The AP Poll

DO MUSIC GENRES SERVE A PURPOSE?

Slapping a genre on a band can be tricky business. For fans and critics alike, a discussion about which group is emo or who definitely isn't punk can devolve into a full-out fiasco, and the excessive subgenres created to accommodate new sounds sometimes just confuse matters. The genre argument is a crucial moment in most music fans' lives—an essential conversation that can both prove a listener's clout, or unnerve them when they find their favorite category isn't cool.  For a fan, genres can act as a grouping tool and reference point, opening doors to more worthwhile new music. Yet genres essentially place musicians in a box, inviting outrage when a band decides maybe they want to add a marimba to their screamo record. So, do music genres serve a purpose? Are they necessary notices or divisive downers?

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