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Music can be defined as vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony.

More technically, it is the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.

The origins of music are unknown, but a bone flute carved from a cave bear femur was dated to at least 40,000 years. The earliest and largest collection of prehistoric musical instruments was found in China, dating to between 7,000 and 6,600 B.C.

Music can be sorted into several music genres and styles, many of which overlap or are closely related.

Classical music is itself broken down by region and era. Western classical music has included Medieval music, Renaissance music, Galant music, and Romantic music, while more recent classical music has included Modernism, Impressionism, Neoclassicism, High modernism, Postmodern music, Experimental music, Contemporary classical music, and Minimal music.

Some of the better known Avant-garde and Experimental music include Instrumentals, Musical improvisation, Industrial, Progressive, Psychedelic, and Underground music.

There are several types of Blues music, including African blues, Blues rock, Chicago blues, Contemporary R&B, Country blues, Delta blues, Detroit blues, Gospel blues, Kansas City blues, Louisiana blues, Memphis blues, New Orleans blues, St. Louis blues, Texas blues, and others.

Some of the better known Country music styles include Americana, Bluegrass, Country blues, Country pop, Country rap, Country rock, Cajun, Honky-tonk country, Nashville sound, Outlaw country, Rockabilly, Tejano, Texas country, Traditional country, Western country, and Western swing.

Easy listening music includes Background music, often known as Elevator music or Muzak. Lounge music and New-age music would fit into this category, as well.

Electronic music is a genre of music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments, or circuitry-based music technology, and includes both musics made using electronic and electromechanical means. The variety of electronic music styles is larger than any other genre.

Contemporary folk music includes American folk revival, Americana, British folk revival, Celtic, Folk rock, Indie folk, Mariachi, Protest songs, Psychedelic folk, Skiffle, and others.

Originally known as disco rap, hip hop music, also known as rap music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of stylized rhythmic music, most often built around drum beats, that accompanies rapping, which is a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted.

With roots in blues and ragtime, Jazz originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As it spread around the world, various national, regional, and local music cultures gave rise to several styles, such as Afro-Cuban jazz, Bebop, Boogie-woogie, Brazilian jazz, British dance band, Dixieland jazz, Ethno jazz, Free improvisation, Gypsy jazz, Jazz blues, Jazz rap, Kansas City jazz, Neo-swing, Progressive jazz, Ska jazz, Soul jazz, Swing, and others.

Pop music is a genre of popular music originating in the United States in the 1950s and in the United Kingdom. During the 1950s and 1960s, pop music encompassed rock and roll but, in the late 1960s, pop became associated with music that was more commercial than rock.

Rock music originated as rock and roll in the late 1940s and 1950s, originally in the United States. Drawing on blues, R&B, and country music, Rock quickly developed into a range of different styles. Metal and Punk are subsets of Rock.

Additionally, cultural and regional genres of music can be heard from continent to continent, region to region, and country to country.

Religious music is a type of music performed for religious use or through religious influences and often overlaps with ritual music. This genre includes Buddhist music, Christian music, Hindu music, Islamic music, Jewish music, Neopagan music, Rastafarian music, Shamanic music, Shinto music, Sikh music, Sinism music, Taoist music, and Zoroastrian music, many of which themselves have subsets.

The fundamentals of music may include pitch, beat or pulse, tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, style, allocation of voices, timbre or color, dynamics, expression, articulation, form, and structure.

In one form or another, music permeates every human society, and lends itself easily to alliances with words and dance.


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