Check out some rock!

Rock is, all in all, a good genre, especially hard rock. The riffs, the drums, the voices - all amazing!

I love it. I love bands like Queen, Aerosmith, and King Crimson. The rest is also great!

8 Rap

This genre has given birth to so many intellectual and young artists. It combines many other genres by sampling songs, and then these rappers lay down bars on the beat. Some artists have such great pen game and freestyle ability.

This genre defines music in poetry, and it's beautiful. Even if they mostly talk about guns, sex, and drugs, a lot of them also discuss issues that have been plaguing society. Prime examples of great rappers are Tupac, Kendrick, Kanye, Eminem, and many more.

I grew up listening to heavy metal: Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden, you name it. And I thought I was super hardcore because, while all the other kids at school were listening to Linkin Park and Daft Punk, I was listening to "real" music. But as I grew older, I realized how tasteless metal was, being a bunch of grown men screaming and whining about little problems they encounter in life.

Don't get me wrong. I firmly believe all music has something we deserve to appreciate, but heavy metal is way too overrated. Although a lot of rap is complete crap (too many artists see narrating a bunch of perfect rhymes over a beat as a way to get rich), when it comes to good hip-hop, no other genre of music in this world can compare to the diversity, complex lyricism, storytelling, and originality of it.

9 Thrash Metal Thrash Metal is a Heavy Metal subgenre developed during the early 1980s and an early precursor of Extreme Metal. Thrash Metal features a faster and more aggressive guitar work than Traditional Metal with shredding and double-bass drums and can range from melodic singing to loud shouts... read more

The only reason that needs to be given as to why this is the greatest genre is simply that the band Vektor exists. Vektor combines the subtlety of classical music with the excitement of metal while also telling album-based stories with more complexity and commentary than any other space opera ever written. It is the Bioshock of the music world: an all-encompassing symphony of the future and the scientific progress of mankind.

Not to mention the most talented guitarist/singer and drummer of our time. This band is the biggest reason thrash's potential is so great.

10 Progressive Rock Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid to late 1960s.

Progressive rock is the best genre of all. It's the genre that takes the most talent to listen to and the one that requires the best taste in music. It's an extremely underrated genre. You've got bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Rush, and King Crimson. What's not to like about this genre?

I can't believe pop is above progressive rock. Pop music takes no talent, nor any good taste in music. The same goes for electronic. Progressive rock is very original. You have to really know how to play. I guess people would rather go with what is mainstream, rather than what's actually good.

Learn to listen to 20-minute songs with more than four chords. Learn to listen to long instrumental sections like Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Roundabout, Echoes, Close to the Edge, 2112, Supper's Ready, Musical Box, etc., not just three-minute-easy-to-listen-to songs. Progressive rock makes you actually listen and pay attention. It's true music.

The Newcomers

? Hardbass
The Contenders
11 Grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is a subgenre of alternative rock and a subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s.

What the hell is wrong with people? Grunge at 24th place? It deserves to be in the top 10 and not here! Nirvana is a legendary and influential band, and it is a grunge band. It deserves to be sitting at the throne. Kurt Cobain deserves huge credit, especially when it comes to best music genre or whatever.

People, stop voting for that useless R&B and pop music. It rots the brains of the children of this generation.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell everyone, I'm 15 and I've been listening to Hair/Glam/Sleaze Metal, Grunge, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, and stuff like that since I was 12. Other kids say that people like Justin Bieber, One Direction, Bruno Mars, Jay-Z, etc., are their inspiration or whatever and even say that they are proud as fans. Me? I am prouder as a fan of Kurt Cobain than others are proud of themselves as fans of singers.

12 Hip Hop

Hip Hop and Rap are the same thing. It's just that Hip Hop is a culture, that's it. So, I'm going to say Hip Hop/Rap was, but no longer is, the greatest musical genre from 1979 to 2009 because of how much it sucks now. The first 30 years of Hip Hop were epic.

No other genre in history talked about as much stuff as Hip Hop has, and it has always fused with more genres than any other genre ever. And Hip Hop has the greatest beats. People who don't like Hip Hop or R&B just don't know what true music is.

If someone says they hate hip-hop because of how it sounds now, then I don't blame them. If they say they hate it, period, then I don't know what's wrong with them. They obviously don't have good taste in music.

