Top Ten Reasons You Should Argue Less About Music Genre Classification on TheTopTens

There is a lot going on in music-related disscussions. Let's stay at TheTopTens and see what causes the most arguments, mad flaming and abusive relationships in the site when it comes to music! I've got the answer: people (supposedly or really) considering a song, album or artist to be of a certain genre of music, while the other person thinks otherwise. While it sounds like a simple disagreement, it actually causes much more emotion than it logically would. Just like how I don't understand how people can call each other names and wish the other death for not preferring the same operation system, the fights surrounding this topic are also questionable. Examples (not literal quotations, just typical comments of this type):

My Screeching Wake is NOT metal at all. Anyone who put it here is illiterate about music.

Dying Shadows of the Novel Sun is not a melodic death metal album, much more of a metalcore album with some death-metal like solos. If you don't understand the true essence of melodeath you should stop calling yourself a metalhead.

Ha ha you call this garbage progressive! It's about as progressive as the Seether album your mom suggested you to buy for somebody's 13th birthday!

People, stop this. It's doing little good. At first glance you can say "there is nothing wrong with correcting genre guesses that others get wrong"... No. It has gone to the point of overreacting. TheTopTens and other sites where music often comes into discussion would be a nicer place if everyone was easier-going about this topic.

WARNING: This list is not applicable when people are mistaking genres where it's really not appropriate, i.e. reviews, expert remixes, music journals etc.

The Top Ten

You will be involved in much less arguments

This is the argument you can read from the description. This argument is not enough on its own since there are a lot of topics worth heftily arguing for, so here's the rest of the list.

See for yourself how much of the comments on the famed collection of absurd and ignorant music comments are about some song or artist being a certain genre. I admit, I might have added some when I didn't have the opinion that made me do this list, but it shows what most musical discussions are centred around. - Alkadikce

Did you have to remake this list my comment is gone and it now says that the list is from today? - Powell

I did not have to remake it, it's just that the draft was returned because #8 wasn't specific enough. I might resubmit it even more times until it gets approved - Alkadikce

The picture... Love it - Murphypaw

Determining genre is a task of music journals more than of forums and sites like TheTopTens

Somehow when somebody calls a fir tree a gymnosperm there isn't every second person attacking him that gymnosperms form a paraphyletic group and that this term cannot be used in biological classifiction. Simply because they leave it to biologists and phylogenetists to discuss, except for a few enthusiasts.

But in music, everybody can feel like an expert. This reminds me of a (supposedly) common analogy on how a factory is built without any trouble but people can't agree on the colour of the bicycle lockers, since everybody feels like he is an expert on bicycle locker colours, but not on how to build a factory. - Alkadikce

Anyone can claim to be an "expert" in music while in reality, almost nobody is. Leave it to encyclopaedia metallum for what is and isn't metal (except for the fact they consider Rush and some 80s hair bands metal). And I heard someone call Van Der Graaf Generator "entry level poser prog".

Yes some of their criteria is weird. For example, a band needs to have only one album that's metal to be considered a metal band. That means King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is allowed because of their one album, Infest the Rats' Nest, even though the rest of their music is far from metal.

What the genre is has little impact on your listening experience

Listen to an Ocean Collective song while thinking it's progressive metal. Then listen again, thinking it's post-metal this time. Maybe you have looked for other musical elements, maybe you were comparing it to other music while listening, but overall most casual music discussion (I.e. not reviews) is centred mainly on how much you like a song, how did it feel like listening to it, what musical elements did you especially like etc. Unless you are writing a review, it is not that fun to talk about whether a Stockhausen piece is serialism or aleatoric music. - Alkadikce

In most cases where genre is controversial, that particular song can be considered having elements of more genres

There's no use in arguing whether Edge of Sanity is a progressive death metal or melodic death metal band for the reason that progressive melodic death metal exists and the spirit of music won't visit you in your nightmare if you leave one of the labels out. - Alkadikce

In casual music discussions, genre classification can be considered subjective

Whether or not Sikth or Alice in Chains is metal can be considered an opinion at this point. There is no golden standard. Saying XY is jazz fusion is just not like saying 2+2 is 5. - Alkadikce

Genre classification elitism makes getting into a genre harder for beginner fans

Credits to Metal_Treasure for the image, since he's inactive one can't ask for his permission.
Although I completely agree that Disturbed isn't metal (not talking about the thrash metal band), you can't say it's a factual information. If a kid was brought up on pop hits, he'll most likely thing metal = heavy, because he isn't a music theorist. He'll hear a Disturbed song and he will compare it to what he has already heard, and he hasn't heard any death metal to compare it. If you throw a tantrum that Disturbed is not metal, you actually make it harder for him to once become a "real" metalhead, because he'll feel like it's a different long journey to being a metal fan and his curiosity will be gone. - Alkadikce

Items from lists are not removed often unless they are duplicates or completely factually incorrect, so there's little use asking people to remove an item for not being of a certain subgenre

Of course this is only applicable for TTT and especially the cases when the genre classification can be subjective. If a non-X item has been added to the Best X Songs list, well what a shame, it will stay there, maybe it will even be voted for. I've never actually seen an example of an item being taken off a list because it is from a wrong genre, except for a very obvious case when Lady Gaga has been put on the best metal bands. - Alkadikce

People argue about genre classifications at a level that is disproportionate to their significance

Why is music classification so much more important for you? Movies are almost as popular on this site, and although I haven't browsed a lot of movie-related lists since it's not a big interest of mine, they don't have this mentality. The same can be said for video game- and TV show related lists as well. - Alkadikce

People have been arguing about genre classification for long on this site, and it doesn't seem to have paid off well

I mean A7X is still number eight on best metal bands. Nu-metal bands are still getting votes and being added daily on metal lists. While this may seem like a stupid argument since you can say we can ignore X social problem because not having achieved much yet, in case of TTT arguing about genres has no purposes other than avoiding non-belonging votes and additions. - Alkadikce

If somebody is very interested in genres and the theory behind them he will look it up himself

The people who mistake genres a lot are typically not very interested in them in the first place, so having been continously corrected will not encourage them to look up the subject. Of course this argument does not work when two music enthusiasts interested in music theory are discussing the topic. - Alkadikce

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