What Is Considered Americana Music? 

Americana is a musical genre that defines itself as “an idiosyncratic style of music that reflects the cultural and social traditions of the United States.” The term is used to describe a variety of musical styles. In recent years, it has become a very popular genre. Bands like Mumford & Sons and The Avet Brothers have made the genre mainstream. 

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Although the term Americana was originally associated with country music, it is now a general term for any type of music that is American. It is a broad umbrella that includes a variety of genres, including bluegrass, folk, and even hip-hop. A good Americana album often features a combination of several different roots and music forms. Usually, bands are built around acoustic instruments, although electric versions are available. 

Early Americana artists often wrote and performed their songs. Bill Monroe was a leader in the revival movement and wrote his poems and songs. These early examples of folk music, also known as Cappella spirituals, were heavily influenced by symbolism and storytelling. This tradition continues today as many progressive Americana musicians utilize the tradition’s past to write new music. 

Many artists in the Americana genre recycle lyrical themes from previous generations. Some musicians also use traditional instruments, such as mandolin and guitar, to perform their music. However, for an artist to be regarded as an Americana artist, they must find a unique connection to the country’s musical tradition. 

Americana was originally a term that was used to describe any kind of musical style. In the late 1990s, the Americana Music Association was formed. Initially, it held conferences and festivals in Nashville. Its purpose was to define the genre and create legitimacy for it. As time went on, the genre expanded sonically and artistically. 

In 1999, 30 members of the Americana community came together at a facilitated retreat to discuss the possibility of creating a trade association. The AMA was ultimately created and has shaped the music industry. Since then, Americana has gained a cult following. Artists in the genre are considered “pioneers.” One of the most prominent is Bruce Springsteen. He was able to channel the genre to global success from the very first records he made. 

In the past five years, Americana has become a vogue genre. Many of the top-selling albums of the year have been released by Americana bands. Bands such as the Avet Brothers, the Civil Wars, and the Lumineers have all found success in the Americana world. 

During the early 2000s, the Americana genre pulled the spotlight away from the indie folk movement. Today, it is a popular genre that continues to be popular among young, hipster fans. Even popular country stars have benefited from the success of the Americana music genre. 

With its wide definition and rich history, Americana has evolved to encompass numerous musical subgenres. Lyrically, Americana music is a confluence of traditional folk, blues, and bluegrass. Using a variety of harmonic ideas, Americana artists offer fresh perspectives to a wide range of themes.