Today I set out on a mission to develop Quentin Genre Theory (QGT), a sort of mapping of my opinion of how music genres are related and where they would fall on a big related graph of sorts. I began by listing major genres and other genres I knew fairly well. (I tried to be all-inclusive, but since it’s my project QGT will inherently rely on personal opinion a little bit. I’m sorry if I didn’t list your favorite genre. I left a few notable genres such as R&B and Jazz out because I’m really focusing on today’s major radio music and to be honest I don’t know either of those genres very well at all. I may edit QGT or release QGT 2.0 later on if I gain experience with more genres.)
I wanted to organize them in a simple way first, so I organized by the variable “Heaviness,” which I was vaguely defining as “anti-ease-of-listening.” For example, a very soft, quiet, and sweet song would be less heavy and a loud raging song would be more heavy. I know it is not the best system because there’s no scale, but here’s my little Heavy Line:
Genres are clustered into two main categories: “Loud Music” and “Soft Music.”
“Soft Music” does not mean that every song and every genre is necessarily quiet, and there are certainly major exceptions to the rule. (Same’s true for “Loud Music.”) But, most of the time, the rule holds. If you know the genre of a song and whether it’s Soft or Loud, you have some idea of what you’re going to be listening to.
I drew up another chart, this one showing that each genre is sort of an evolution from another before it, leading back to Rock. I left out a few this time, because Hip Hop, Rap, Country, and Folk all have their own beginnings, etc. They’re not really that related to Rock, so I’m going to ignore them for a little while. I also left out some detail genres like Alt. Rock and Metalcore; it should be obvious where those fit in.
The above chart illustrates the second main principle of QGT: Genres are a progression, not a list of completely unrelated categories. The heaviness chart shows this point, too; many genres along the way are close to their neighbors in style. There are extremes at either end of the spectrum, but the point is that in the middle there is a lot of variation. Thus, QGT cannot be summarized by the first principle; it has to note the fact that there is progressive change in style, not simply two groups that have nothing in common.
That’s all the QGT I am going to share for now, because honestly the idea of genres is simply too complicated to write out properly and I have a feeling that this post is going to leave a lot of people confused and probably disgusted with me. (There is a 100% chance that someone will see this post, disagree with what I’m saying completely, and get very offended. Somehow. Even though I clearly stated that this is my own opinion and not fact. Again, people, I’m just trying to put QGT into words and pictures; it’s probably not working out that well because it’s never had to try to be understood by anyone other than me.)
If you have any comments on QGT or questions that you’d like answered, feel free to comment below!
On the subject of music, Avenged Sevenfold has changed the album cover for Hail to the King:
That’s all for now! As always, thanks for reading.