Classical Music

The oldest established genre of music in the modern world, classical music spans numerous genres across multiple centuries. Classical music is deeply rooted within European and Western culture and has played an important role in cultural development. Although classical music can be said to cover almost every form of music written prior to the 20th century, most modern musicians refer to classical music as music written between the Renaissance era and the start of the 20th century. Modern classical music typically refers to music that is written in a classical style, using classical instruments, although like many musical terminologies, they are not set in stone and are often used informally.

The renaissance was an era that was of particular importance to music and it is unlikely that we would have any of the forms of modern music that we do had this period not happened. Many instruments that are still in use today were invented during the Renaissance era, although almost all of them vary greatly for their original iterations. Classical instruments are typically classified into one of four different categories: brass, string, percussion, or woodwind. Brass instruments were traditionally only played by musicians who were members of Guilds, although there are not many historical reference to street performers and whether or not they were guild members. String instruments were considered to be a more universal instrument, particularly as they were typically the least expensive of all types of instruments.

Vocal music also went through a number of changes during the Renaissance period, with vocals becoming increasingly polyphonic, something that until that time was uncommon around the world. Classical music continued to evolve during the Baroque era, and it is during this time that some of the most well-known classical composers, whose works are still frequently played today, began to emerge.

Electronic Music

The modern genre of electronic music spans numerous individual styles and techniques. Generally for a song to be considered electronic music, it is composed using only electronic instruments, typically making heavy use of digital synthesisers and drum machines.

The genre began to grow traction during the 1990s, particularly in the United Kingdom, when clubs playing only electronic music began to pop up around the country. Although electronic music had been around for some decades by that time, it was mostly seen as either purely experimental and was not necessarily produced for commercial consumption. Electronic music has continued to evolve and now spans dozens of individually identifiable genres, such as house or dubstep.

Sampling has become an important feature of electronic music with many artists now decided not to use digitally synthesised instruments in favour of hiring musicians to play real instruments and working those into their productions instead. This has been particularly evident since 2010 when new recording techniques made producing music much cheaper and easier, as well as the invention of social media, which has helped fellow musicians to communicate with one other and collaborate without having to ever meet in person.

Heavy Metal

One of the sub-genres of rock and roll, heavy metal is a much heavier style of rock that has become its own genre. Although the exact roots are continually debated amongst fans, the roots of heavy metal date back to the early 1970s musical scene in the United Kingdom when many bands started to experiment with heavier sounding guitar. Heavy metal today is typically characterised with guitars that are heavily distorted.

Three bands that help pioneer heavier sounding guitars were: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple. Although the bands are not themselves considered to be heavy metal, they did introduce to the public how heavier guitars could be used melodically, with a lot of heavier sounding bands starting to emerge in the mid-1970s. A lot of heavy metal bands began to discard the typically blues rhythms that rock bands were using at that time, instead opting to switch for simpler melodies that would often only feature two or three chords throughout an entire track.

Heavy metal has itself evolved a number of times since hitting commercial markets, making crossovers into the electronic musical genre as bands became more experimental.

Black Sabbath and the birth of British Heavy Metal

What is heavy metal music? Many fans would say this genre of music started in the late 1960s, into the early 1970s and beyond. There are multiple forms of rock music, but what makes heavy metal stand out above the rest? Initially, the music was played at high volume with massive guitar stacks, creating a sound unlike anything heard before. The volume was essential and was probably taken to its extreme with Black Sabbath in the 1970s. So the volume was important, but what else made heavy metal a unique genre of music?

Their first album, called “Black Sabbath”, was unique. It featured songs that were very long, leaden riffs together with frantic guitar solos, and Ozzy Osbourne’s doom-laden lyrics. The heaviest tracks were “Black Sabbath”, “N.I.B.”, “Behind the Wall of Sleep”, and “Sleeping Village”. All of these tracks conjured up a sense of myth and mystery that was to shape heavy metal over the next few years. At that time, music fans had not heard anything quite like this before. Their track “Warning”, for example, weighed in at 10 minutes and 33 seconds. For this type of music, this was unheard of. The album was released on February 13, 1970, and reached number eight in the UK charts and 23 in the American Billboard charts, where it stayed for a whole year. Had Black Sabbath created something that was unique amongst rock music, maybe heavy metal itself?

Black Sabbath then released their “Paranoid” album, where perhaps the most seminal of all heavy metal riffs appeared on their track “Iron Man”. The use of a ring modulator at the start of the track to create the voice of Iron Man was highly influential. It took heavy metal to new heights, and is probably one of the most famous tracks of its genre ever written. The album soared to the top of the UK charts. The track is still used today in the films featuring the superhero Iron Man. The eponymous track “Paranoid” from the same album was a smash hit, and finally showed that heavy metal was reaching the masses. If you want to listen to this track, why not use an apple PC refurbished in the uk. This album also features another heavy metal classic, “War Pigs”. This fantastic heavy metal pastiche of the Vietnam War is an example of how Black Sabbath would change the musical landscape forever.

Black Sabbath continued to release many more albums in various guises, but the first two albums were so different and commercially popular that Black Sabbath were here to stay. Many bands have been influenced by Black Sabbath, but their first two albums were undoubtedly works of art in relation to the birth of British heavy metal music. Nothing like those two albums had ever been heard before, and there is no doubt that they invented or sowed the seed for the future of heavy metal as we know and love it.

Rock and Roll

The musical genre of Rock and Roll dates back to 1940s and 1950s America. The genre is an evolution of blues, gospel, jazz, boogie woogie, with some sub-genres of rock and roll also having a distinct country feel to them, particularly rock and roll from some of the southern US states. Some of the earliest elements of rock and roll are evident on early records from 1920s blues music, although the term did not get invented until 1954.

Rock and roll has undergone many evolutions since its inception, with most early rock and roll relying heavily on blues rhythms, as well as following the standard band formula of having a lead singer and the rest of the band being considered to be ‘backing’.

During the 1960s the formula for the rock and roll band changed, largely due to the influence of the Beatles, as it was uncommon for the lead singer to have the band named after themselves and the band as a whole became more important than any individual member. The popularity of Rock during the 1960s and 1970s led to the creation of a number of sub-genres, many of which took on a much harder sound than their predecessors. Metal is one of the most well-known derivatives of rock music, and many metal bands have switched between the two genres when recording their albums.

Numerous musical historians have stated that the invention of rock and roll was a huge turning point in history in the countries where it was popular. Many bands were influential during the counterculture movements and bands started to become more and more political, particularly with many writing anti-war protest songs.


Either an old genre or a modern phenomenon depending on your point of view, rap music in its current form generally comprises of a rhythmic speaking over some form of musical backing track. Early precursors of rap are spoken poetry, with the difference between the two being that rap songs are typically performed in time to some form of music.

Rap is one of the primary components of the hip-hop genre, with almost every hip-hop album containing either exclusively rap or every track having some form of rap on it. Anthony ‘DJ Hollywood’ Holloway has been given the credit for inventing the style that would go on to become the modern style of rap. Holloway was from Harlem, New York, and the area has remained popular in the rap scene ever since.

There are many negative sides associated with rap and hip-hop, particularly relating to lyrics which appear to glorify violence, drugs, and sexism. Many rapper have come under fire in the media in recent years for their negative influence over younger men, with music itself having even been blamed for a number of violent gang incidents that have taken place.