By Rachael Roberts
Many students learning English have learned how to talk about their favorite songs and music genres, but don’t know much beyond describing what band they like or a broad description of the type of music they’re interested in. So, let’s take your English to the next level with some native-like ways to describe your musical interests.
Try describing your favorite music genre more specifically with sub-genres. While it’s commonly known that there are many genres of music from pop to country, sub-genres are sub-categories within these genres that specify exactly what kind of music you’re talking about. Here are just a few examples but you can easily search online for more.
New Wave Pop
Lofi Hip Hop
Using the time of the music’s release can help narrow down your musical interest. This is especially useful with genres like pop that can vary greatly from year to year. The type of music released by artists can also change a lot over time, so you can use different points in the career of a band or singer to describe the style of music you like. Here are some examples in sentences.
I like listening to 80’s pop.
I’m a big fan of early 2000’s alternative rock.
Motown from the late 60’s was incredible.
The early works of that band are the best.
The mood and aesthetic of certain bands become a unique part of the listening experience. Some songs released by even the same artist can sound completely different from each other. Additionally, the aesthetic, or artistic image of a band can sometimes be just as important as the music. In fact, some aesthetics are so intertwined with the music, they merge to create their own sub-genre, like gothic rock. Here are some words to describe mood and aesthetic.
Popularity plays a lot into describing music. For example, an important feature of enjoying pop music may be about what’s on top of the charts at the time. On the other hand, many rock music lovers prefer their favorite artists before they become popular. Here are some ways to describe the popularity of your favorite music. Many of these expressions can also be used when talking about movies, books, video games, and other interests.
whatever– expresses openness to acceptance
I usually like whatever’s on the radio.
trending– currently popular
This group is trending online.
indie– independent; not belonging to a major company
I love this indie band. You probably haven’t heard of them.
sell out– become too popular to be relatable
I used to like that singer before they sold out.
These are just a few examples of words and phrases to describe music, but there is much more available. Keep in mind that sub-genres, popularity, and other aspects of music help describe your musical interests more specifically. Combine these tips and describe your musical tastes like a native speaker with ease.