Why do some genres end up being “hidden” within other genres? – A Ramble

2016 Artwork Hidden Genres article sketch

Although this is a short article about art, writing and comics, I’m going to have to start by talking about my own experiences with music for a while. There’s a good reason for this that I hope becomes obvious later.

Although I recently mentioned how I now have slightly more appreciation for abstract art than I used to, something similar happened to me musically around the same time too. For the first time in, well, forever, I was sort of interested in jazz music (bebop music mostly).

I’m not sure if this is just a brief phase or not, but there were a whole host of reasons for why I suddenly became interested in jazz/ bebop music, mostly because I’d seen it in a surprising number of computer games, TV shows, online articles within a relatively short period of time and this made me curious about it.

Naturally, I went straight onto Youtube and checked out some music in the genre. And, wow! It’s the kind of music that makes you feel ten times more sophisticated when it’s playing in the background. It’s the kind of music that lends even the most boring afternoon in the most boring room a cool “film noir”-style atmosphere.

But, thinking about it, I’m honestly surprised that it took me this long to appreciate this genre. Especially when you consider that my favourite anime series (which I discovered in 2008, when I went through an anime phase) is literally called “Cowboy Bebop” and features lots of bebop music. Likewise, my favourite movie of all time (“Blade Runner”) features at least a small amount of smooth jazz/ blues music on it’s soundtrack.

So, why am I rambling about music?

Well, the fact is that the jazz / bebop genre was “hidden” in a lot of other things that I’d seen or played over the years without me really paying that much attention to it. When I finally started listening to it, I automatically thought of it as “cool” and “sophisticated” music because of all of the times I’d seen it used in movies, games etc…

It’s always interesting how some genres can hide in the background of novels, films, comics etc… in a way that it both noticeable and unnoticeable.

So, how and why does this happen?

Well, the simple answer is that fans of these genres thought that they were cool and found a way to incorporate them into things that they made in different genres. For example, if a filmmaker is a fan of a particular type of music, then they’re probably going to find a way to include it in at least some of their films.

Likewise, if someone who is making comics really likes a particular art style, then they’re probably going to find some way to incorporate it into their comics because, well, it looks cool.

This also has the side-effect of introducing people to all sorts of interesting genres without them always really noticing it. Because, let’s face it, fans (of anything) are at least slightly evangelical.


Sorry for the short article, but I hope that it was interesting 🙂

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