The Music Tree

Dave trawled his music collection (and the internet) to compile the Music Tree. This is his take on the genres of popular music, with the links between them and an album to represent each genre. If you feel the urge to question the tree, check out his disclaimer first!

The Music Tree (click to enlarge)

And over to Dave for a lightning quick introduction to the music tree:

“I made a music-snob comment to Fran that all indie sounds like one of three bands, and that they all sound like someone else. Fran doesn’t know much about older music, so asked me to make her a tree showing how music has evolved over time. And this is my attempt.

Each album cover represents a music genre, and the lines show some of the main links between the genres. The columns represent decades, and I have tried to place each genre in the decade it was at its peak. The albums chosen are supposed to represent that genre.

Don’t take the tree too literally, especially the lines. It’s a rough guide. It is drawn from my limited knowledge of music and my own perspective and this one.”


8 Responses to The Music Tree

  1. beefy steve says:

    Oh Dave. Punk pop and emo are parallel and totally different genres. Also is “classical” music really less significant than dubstep? Work in progress I reckon.

  2. Dave says:

    Hi Beefy Steve. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I have drawn pop punk as developing from emo. I agree they are different genres, but from my point of view I see many parallels between the two, especially in terms of sound, image and fanbase. The tree is by no means perfect.

    As for your second comment, I don’t think you have taken the tree as intended. There is no level of significance applied to any of the genres. I have put each where I see it as reaching its height in terms of time. Classical music, for example, reached its peak before the 1960’s, hence it being in the green column. Dubstep is in the grey column, representing the 2000’s, as this is a new genre. In graphical terms, the x-axis would be time, there is no y-axis. I hope that has helped explained things more clearly.

    We love to read everyone’s comments. What are your thoughts on the tree? Have you listened to this week’s album? Do you like it?

  3. pipic says:

    Very Good Article & I agree with U…thank

  4. Augure says:

    Oh so many mistakes and missing genres but, thanks for the effort

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for your comment Augure. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think I’ve missed. I’m always looking to discover new music. Since we’ve started the adventure some errors with the tree have become clear, Blues music is a big omission for example, so I know it’s by no means perfect. I intend to make an revised version at some point.

  5. brian judis says:

    I imagined a similar concept and did a google search for an idea tossing around in my head – I called it the music tree (sorry, nothing is original). My first and only vision, literally, is a tree growing vertically.

    my vision works this way. music has its roots in evolution. The trunk represents the technological revolution surrounding the 20th Century that exposed the world to its own broad musical potential – and shot it upward. New branches – new genres of music – grow out of older ones.

    Your model could fit this vision, with deeper research into history, genres and their ties to each other.


    • Fran says:

      Hi Brian,

      I imagined the music tree vertically as well, growing up and out over time with genres building on previous genres. Your idea about technological advances sparking the influx of musical genres in the 20th century is good though, I hadn’t thought about it that way. Are you planning to realise your concept? It would be really interesting to see someone else’s music tree (especially if you researched it better than us!).

      Dave has been saying recently that he would do his a bit differently if he did it again, because we’ve been learning more as we work through the albums, but I think there would always be an element of subjectivity in anything like this. Please send us a link if you make yours!

  6. Steven says:

    Except that the Motown sound derived from soul and doo-wop, with some influences from traditional pop (Tin Pan Alley) and big band jazz. Funk also derived from soul but on a separate line to Motown. Motown acts didn’t play anything resembling ‘funk’ until the early ’70s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s