3 thoughts on “Musicmap

  1. I cringe whenever I see something like this. Even as a genre locator, it fails for the simple reason that the earliest date on the map is quite recent. Many of the genres listed predate 1880 by many hundreds of years. Plus, the preponderance of genres that have come and gone quickly, spent within the space of a decade, gives the false impression that the ephemera of the last fifty years can in any way stack up against the genius and brilliance of cultures that produced a deep, sustained flow of excellent musicians (especially classical composers, but lots of performers, too).

    1. I just think of these websites as all variants of Allmusic.com, which I use frequently. Each has a different focus. Of course, if you want an authoritative source, you’d use something like Grove Music Online. But, Grove isn’t popular music. That’s what most people care about. The demographic that is willing to shell out $195/year for access to Grove or travel to a local university library is tiny. And, even Grove has biases and shortcomings. Impossible not to when trying to cover a field as large as music.

      1. Agreed that contemporary popular music (like sports) is what most people care about. Neil Young who? No problem that people like what they like. But that also skews the popular perspective on music, which has an extraordinarily distinguished history long before The Beatles appeared on the scene. True those who listen to listen to music composed 100+ are decidedly niche and living in the past; the orchestral concert hall and chamber music recital hall are akin to museums. But that body of art (some high, some low) scratches a different itch some (like me) feel quite acutely.

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