There are more than 13 million unique physical music releases in the Discogs Database. We categorize and connect releases in a few different ways at Discogs: by looking at the musicians who created them, the labels that produced them, the years that define them, and the formats you can find them recorded on. Genres and styles are another way to connect these releases, albeit in a more subjective way. Sometimes these nebulous similarities are geographic in nature; sometimes they are purely stylistic.
The genre and style definitions on Discogs are based on how releases are tagged by Contributors. Few releases have a categorical style, so they are often assigned based on subjectivity. Think about it — how hard is it to accurately describe a piece of music? How many arguments over genres have you had with your friends?
Genres: The umbrella classification that houses different styles. Genres were decided by Discogs Contributors when the Database launched in 2000. They don’t necessarily mirror genres defined by other high-profile sites (for example, Billboard). The genres on Discogs range from hip-hop to classical to stage and screen.
Styles: The more specific term that applies to different kinds of music, grouped together under genres. Discogs Contributors are consistently adding new styles to the Database, and you can too by submitting an official request. A style can be as broad as Ambient, as specific as New Jack Swing, or regional like Norteño.
Below, you’ll find an exhaustive list of all the styles in the Database broken up by their parent genre. We created this so Contributors can compare styles for new releases and as a fun way for you to unearth the different connections between releases. For an even cooler visual tool, check out our map of musical styles by region.
Explore, discover, and, if you have the knowledge to share, consider adding more information to a style page’s description!
Explore descriptions and popular styles within each genre.