13 Punk Rock Punk rock is a subgenre of rock music. It usually has rebellious lyrics and down stroked power chords played on guitars. Bad Religion, Sex Pistols, and Green Day (actually pop-punk, which is still punk in a way) are a few punk rock bands. The subgenre influenced thrash metal because of it's down stroked... read more

With its insane lyrical quality and diversity, there is no doubt that punk rock is the best genre of music. Bands like The Clash, The Ramones, and the Sex Pistols may have really made punk rock appeal to the masses, but we mustn't forget hardcore legends such as Minor Threat, The Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Kennedys, Operation Ivy, etc.

Honestly, from musical slam poetry to uplifting ska beats, to emo, to catchy hooks, punk's got it all. Oh, and without punk, there wouldn't be Fugazi... Imagine the horror.

14 Jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music".

Such good music. Where would we be if jazz had never been around? This style allowed for others (pop, rock, and even funk) to become genres. Plus, jazz artists actually write and play their music with instruments. This is unlike most pop and rap artists, who just sing the music they're given. They don't write their music like jazz musicians do.

This also shows in their music as the jazz artists really get into their song and go all out. Plus, jazz has more than one genre in it. It has funk, blues, soul, and several kinds of Latin genres. If you say you don't like jazz, I will ask you why and what kind of jazz you don't like. Most people just don't appreciate all that jazz did to shape the world the way it is today.

15 Blues Blues is a music genre and musical form originated by African Americans in the Deep South of the United States around the end of the 19th century.

The genre that gave birth to many genres of today, particularly rock 'n' roll. It may not be easy to listen to, but it's a very respectable genre that did a lot for music.

Everything else in modern music owes a debt to this genre. Blues actually grew up in hardship and has the most power to pull the audience into the feeling of the music. Misunderstood to be sad, the blues covers every emotion there is and defines each simply but to great effect.

Improvisation is where the technical and theoretical skills are in blues. The structure is always easy for the listener to keep up with.

16 Pop Rock Pop rock is a form of rock music where it emphasises more on recording craft and songwriting than the attitude. Commonly known as an alternative to rock and roll.

I love Pop Rock, and everyone mentions very newish bands in this genre. This genre has existed since the '80s. My favorite Pop/Rock or Rock/Pop bands are Bon Jovi and Aerosmith.

I love pop rock so much! It consists of many amazing bands like Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, One Republic, and Panic! at the Disco. Pop rock music always seems to cheer me up for some reason. Get this higher, please!

Pop rock sounds way better than rap. Rap isn't really music. Yes, it's an art, but it's not really music. Bad lyrics are bad lyrics, no matter how many times you listen to them.

But pop rock is true music. I'm thinking of Chicago. I hate modern pop rock, but '70s and '80s pop rock is more my type. The drums, keyboards, and guitars, especially the bass guitar, are key.

17 Alternative Metal Alternative metal is a music genre that infuses heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres normally associated with metal.

My absolute favorite genre. Tool, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Deftones, Primus, and Korn are fantastic bands. For more info, see my remix of this list.

A more lyrical version of metal. Bands like Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Evanescence fall under this category.

I LOVE alternative metal! I love all the bands: Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Skillet - all of them.

18 Nu Metal

I'm actually really surprised to see it so high on the list! This is my favorite genre, and honestly, I was afraid to even say I liked nu-metal because I would get pounded into the ground by other metal fans. But really, the only people who hate this genre are the brain-dead metal fans who hate everything except what they like. Thanks for voting up.

Even though you don't know me, I'm happy to see this genre is getting some positive feedback. Korn, Slipknot, System of a Down, and Linkin Park (not really sure if they still make nu-metal) for the win!

19 Electronic

I seriously think that the reason why so many people hate it is that they can't understand it yet. They are not used to concentrating on the melody and enjoying the vibe of the music. I love this genre - of course, it's a wide expression when we're talking about "electronic music" - and even though there are repetitive, lame tracks (as in every genre), this is the only form of music which can give me chills or energy when I need it.

It focuses on your vibes and feelings during listening, and this is what I love about it. Without deep/future/progressive house, my life would have a much worse perspective.

20 R&B

I like some R&B artists such as Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Earth, Wind & Fire. But there are a lot of bad artists such as Chris Brown and Jason Derulo. This genre is good though, especially classic R&B.

