When I first got into music journalism and blogging, I thought that all genres including jazz, pop, and rock should be capitalized. I saw people capitalizing the words often on social media and in small blogs, so I thought it could be an either-or thing. Turns out, you shouldn't capitalize genres in music or art most of the time. There are a few exceptions that I want to let you know about.
My main genre of music that I love to create is R&B, so you can see why I would get confused about the capitalization, especially when listing it along with genres like hip hop and pop. Since R&B is short for rhythm and blues, you want to capitalize bother letters. Writing these letters both in lower case will obviously be recognizable and I'm sure you could get away with it, but most professional publications capitalize the letters in this genre.
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It can also get a bit confusing when you combine proper nouns with a genre. For example, what if you have British pop? You want to still capitalize the word British. Want to know where it gets even more confusing? There's a genre referred to as Britpop, where you should always capitalize the B since it is short for British. The rules get a bit tricky here, I know!
As you probably know, when you're writing a title for a blog or a post, you should still capitalize all of the words. Don't take the rules so far to the head that you try to avoid capitalizing the genres in your title while keeping everything else capitalized; that would look pretty strange!
And also, just in case you're still overthinking, you still want to capitalize the genre if you're starting the sentence with the word. I know you know this, right? Just making sure! My mind gets a little funky sometimes, so I won't blame you if you were thinking about starting your sentence with a non-capitalized word. Ok, maybe a little.
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Another exception comes around when you want to write about historical periods throughout music like Baroque and Renaissance music. These periods of music often cover a multitude of genres that are not to be capitalized and others that have proper nouns in front of them that you should capitalize. The one exception within this exception is that you should not capitalize on medieval music, which covers an extremely large amount of genres throughout the Middle Ages. As you can see from my previous sentence, Middle Ages is capitalized when written, but the medieval period is not.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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