Country music is one of the popular music styles today. In fact, this holds true not only during the modern time but even decades ago. Through the years, this music genre has managed to become one of the most loved in the music industry.
A brief history
Country music started from the folk songs in the Southern USA during the early 1920s, pretty much like the blues genre. The immigrants from the Appalachian Mountains area brought their instruments hailing from their very origin countries, then combined their art forms in order to form what is now the renowned genre of country music.
So strictly speaking, this genre contains elements as well as instruments from different countries including Ireland, Germany, Italy, and a number of African countries. A lot of the instruments used in this musical style were in its early stages are string instruments and the harmonica, which is notably one of the emblems and trademark of country songs.
Music structure and subgenres
The fact is, the country genre has pretty much a lot of similarities with the blues music. One of which is the three-chord arrangement of the songs which is very simple. This is actually an essential element in both of the aforementioned music genres. At the same time, it has left much room for variation. That is why as the industry has witnessed for years, country songs—just like blues music—have been shaped by different artists in various forms.
This then paved the way for the rise of sub-genres within the country music genre. The structuring as well as the instruments used in country songs went through a couple of alterations and versions over time. The early singers and bands performed using string instruments almost exclusively. By 1940s, country band performances introduced the use of drums and electric guitars. Purists did not like the idea early on; but eventually, these instruments already became a fundamental part of the musical style.
The next decades witnessed the rise of other modifications just like the opening and incorporation of rock music to the country music genre—just like in the case of Elvis Presley who began his career doing country songs and later on developed a more energetic and upbeat rock and roll style to country songs.
Today, country music already has a lot of popular subgenres. There are the Classic Country, Country Rock and Progressive Country. There is also the Cowboy Music, Rap Country, and Blues Country among others.