Style tells you where a piece of music comes from. Category gives further explanation. You can search either column to locate groups of similar pieces.
In a large sense, style may be Pop or Classical. Pop styles have pop rhythm. Classical styles do not. Pop styles are always dance music, Classical, not always.
For gymnasts, the correct style is right for both the athlete’s dance and her theatrical presentation. This is key – you need both.
Pop styles include music like Top 40 radio hits, Jazz, most Broadway. All Techno. Pop styles change over time. Early pop styles include 20’s Ragtime, Charleston, Boogie Woogie. In the 30s and 40s the pop style was Swing and Swing was played by Big Bands. In the 50’s Rock began – electric guitars. Jazz is played by both small groups and Big Bands. Pop orchestration includes drums, bass, guitars, synthesizers as well as big bands and even huge orchestras – anything goes. Pop music from around the world uses a variety of ethnic instruments – Flamenco music features guitars, Bellydance features eastern instruments and so on. Pop music is usually recorded in a recording studio and has a very constant volume so that it plays well on the radio and in clubs (and gymnastics meets).
Classical styles usually use orchestras and, like pop music, the styles have changed over time. Orchestras have strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion and are usually recorded in concert halls. Classical solo instruments often include violin and piano. While there may be excellent rhythm, it is not a pop rhythm – no drums and bass. Classical rhythms get faster and slower (called rubato) and are not nearly as crisp as pop rhythms. Orchestras have a very large dynamic range – they can be very loud and very soft. Folk music often comes from Classical and Classical often uses Folk themes. Ballet is a Classical dance music – many symphonic forms are not.
Movie music uses all combinations of Pop and Classical music – huge orchestras, small intimate sections – there is often a very large dynamic range and flexibility in the music. Broadway music is very similar to Movie music. Pop music is often used in Movie music and a lot of Pop music comes from Movies. Trailers, used in movie previews, are often very dynamic and dramatic – Movie Themes are, perhaps, the true Classical music of today – beautiful melodies, large orchestras.
Listen to samples of different styles (click demo on each selection) and you will quickly understand my Styles and Categories. You will be able to compare selections of music with similar styles and add possibilities for your routine. There are a lot of possibilities here.