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Song Genres Defined for 2004 JPF Awards
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Brian Austin Whitney
Bard of the Boards
posted 07-07-2004 06:24
Here's a JPF Definition for what type of music is included in each of our awards genres. We make no claims that others agree with our definitions, but we do know these descritions fit the collection of songs we've chosen to nominate this year. Please read it as it may explain some things that may seem odd once we announce the nominees:
African: This includes music from African artists in all styles. Vocals are in various African languages, but the styles are pop, rock, rap etc. as well as traditional.
Alternative: This includes many edgy pop songs where the lyric is aggressive but the music may still have a pop edge to it. There are also some traditional alternative rock tracks included.
Americana: This is a bit of a mix between Rock, Country, Blues, Bluegrass and Folk.
Blues: This genre leans a bit towards acoustic blues this year versus rock blues, but there is some of that for fans of that style as well.
Cabaret/Theater: This genre is very different in 2004 from the last awards. This year the music is closer to traditional Cabaret story lyrics with both Jazz and Theatrical stylings.
Cajun: This is a new genre this year and includes Cajun music with both English and French vocals.
Celtic Vocal: This leans toward the traditional with a sampling of new celtic.
Celtic Instrumental: This is a new category for us with instrumental tracks leaning most towards traditional.
Children's: There's a lot of diversity here for kids of all ages and tastes.
College Rock: This is defined differently by different people, but for us, we placed to most commercial radio Pop/Rock songs, primarily by full bands in this genre.
Contemporary: This is where the great lite rock and lite pop ballads are.
Contemporary Christian: This is where Christian songs with any contemporary style other than Gospel/Church music is placed. You'll find Pop, R&B, Rap, Contemp, Folk stylings with religious and spiritual lyrics.
Country: This year's country music is fairly mainstream with a mix of pop country and traditional country.
Cover: This is a grab bag of all sorts of interesting covers. There are mostly famous songs covered in interesting ways, as well as a couple obscure covers done very well. All formats of music are included from edgy to folky. We try not to take this category too seriously, and it's really here for cover songs we simply enjoyed and wanted to acknowledge. This award goes to the artist as opposed to the writer.
Dance: This is pretty straightforward pop music with a dance beat. A few hard core dance mixes, but most of it leans pop.
Electronica: This is electro pop for the most part. Vocals (sometimes with effects) and an electronic pop music production behind it.
Ethnic: This is all the music with Ethnic origins not included in the individual genres. This also includes non English lyrics (French, Arabic, Lithuanian etc..) All styles.
Experimental: This is where the most bizarre, unusual and undefinable recordings go. Some are in song format and some are just sounds. Many have vocals or samples but some are instrumental and others simply defy description. You need an open mind to appreciate the musical oddities we've placed here.
Female S/S: This is a category of artists singing their own compositions who would sound great performing alone or with a band. Most songs lean towards lite pop, mainstream rock or folk influences. It's one of those genres that are hard to define, but you know it when you hear it.
Gospel: This is a collection of music you'd likely hear in a church service. Very heavy R&B or Traditional Roots influenced, many with full Gospel Choirs.
Hard Rock: This genre has changed a lot from previous years. Many people might put this edgy rock band music in Modern Rock. It's hard edged, but still has a mainstream radio feel to it. Imagine the heaviest rock songs you'd hear on mainstream radio, and these are it.
Holiday: Though not exclusively "Christmas" songs, these are original winter holiday season songs in all styles. (We didn't have any other holidays make it into the nominations.)
Industrial: This is a maximum edge rock/pop/electronic category. Nine Inch Nails popularized this genre, and some of these songs take off more towards pop and others even more angry and aggressive. If you like aggressive music, you'll love this.
Instrumental: This is where all the instrumental compositions not included in Jazz or Rock are included. No vocals.
Inst. Jazz: Just as the name says. From experimental improv to big band and beyond.
Inst. Rock: Just as the name says. May have some vocal blips here and there but the focus is clearly on the instrumental performances.
Jewish: This is a new genre for us. You'll find both contemporary songs based on the Jewish religion and beliefs as well as some interpretations of Traditional Jewish writings.
Latin: This is a new genre for us (and long overdue!). You'll find contemporary and traditional Latin styles in both English but mostly Spanish language.
Male Singer Songwriter: The Male version of the Female Category.
Metal: This is what people expect Metal to be. Aggressive guitars and aggressive vocals.
Modern Rock: This is the most misunderstood genre because it changes every year. This year, this genre includes Ethereal/Moody Rock songs as well as Quirky/Unusual Rock songs. Most of the tracks here are mainstream commercial radio friendly, but have a mysterious and dark edge around them without much aggression musically.
