The Ebbs and Flows of Online Music Genres

Andrew Whelan*, Raphael Alexandre Nowak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter critically discusses how the category of “music genre” is understood and theorized in the digital era. It first reviews the scholarly conceptualization of the category of music genre, particularly in the discipline of sociology, notably through an emphasis on the negotiation of genre conventions that constitute the category. It then situates genres categories in relation to, and opposition with, categories such as global pop and World Music. Drawing on this initial discussion, the chapter goes on to explore explores how the affordances of different digital technologies contribute to redefining the understanding and boundaries of music genres. We draw on particular examples of online music genres to highlight the increasing pace at which conventions evolve, as well as the discursive inputs of members of the genre communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Global Popular Music
EditorsSimone Krueger Bridge
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jan 2024

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