When you think of your country, what kind of music comes to mind? Do pop stars dominate the charts whilst your local scene is filled with indie bands? You might be surprised to find out which genre actually comes out on top…
We’ve analysed over 35’000 musicians from around the world to compare the genre of music they produce to their country of origin to reveal what kind of music each country produces the most!
Explore the interactive map to see where music is made globally, or take a look continent by continent below!
Hover over the maps with your mouse (or tap with your finger) to show a pop-up of that country’s top genre.
Countries are colour coded by their overarching genre, shown on the legend on the left of each map. For example, House music is a subgenre of Electronic music and is therefore shown in blue.
We investigated the music genres that each country made the most of by looking at the country of origin of over 35’000 musicians and comparing it to the genre of music they make.
‘Top Genre’ is the genre that came out as the most produced in that country. In some cases, there was an equal tie between two or more genres. That is shown using a forward slash, i.e. “Rock/ Pop”.
Across the globe, you’d expect to see a vast variety of genres cropping up. Things like South Korea producing mostly K-Pop were expected, but things like Tunisia producing more Stage & Screen music than anything else came as a surprise.
As a whole continent, Asia leaned towards creating more ‘Experimental’ music, a subgenre of Electronic music, over everything else. Likewise, Europe overwhelmingly preferred to create Electronic music, with House becoming their #1 most-produced genre overall.
North America and Oceania, however, both were found to be mostly making Alternative Rock music, whereas Africa was found to make mostly African Folk music and South America produced mostly MPB (Brazilian Pop) – which is perhaps due to Brazil putting out a lot of MPB.
Top genres produced by continent:
Europe – it’s the continent of love and romance, right?
Europe is 100% the home of House music, with at least 15 countries making more House music than any other genre including the UK, Sweden and France. Other European countries kept up the favour for Electronic, however, with Germany preferring to make Techno, Iceland preferring to make Ambient music and Moldova preferring to make Progressive Trance.
That doesn’t mean to say that you can’t find any romance in Europe, it just won’t be in Paris after all. Instead, try Italy, Spain or Greece who each produce more Romantic (Classical) music than any other genre. You could also try those other well known romantic countries, like Russia and Romania, who also produced mostly Romantic music.
The biggest outliers in Europe were Finland, who stood out as a powerhouse producer of Heavy Metal. The only other countries to join them in making music under the umbrella of Rock were Poland and Latvia, who both had a joint most produced genre of Classical and Rock music.
Outside of Classical and Electronic and the odd bit of Rock, the rest of Europe found themselves making mostly different forms of Folk music. Ireland’s most produced genre was Folk music in general, whilst Portugal produced mostly Fado, a typical form of Portuguese singing that is often played in pubs, cafes and restaurants around the country.
It comes as no surprise that the birthplace of rock and roll was one of the few countries in the world to produce more rock music than anything else. However, they weren’t sticking to the Classic Rock as you might expect – instead, the USA were found to make largely Alternative Rock music.
Canada were also going strong with the Rock theme, but they leaned towards Pop Rock more than anything else, perhaps due to the popularity of a certain Nickelback?
The love for Rock music continued south with Guatemala producing a joint mixture of Acoustic, Pop Rock and Soft Rock, but, they were alone in that with surrounding countries all preferring Latin, Pop and Reggae genres.
Mexico were big lovers of Ballad music, whilst The Bahamas were big lovers of Vocal Pop. Cuba, unsurprising, produced mostly Afro-Cuban sounds, with Panama producing Salsa, the Dominican Republic producing Merengue (a local style of music and dance) and Jamaica being big producers of Dancehall.
One of our first findings might come as a shock to the system: South Korea produces more K-Pop than any other genre. Surprising, right?
Japan did not follow suit with J-Pop or J-Rock, though, instead they were found to be producing mostly different variants of Electronic music (in particular Experimental and Downtempo). Their love for Electronic music actually came in joint with their love for Punk music with bands like One Ok Rock, Shounen Knife, High Rise and Melt Banana.
Going further west, China ended up being quite mixed when it came to their top genre. Things were tied between Experimental, Heavy Metal, Math Rock, Overtone Singing, Post Rock and Post-Punk, which put them ultimately more on the Rock end of the scale.
The closer you get to Europe, the more Electronic music seemed to creep back in with places likes Kazakhstan, Turkey, Syria (who had Electronic tied with Folk) and Georgia all favouring it over anything else. In fact, Kazakhstan were the only country in the world who produced more Drum ‘n Bass over other genres!
There was a smattering of Electronic music from elsewhere in Asia, some from Japan of course, but also from the Philippines – who produced mostly Electronic and Hip Hop – as well as Nepal, who had a mixture of Ambient/ New Age Electronic music alongside Classical Hindustani.
Like Nepal, India favoured Hindustani music but also Indian Classical, with their neighbours Pakistan coming up as a mixture of Bollywood and Hindustani as well. South of India, Sri Lanka turned out to be big fans of Pop music with a tie between Pop Rock and Vocal music, whilst places in South Asia like Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia all preferred Rock music.
There were a few countries in Asia that went for the more gentle touch of Classical music including Taiwan and Armenia, the latter of which was a combination of Modern Classical and Romantic Classical.
Sadly, for a significant part of Asia we did not have enough data to give a concrete answer on what genre of music they made the most.
South America, who were found to produce MPB (Música Popular Brasileira or ‘Popular Brazilian Music’ in English) more than anything else, had some genres crop up that didn’t appear anywhere else on the planet – most notably Latin subgenres.
Brazil were big producers of MPB, a local post-bossa nova style of urban music with themes reminiscent samba, samba-canção and baião. Venezuela followed suit with the trend of Pop music in the South, favouring Ballad music above all else.
Their Colombian neighbours however, were some of the only ones in South America to produce Latin music over everything else. Likewise, Uruguay also found Latin to be one of their top genres, but it was tied alongside Metal music and Folk music – they must enjoy quite the variety!
The further south you go, the more Classical and Rock subgenres appeared. Chile in fact was tied between them, with Paraguay’s top genre being Classical and Argentina preferring Pop Rock with musicians like Fito Páez and Charly García achieving huge success. Peru, on the other hand, stood out as lovers of Folk music.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough data on the majority of their countries and therefore the maps would have been more incomplete than complete. An additional map wouldn’t have added to the experience.
Instead, you can view the list of their top genres below, or explore the global map at the top!
We took a sample of over 35’000 musicians from around the world, matching the main genres of their music to their country of origin/ place of birth.
Brought to you by