New Age/World: This is a new genre for us. These are ethereal songs often with lush production and flowing vocals. Some would be at home in New Age and others in World. We combined them because these tracks have a similar vibe.
New Folk. Some call this contemporary folk. It's a melding of lite pop or rock combined with singer songwriter and folk sensibilities. Often the production and lyrical content is more modern than traditional.
Novelty/Comedy: This is where we put all the parody, comedy tracks, or novelty songs you might hear on Dr. Demento. All styles and approaches. Some adult humor so no kids should judge this genre.
Pop: Mainstream radio pop.
Punk: This is a new genre for us. It's pretty straight ahead punk which leans a bit towards pop punk than over the top edgy punk.
R&B: This year we have mix of traditional R&B, Pop R&B, Rock R&B and Rap R&B.
Rap: This is one of the most diverse genres with approaches from the Rock, Pop, R&B, Hard Rock and even Country Folk music influences. We got rap music from 6 continents and from artists making every style of music imaginable. This genre is very light on Gangsta Rap this year as it seems that Rap has moved far more mainstream and is mixed with other mainstream genres more than ever.
Reggae: This is pretty mainstream Reggae music, much of it from outside of the US.
Rock: This is very similar to College Rock but includes songs that didn't quite fit into the other Rock sub-genres. Mainstream rock songs in various styles (Blues Rock, Pop Rock, Country Rock etc..). All these tracks are mainstream radio friendly.
Roots: This is a combination of old timey, bluegrass and Appalachian influenced songs, often with matching production and lyrics.
Solo Guitar: Though not limited only to acoustic, this collection does turn out to be solely acoustic guitar compositions performed on (or featuring) solo guitar. This is a new genre for us.
Solo Piano: This is a collection of piano compositions performed on (or featuring) solo piano. This is a new genre for us.
Spoken Word: These are spoken word performances, some with incidental background music and some without. Much of it is passionately performed touching on many aspects of the human experience and occasionally dabbling in politics and humor. This is similar to what you might find at many Poetry slams.
Techno: This is programmed electronic music primarily without vocals/lyrics (but sometimes using sampled lines). A few tracks are Ambient, but mostly it's uptempo music with a heavy edge.
Traditional Folk: This is primarily folk music featuring vocals and acoustic guitars in a story telling format without a lot of modern production or instrumentation.
Vocal Jazz: All styles of jazz with vocals.
Video: We've added a best video category this year. It's been interesting to say the least! We recognized videos based on how they presented the artist and/or how well they told the story of the song. We found some very creative and effective low budget videos and a few amazing high budget looking videos as well.
Lyric: These include the lyrics that were submitted SOLELY on our JPF Message board and voted on by our own members earlier in 2004. These are the final 21 nominees.
Bluegrass: This is traditional Bluegrass.
Classical: This includes all types of classical music performed by duos or larger
Compilation: This recognizes the best Compilation CD's we received in any genre.
Ethnic American: This includes albums in Native American, Surf, South American, Carribean and Hawaiian music genres which were too small to have their own individual categories.
Ethnic Asian: This includes Ethnic styles and Asian Language Albums including Indian, Japanese and Chinese.
Ethnic European: This includes Ethnic styles and Non English European based languages including Iceland, French, Italian, Eastern European, Ukraine etc.
Jewish/Klezmer: We included Klezmer albums along with Traditional Jewish/Hebrew Lyric albums.
Live: This is a category with all the best Live Albums we got in 2004. A very competitive category this year!
Opera/Classical Vocal: This includes Opera and classical style vocal albums.
Rap/Hip Hop/Funk: This is Rap as defined above, but includes albums that cross over into both Rap and Funk. (Note: Funk Songs were included in the R&B song category) This may seem odd but made the most sense when you listened to the material.
Solo Instrumental (Non Guitar/Piano): This includes all solo instrumental albums that weren't piano or guitar based with solo performers or primarily featured one type of instrument (i.e. percussion, handbells etc.)
[This message has been edited by Brian Austin Whitney (edited 07-22-2004).]
posted 07-16-2004 02:10
Wow, what a stunningly incredible 'width & breadth' of coverage... fantastic! That makes about 43 categories from what I was able to count while quickly scrolling through the list.
Obviously 2003 must have been a great year to produce a "crop" as large as this!
Thanks for posting these Brian!
Brian Austin Whitney
Bard of the Boards
posted 07-16-2004 09:03
Actually we have over 50 genres. Some are album only. We also added Celtic Instrumental to the song list. I will post an updated version of this early next week.
We also have additional album only categories: Bluegrass, Compilation, European Ethnic, American Ethnic (North and South Combined), Middle Eastern Ethnic, Asian Ethnic, Live, Opera, Solo Instrumental (not including Piano and Guitar) and Theater.
All times are ET (US)
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