Google’s Big Picture of Music

Google’s Research Group has put together this “Big Picture” interactive exploration of musical genres over time. With this tool you can see the rise and fall of genre popularity over time, break down each genre into smaller sub-genres, and even explore the bands, musicians, and albums that make up that musical era.

It is a really fun way to explore musical genre and allows you to actually see how different styles have lead into and adapted into new sounds. It’s interesting to see how jazz and blues lead to the rise of rock and roll, which then brought about other genres like metal and punk.

In the New Artist Model courses, we really emphasize the importance of finding your unique place in the music industry, and this interactive tools will definitely help give you some perspective where genre is concerned.

Google's big picture of musicOnce you’ve checked out the over-arching landscape of music, you can drill down into a particular genre to see the various sub-genres. It’s interesting to see when they became popular in comparison to the main genre. Drill into Hip-Hop/Rap and you will see its rise and component, east coast, west coast, etc.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.22.45 PMOn top of that, you can go even deeper within a genre to get down to specific artists and how they relate to others in their genre. Once you get down to this level you really get a sense of how each musician’s creativity affects the progression of the genre, and ultimately the big picture we saw at the beginning. Music isn’t just strictly “rock” or “hip-hop.” It’s an ever-evolving, ever-adapting liquid fueled by every single musician’s creativity. Everything you do as an artist is having an impact on this big picture.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.23.06 PMSee what is happening right now in musical trends and developing genres. Where do you think these newer genres will be in a few years?

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The Music Timeline uses aggregated data from Google Play Music to show the changes in music genres over the decades. This visualization shows which albums from past eras are still in our music libraries today. Dig deeper into the chart to highlight key artists in each genre and read their stories, and navigate to Google Play to hear their music.  You can even search for a particular artist to see the trajectory of their career, their releases and their popularity. Happy exploring.

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