How to judge what style a song is?

Most people’s law

As long as it is impossible to explicitly list / data to try to define, are the concept of the law of large numbers. Popularly speaking, “Most people think so.” Because the feelings are too vague, it is like someone who thinks that the Shining Orchestra is very noisy music. But some people think that Elvis is very noisy. So the law of the law of large numbers means that most people think that the flash is called noisy, so the music of Elvis is not classified as “heavy metal.”

However, the disadvantage of the law of large numbers is that it cannot satisfy everyone’s cognition. So there will be a bunch of jazz musicians who think that kenny G is not called jazz at all. Charlie Parker is the kingly argument.


Time will change the definition because culture is dynamic. In the 1960s, the “Rolling Stone Orchestra” felt bad all over the world and was rebellious. But when you ask young people, they will feel bored and vulgar. Like One Ok Rock, it is called the tide, it is called rock music.

Professional definition

Music is a deep knowledge. It certainly has academic and academic specialties.People in the music circle hate outsiders’ comments on music, because they only use a bunch of gorgeous words to stack, make general comments, and the knowledge of music structure is almost zero.

For example, blues music, many people describe it as “melancholy.” But what is melancholy? Is heavy metal not depressed? Reggae is not depressed? Jay Chou is not depressed? If you want to analyze it accurately, perhaps because it uses a lot of semitones in its scale, it produces the melancholy that you think. For the public, these do not necessarily understand. But if you want to go to the profession, learning more professional academics is quite helpful for understanding the style.

Feeling definition

But on the other hand, it is definitely a bad thing to learn too much to understand music. Music is art and it is the expression of humanity. A lot of feelings are “intention” and not “shape”, and not all feelings can be analyzed. For example, you can’t say that there is Power chord (rock chords unique to electric guitars). There are countless rock music without Power chord. There are many ways to present rock, which may be an attitude, an idea, a performance technique, a dress, a volume, a tone, a shout of shouting, a straight arrangement… And since the explosion of music has developed, there is no such thing as a pure genre. It is constantly merging, translating, evolving, integrating, translating, and evolving… Often when an orchestra describes its own musical style, it can’t say what it is.

The above four points are to know that to understand a style of music is not enough, because there is no standard answer. The times have been evolving, and everyone’s preferences and concepts are always changing. Coupled with different entry points, it is difficult to have a common set of standards. As long as we master the general direction of the big principles, we should be more inclusive and diverse in the definition of the label style. Next I will share some of the ways in which I study music. But that is just my personal habit. Does not represent any authoritative answer, you can adjust and think according to your own preferences.

Master the most uncontroversial principles/learning Everything changes, all musical changes can be traced back to the most primitive law. Since it is a law, it is a definition of large numbers, the most uncontroversial principle (the more clearly the better). Only mastering the principle will not be confused by a bunch of “adjectives” when checking the information. When you listen to various deformations, you can catch the veins of structural mutations.

The music structure has 4 large blocks, [melody, chord, rhythm, tone].

To analyze any kind of genre, you need to cut in from these 4 big blocks, like:

Melody: Blues – scales, soul – voice use, Chinese style – pentatonic.

Rhythm: Reggae 2, 4 remake, Jazz Swing, Samba 100 or more speed, 16 points of musical scores, 8 points of rock and roll.

Chords: Punk three chords, Jazz 251 marching, FUNK7, 9 chords, black metal increase and decrease chords.

Tone: Metal electric guitar with high distortion and broken sound, Jazz gentle Bass/drum, FUNK grainy Bass/drum, Japanese folk songs and shamisen, Indian folk song sitar, classical music symphony orchestra, unplugged original music player configuration.

Many principles can be found in the book. But more is to listen to your own ears. A large number of listening and hard analysis, using the principle of large numbers, even if you are not a class, you will soon be able to grasp the color of any style.


Listening from ancient times to the present Every music changes over time, and that’s the most interesting part of music. I am used to finding out the “original ancestor” (also a concept of mastering the origin), such as Rem’s Bob Marley, Punk’s The Clash, and rock’s Chuck Berry. Then listen to modernity along the timeline, you will find that this kind of thing has been changing, and it is constantly blending new tastes. The definition of genre in each age is also very different. There are too many hybrids of modern music, and there are fewer and fewer lines. Not as clear as the previous barriers, specific nouns have become one of the “elements”. The wider the timeline of listening, the more you can grasp the evolution of the times.

Master the differences

The reason why the study of style is most often lost is because there are too many differences. On one side is the jazz field, and hundreds of keywords are sprinkled, then the rock family is launched, and the labyrinth of the devil is dizzy. This is why I emphasize the need to master the basic principles. Because of the return of the law, the veins are buried in the creative packaging. For example, Bob Marley’s “no woman no cry” is undoubtedly a classic reggae paradigm. Let’s take a look at Zhang Huimei’s “Betelle of Jamaica” infused with Dubstep. Do you say this is a new style?

Yes!! But have you discovered that the core principle is pushed back 30 years? Reggae emphasizes 2 and 4 shots. Therefore, the rhythm accent and the melody of the melody are still following the principle. The melody is also a tight sense of the lazy swing of the middle plate.

Music has always been a continuous entanglement system. It is always a whole piece, not a small piece. Every artist is influenced by what he or she hears while creating. So who affects who, who is like who… It is normal, Dubstep may think that it is a very new and embarrassing thing. However, if you delve into it, in fact, it has a deep relationship with the reggae, and the two together are not “real innovation.”

Remember!! Nothing in music is a true innovation, it is constantly merging and evolved. Just listen to the work of Dubstep Pope Skrillex, First Of The Year, you will know, no reggae?? The thunder exploded. The ultimate metal comes from heavy metals, heavy metals come from heavy rock, heavy rock and illegitimate funk. As a result, they are all called the Rock N Roll (early rock). But without the blues, there is no Rock N Roll… Who changed the early blues? Constantly digging deep into the problem, I have been asking “why why why why…” Constantly moving forward, “exquisite and exquisite, exquisite and exquisite research…”, finally your head will clearly understand what happened in the whole family.

Listen to the same kind of music interpreted by different artists. Even if you have locked in a very clear target to listen to the music, try to find different people’s interpretations,the same in the same, different in the same.Every singer/music player’s performance in the details is still a lot worse. Sometimes some genres are made more personal, some are more popular, others are more interesting, depending on the details. For example, the rock/heavy metal of the 80s sounds similar on the surface. But the character of each guitarist’s arrangement is much worse, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne. These are all categorized in the 80s, but you have to learn to distinguish the subtle differences between them.

If the above three points are about macro analysis, then the fourth point is to learn microscopic listening.

The devil and the angel are always hidden in the details, and the texture and taste are learned from distinguishing these molecules.

Understand their story

As mentioned earlier, if you only care about the music itself, you can’t see the whole picture. Music comes from art, art comes from culture, and culture comes from life.What kind of feelings are generated by the concert, such as the black slave’s “work song”, compared to the ruler’s rigorous classical music system, it is so unrestrained and free? Doesn’t that reflect the feeling that they want to break free from colonial bondage? So there are blues, jazz, soul music. The biggest feature of these music is “free improvisation.”