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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Poll: What’s the best genre of music?

Lucy Atkinson
The black and white keys of a Kimball acoustic piano wait to be tickled in a practice room in the NIU Music Building. Piano accompaniment included or otherwise, what’s the best genre of music? (Lucy Atkinson | Northern Star)

Music is often considered therapy and brings joy to many people. Incorporating themes such as nostalgia, going through a breakup or falling in love can make music inspirational and relatable.

The most popular genres of music tend to be rock, country and pop. With genres spanning from pop to country and artists ranging from Olivia Rodrigo to AC/DC, music offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Take a journey and dive into the musical extravaganza by choosing your favorite music genre.


With the use of electronic sounds or the twinkling of a piano, pop music is one of the most popular music genres, with 40% of people listening to pop music according to a 2023 survey by Statista. Pop can include emotional ballads or upbeat songs that make you want to dance. With iconic artists including Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift and new artists like Reneé Rapp and Benson Boone, pop music is constantly evolving and extremely versatile. 


By incorporating instruments like saxophones and trumpets, the instrumentation of rhythm and blues music is astounding. R&B music incorporates smooth melodies, catchy hooks and intricate vocal harmonies. 

R&B was invented in post-World War II Black communities and is one of the most popular music genres today, according to Music Industry How To

Stevie Wonder and SZA are staples of R&B music, and the genre had a significant impact on the music industry.


With the pluck of a banjo or a singer’s country drawl, country music can be considered one of the most popular genres in music, with 42% of people listening to it according to Statista.

Country music tends to focus on themes such as heartbreak, love and patriotism. With classic country songs like “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton or country-pop songs like “Heaven” by Kane Brown, country offers something for everyone, even the biggest country-haters.


Incorporating the pounding of drums and catchy electric guitar riffs, rock music can be described as rebellious. Rock has energetic vocals, sometimes sounding like screaming, which some may not appreciate. Rock is one of the most popular genres with 45% of people listening to it according to Statista.

However, for those on the wild side, rock may be just their type of music. Iconic artists, like Linkin Park and Nirvana, incorporate themes of angst, rebellion and love into their music.



Arguably one of the most underrepresented music genres, indie-folk music has been making waves in recent years thanks to artists like Bon Iver and Hozier. Indie-folk music tends to have an authentic sound, with artists typically known for their unique storytelling in their music.


Hip-hop music has many different elements like rap and beatboxing. Rap and hip-hop are very similar but are not the same. Hip-hop incorporates storytelling and intricate wordplay, increasing its popularity. Drake and Eminem are icons in this genre.

What is the best genre of music?

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What's the best genre of music?


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Results of last week’s poll: How do you de-stress during finals week?

Sleeping – 39%

Eating well – 0%

Exercising – 22%

Engaging in hobbies – 22%

Embracing positivity – 17%

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