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  • Zoe Lim

Explore 4 Genres of Music in Different Countries


a chinese peking opera performer

Music is the universal language of mankind. It transcends all boundaries and acts as a bridge between cultural heritages and different backgrounds. Most of the time, it doesn't matter if we don't understand the lyrics. What matters is, the music we listen to are able to evoke emotions from us. It could be a sense of calmness or a sense of comfort. Sometimes, it may even bring forth the tears and the rage that we've been keeping inside of us. Music is an expression, loved by all kinds of people around the globe. Some countries even have their own type of popular music, which is what we are going to explore here in this article with 4 different countries.

1. Kpop - South Korea

Heavily inspired by J-pop (Japanese Pop) and popular Western music, K-pop originated in South Korea in the early 90s. Contrary to popular belief, K-pop is not just 'pop music', but an experimentation of different styles and genres of music. One K-pop song could be influenced by Latin music and then, Heavy Metal the next. Besides the music itself, K-pop is usually very performance-centered, with the girl and boy groups trained rigorously to master dance routines while having to sing at the same time. In South Korea, they are referred to as 'idols' - a person who is an all-around entertainer.

Current popular K-pop groups :

  • BTS

  • Blackpink

  • Red Velvet

  • Twice

  • (G)I-dle

Current popular K-pop soloists :

  • Sunmi

  • Chungha

  • IU

  • Taeyeon

2. Metal - Finland

In 2016, US President Barack Obama jokingly suggested that Finland's political scene was linked to its music landscape.

'I do want to point out that Finland has perhaps the most heavy metal bands in the world per capita and also ranks high on good governance. I don't know if there's any correlation there', he says.

It is true that Finland has the most heavy metal bands per capita in the world, with 54 bands per 100,000 inhabitants. Some suggests that it is due to Finland's long and dark winter which evokes a certain feeling among the people, in which they could find comfort in metal music. Others, simply likened the similarity between metal music and traditional Finnish folk music. Whatever the reason, there is no denying that there is a popular heavy metal culture there in Finland. With metal dominating the radios and the charts, one can say that Finland is a fertile ground for metal music.

Current popular Finnish metal bands :

  • Nightwish

  • Children of Bodom