Feel Me Don't You
Making the connections
Making the connections

Exploring The Musicmap


Do you love music? I mean really LOVE it. If so, Musicmap is a must read for you and every music lover you know. I found the site thanks to a tweet from a Twitter follower named @InfinityEnds (check him out on SoundCloud). This became my Sunday rabbit-hole activity as I explored the site throughout the day. My major interest on Sunday was exploring the various popular music super-genres. These are the vertical bars displayed beneath the four “non-popular music” categories: Classical, Folk, World, and Utility music. With each subsequent site visit, I find something new.

Allow me to hit some introduction page highlights before we move to the other navigation menu items.

What is Musicmap:

Musicmap attempts to provide the ultimate genealogy of popular music genres, including their relations and history.

Musicmap’s purpose:

  1. Inform anyone, regardless of age and education, about the basic knowledge of music genres.
  2. Inspire people to explore the world of music, and discover music outside of their comfort zone.
  3. Improve existing music genre databases and to provide a complementary and necessary framework for automatic music taxonomy.
  4. Initiate a dialogue or start a platform (WIKI) in order to achieve a near-perfect and up-to-date overview.
  5. Motivate the use of genres while discouraging pigeonholing.
  6. Reduce discrimination and prejudice based on genre

Naturally, the introduction page goes into deeper detail on each of the bullet points.

The abstract page discusses the research nuts & bolts as well as defining genres. As an example, each vertical bar is a super-genre. Clicking on it opens a new pane with the genre’s description. On the bottom menu, clicking on the section containing the arrow, GENRES, and listview graphic opens up the clickable sub-genres section. Selecting a sub-genre opens a new pane that provides the sub-genre description, year it came into being, and offers a Playlist option from the bottom menu. Clicking on Playlist provides a YouTube playlist of that sub-genre (Spotify playlist is still “Coming soon”).

For the true music (and science) nerd, I mean lover, open up the methodology page. This is where you’ll find how they’re building the framework behind the super-genres, the structuring method, and the Carta. Speaking of… if you haven’t done so already, open the above Musicmap link and hover over a particular super-genre. Use your mouse’s scroll wheel to delve deeper into the sub-genres. If you find a sub-genre of interest, click on it to bring up the sub-genre description pane mentioned earlier. Drag the map around and scroll out slightly. Hover over a sub-genre and a connection map appears. Use the legend/layers navigation pane to learn how the genres connect.

You can also use the super-genres, search, and navigate menu buttons to alter the way you dig into any of the super/sub genres, artists, or songs. Check out the glossary if you’re unfamiliar with a genre or term.

How cool is that?


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