This is literally the best genre. It's just easy to relate to. It's so beautiful and meaningful.

Great love songs I have heard are in R&B. Most romantic music. Nothing shouts like other genres. Claude Kelly, B5, Jackie Boyz, and Chris Brown are such lovely singers.

21 Country

Easily the best music genre ever. Always has been, always will be. Sadly, it's also the most underrated music genre ever.

I can't believe it's ranked lower than genres like hip-hop, metalcore, rap, and electronic. Seriously, people? Country music is not a bunch of drunk cowboys crying because their cow died or their pickup truck broke down. It's not all about beer and tractors.

It's about life. It's about family, faith, friendship, love, hope, God, being proud of where you come from even when people discriminate against you for it, learning valuable life lessons, being a better person, having fun, pursuing happiness, and other things that everyone cares about. There are also some really funny country songs out there.

Sure, there are sad country songs, but they're sad because they mean something. They're sad because they're realistic. Country music is amazing because it sounds good, the lyrics actually have depth and meaning, and everyone can relate to them. Country singers can actually sing and play instruments and write their own songs.

Country music requires lots of talent and hard work, but some people automatically turn their arrogant hipster noses up at it just because of the false stereotype that it's depressing hillbilly junk. Get over yourselves and actually give it a chance. You will be surprised. None of the bad things that people say about country music are true. It's really great music and everyone should listen to it.

22 Psychedelic Rock Psychedelic Rock is a style of rock music in the late 1960s where it is incorporated, influenced or inspired by psychedelic culture which revolves around the perception of hallucinogenic drugs. It is incorporated with improvisation, electronic sound effects and extended solos.

This is the best genre out there, in my opinion. Sadly, it's not mainstream. It was huge from 1965 to 1969. After 1969, progressive rock came.

Psychedelic rock is amazing. There were amazing bands such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, etc. 1967 was a turning point, with albums like Piper at the Gates of Dawn, The Doors' self-titled album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and Surrealistic Pillow.

Psychedelia is just fabulous and does things to your brain that I can't even explain. That's how good it is. I love psychedelic rock. Let it live on!

23 Progressive Metal

Oh, prog-metal, let me count the ways in which I adore you:

- Excellent musicianship: Prog metal can claim pretty much all the best instrumentalists.
- Variation in tone and theme, but steady in quality.
- Toying around with layers and time signatures makes for music that keeps getting better after each listen.
- Heavy metal fusing with other genres can create funky, majestic, or atmospheric themes, making for a lot of variety.
- Clean singing, melodic grunting, mysterious chants, opera-like performances, upbeat meters, or atmospheric narration: take your pick, and don't be surprised by a refreshing alternation and combination of these sorts of vocals.
- Music unhampered by pop-institutionalized songwriting: haunting power ballads, solid rockers, or soaring epics. It's all there, and often in unique forms.
- Holding music theory high, and thus creating a sonic marriage of science and art.

Of course, there's much more to be said, but I think this alone makes a solid case.

24 Pop Punk

I feel like the name "pop punk" contradicts itself. Pop means popular, and it's what the majority listens to. Punk is this rebellious spirit that rebels against the majority and rules.

Pop punk is what teen girls listen to to make them feel like rebellious punks, despite actually being preppy. If you want to understand what I'm talking about, listen to Sex Pistols, The Clash, or Bad Religion.

This genre is underrated. Look everywhere, and you won't find many pop punk songs playing on the radio. I only started listening to it after I googled what genre a song I liked was, and it was this. Now I listen to it all the time. This deserves to be way higher on the list.

25 Melodic Death Metal

Five years ago, I used to listen to meaningless, idiotic songs on the radio. But then I discovered rock/metal music and its countless subgenres. I never thought a death metal song would ever make me cry.

After listening to "Lethe" by Dark Tranquillity, I cried out loud, and this song relieved me from some of my pain. I have been a big fan of Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, and Children of Bodom.

I'm happy to see so many rock and metal genres here at the top! I have no clear favorite... Hard or punk rock? Power, heavy, or melodic metal? Nu metal or metalcore? Or maybe grunge? Maybe alternative rock? No clue.

But hey, I just voted in honor of one of my favorite bands: In Flames!

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