...but is still not a genre, it's a demographic.
That's a really
interesting point - the overlap between a demographic and an associated genre. Like when I think of punk, I think disaffected younger people in population centers. For "new age," I think middle-aged white people. Granted, those are stereotypes, but they're probably not all that
far off. Even the name "urban" sounds more like a demographic than a musical style.
Maybe the classical music people have it right by classifying a lot of music based on the period, like baroque, renaissance, etc. We could have periods too - like the "acoustic guitar" period (folk music), the "people taking drugs" period for the 60s, and "the synthesizer period" for the 80s
I have sort of a love/hate relationship with genre identification - I've posted many threads on the KC over the years asking how people would classify certain specific types of music. Usually the reason why I do it is because it makes it easier to identify similar music that I have not discovered if you can put a label on it. That said, generally I think labels suck and some are just really stupid.
Well said. Genres are indeed useful for broad
strokes with well-defined genres - like if someone says they play classical music or hard-core techno, you have an idea of the lay of the land. But labels can also set up expectations that are not accurate. Several people asked me what genre my Joie de Vivre
project was, and I said it was "EDM meets rock." The people into EDM said it was too much like rock, and the rock people said it was too EDM for them. The people who liked both genres liked it. But if I hadn't set people up with those two genres as a means of comparison, maybe the EDM and rock people would have not know what to expect, and drawn their own conclusions.